As a blind woman, Alista Douglas has experienced some struggles in her life. And yet she says that the most difficult thing she had to face was not related to her disability, but dealing with a pregnancy where she had little support. Alista works with the Rainbow Theatre Group, a drama group of disabled actors that is part of Wan Smol Bag’s theatre. Here, she gives us a glimpse into her life.
I am from Paama, but I grew up in Port Vila. When I was younger, I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand for school, but my parents didn’t want me to go. I didn’t want to go anyway. I only went to kindy in Number Three and that’s it. Mi stap lo haos afta bae mi makem fulap work. Mi stap clean mo cook, mi save makem everi samting lo haos. Mi stap washem clothes afta bae mi hangem.
I have been part of the Rainbow Theatre group since 2010. We raise awareness about a variety of things including the rights of people with disabilities, domestic violence, sanitation and preparation for cyclone. I was lucky to have my parents really support me, up until they died and then when I joined this theatre group, it has also given me great support. I have made some good friends.
The hardest thing I have ever had to face was being pregnant with a man who didn’t want the baby. Other members of my family weren’t supportive either and I still deal with the same issues today. Now my son is 10 years old and he lives with me. When I look back on my life, I was not as happy until my son was born. Now I feel good and my life is so much better, especially working with the Rainbow Theatre Group. I use to just follow all the other girls, walking around and doing what they are doing, but now I have a purpose.