My name is Peter Chilewani. I was born on 2nd September 1990 into a Christian Malawian family. I attended Mchisu Secondary School where I earned my Junior School Certificate in 2006 and then Athens Private secondary School where I earned my Malawi School Certificate of Education in 2009. I speak English Chichewa and Kiswahili.
I am from Gaga village, Tradition Authority Tsabango, Lilongwe. I was the last born of a family of eight. My mother is a retired teacher. She retired in 2006 when I was still doing my secondary school. My father was a politician and he retired when he had a stroke on 26 August 1999. He suffered hemiplegia (paralysis) of the left side of the body. He was admitted to hospital where he received physiotherapy treatment from which he started regaining strength. We continued with physiotherapy after he came home until he died on 18th June 2012.
My father’s conditions taught me how important it is to support and encourage people with physical challenges. With proper assistance they can still remain productive to their societies. Sustaining a disability is one of those moments which are difficult to cope with; the psychological trauma experienced tends to make the victims think that they are useless in a community. However with physical, spiritual and proper emotional support they are able to realize that despite the anatomical functional loss which they have to deal with, they can still live a happy life and still maintain their important roles within their setting. I learnt how the society support can be a source of hope to them.
I was very happy when I joined 500 miles staff in 2011 as a bench worker. At the 500 miles Centre assistive devices are fabricated for those that have lost limbs and muscle function. This is where I got an opportunity of studying Orthopeadic Technology at TATCOT in Tanzania in 2012. I am very happy that my dreams are now coming true which will make me more knowledgeable in helping disabled people.