A new lease on life for the disabled
Updated 13:11, 11-Nov-2018
By Cao Xi
There is an estimate of 85 million people with a disability in China. Of them, around 90 percent are unemployed.
Mayinor is 22 years old and from a small village in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. She graduated from a local high school in 2014. But as a sufferer from dwarfism, it was hard for her to find a job. 
As she explains to CGTN's Rediscovering China, it wasn't only her physical condition that held her back. “If my parents aren't at home, I get afraid,” she says. “Although I was accepted by Urumqi University, I didn't go. When I go out, people stare at me. And they say, ‘This girl is so small.' It makes me upset. Why do they make fun of me? We're the same! I have a disability, that's all.”
Her life took a dramatic turn after she heard on the television about an organization called “Kashgar Disabled Friends.” Thought the organization, Mayinor made contact with other people with disabilities and discovered that she could, after all, study and earn a living.
Studying and being given a job have made Mayinor more confident and optimistic. /CGTN Photo

Studying and being given a job have made Mayinor more confident and optimistic. /CGTN Photo

Kashgar Disabled Friends describes itself as a platform for encouraging self-reliance and entrepreneurship. All its members are persons with physical or mental disabilities. “So we know how to support one another better,” says the organization's vice director, Huang Nailei.
Huang has worked at Kashgar Disabled Friends for seven years. He has found that “the biggest challenge for people with disabilities, is the sense of inferiority,” he explained. To overcome this, he urges the group's members to love themselves for who they are.
Mayinor is now studying Mandarin and technology.  As an intern at a Kashgar Disabled Friends, she earns a modest monthly wage. She has made some friends and become much more confident. And she is also looking to the future with optimism. “My dream,” she says, “is to study well, and open my own advertising business.”
("Rediscovering China" is a 30-minute feature program offering in-depth reports on the major issues facing China today. It airs on Sundays at 10.30 a.m. BJT (02.30 GMT), with a rebroadcast at 11.30 p.m. (15.30 GMT), as well as on Mondays at 8.30 a.m. (00.30 GMT) and Fridays at 1.30 p.m. (05. 30 GMT).)
(Cover: The Kashgar Disabled Friends enjoy spending their free time in one another's company /CGTN Photo)