Disabled But Able: From Begging to Business

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The 30-year-old physically challenged runs a small scale business in a stationed wheelbarrow on Gurley Street in Monrovia. He sells body lotion, lavender and other cosmetic products.

“Street selling is a difficult thing to do, especially for people like me. People insult me and take my goods away…many days.

“Look at me, I can’t fight them…even though I sometimes feel like, but I don’t have the foot or strengthen to fight.

“I only leave them with God when people rob me and forcibly take away my market,” Vanney lamented.

Having come to Monrovia in 2000, Vanney said he was optimistic earning a better wage when one of his aunts afforded him the opportunity.

“It was my aunty, Oldma Kula, who helped me come to Monrovia. My hope was very high. But, when we came in 2000 from Voinjama, I turned out becoming a beggar in the street,” he said.

However, Vanney said he started up doing business after saving up to L$3,000 from alms he received at various street corners.

According to Vanney, he dreams of one day growing from selling in a wheelbarrow to selling in a shop. However, he said, examining his current condition and financial status, it will take him almost forever before reaching that level.

He said he is seeking a loan or financial aid from any financial institution as well as all humanitarian institutions and individuals to help achieve his business goals, which profit has over the years only facilitated rental fees and meeting limited life enhancement.

Vanney hopes Liberians from all works of life will provide him the needed financial support to ensure he transcends from his present business status to, maybe, a shop or storeowner.

“I feel very proud earning my own money rather than begging on the streets and I wish others out there like me could do likewise,” he said.

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