By Vanessa Papas
Beautiful. Nurturing. Compassionate. Ambition. Powerful. Women across the world are rising stronger than ever before. We have today a far cry from simply being ‘a man’s world’. In celebration of National Women’s Day on 9 August, we take a look at some amazing women who, despite their disabilities, have risen beyond imagination and become a force to be reckoned with.
A cancer diagnosis and leg amputation at 16 did stop Sarisa Ferreira. The 2008 Paralympian Sarisa Ferreira has developed her small farming business, Areli Veg, into one which employs 100 women permanently and another 50 part-time. Starting from a small farm in Patensie in the Eastern Cape, Sarisa started supplying two lines to Shoprite’s fruit and vegetable distribution arm Freshmark in 2012. Areli Veg was soon able to diversify and expand to a bigger variety of fruit and vegetables. It started with only a handful of employees, but now provides training, mentoring and jobs to many women. This partnership has seen Areli Veg grow from delivering two crates a day to 20 crates per product per day. Sarisa has since bought another farm to increase her production volumes.