Tomas Miliwadi is 37 years old. He lives in Thiwatiwa Village, in Salima district. He is married with a baby boy called Miracle. At the age of five, Tomas suffered a severe bout of malaria which paralyzed his legs. He walks with the aid of crutches. Tomas was born in another village, where there was no school. Due to his disability, he was not able to walk to school in another village, and the distance was too far for his parents to carry him.
Tomas lost both his parents at the age of 15 and was dependent on his sister. In 2005, KODO began assisting Tomas. He undertook KODO’s vocational training course in tailoring. On completion of the course, Tomas was given a sewing machine which had been refurbished by TFSR and shipped to Malawi.
He started up his business as the only tailor in his village. He makes school uniforms and makes and repairs other clothing. Due to the high costs of purchasing clothes in rural parts of Malawi, people in Tomas’ village buy material which they bring to Tomas to sew.
Tomas works outside his house, from 6am to 6pm. He receives assistance from passers-by to move his sewing machine out in the morning, and back in at night. Business is good, with an average of six customers per day. Tomas and his wife are now able to live independently in their own three-bedroom house.