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Laos

After a life-changing work accident, Tok advocates for disability inclusion

Tok, 27, lost his leg in a work accident. Over the last two years, Humanity & Inclusion has provided him with an artificial limb and rehabilitation care in Laos.

Five years ago, Tok was hired to cut down a tree that was touching a power line. When the tree fell, it crushed his left leg. Tok managed to call his brother, who rushed him to hospital, but his leg was too badly damaged and had to be amputated. Tok’s acquired disability presented challenges and prevented him from performing certain everyday tasks.

In 2020, Humanity & Inclusion referred Tok to its rehabilitation center, where he received physical therapy and an artificial limb. Since then, Tok has regained independence.

Today, Tok’s living conditions have improved significantly. He can work again and has started to raise livestock. He is also employed by the Lao electricity board, collecting data on electricity consumption, distributing bills and collecting dues.

Tok has also joined a group of red mushroom producers and received training in the bamboo value chain, which has helped boost his income. In the future, he hopes to expand his farm and keep goats.

Advocating for disability rights

Tok has also received training from Humanity & Inclusion and Group for Research and Technology Exchanges (GRET) on disability rights and inclusion.

Now a community volunteer, he advocates against discrimination and promotes understanding, acceptance and awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and the importance of their inclusion. He also provides peer support.

His goal is to remove the physical barriers encountered by people with disabilities.

"People with disabilities need support to access public services and opportunities to improve their lives," Tok explains. "I have received a lot of support and it has changed my life."