Children with disabilities, their parents and caregivers in rural areas of South Africa have limited access to the medical care they need. Well-designed wheelchairs are key to achieving independence and social inclusion. A shortage of trained caregivers, lack of funding by the government, and lack of understanding about disabilities also create challenges. Through Uhambo's grassroots and holistic programs, some of the most vulnerable people in the world, children with disabilities, are served.
Stigma is one of the biggest obstacles for children with disabilities as it prevents inclusion in everyday life such as going to school. Some families shun the children and their mothers, believing that the mother must have done something wrong. In the Warmbaths region where Uhambo has a presence, children with disabilities have a difficult time accessing medical services, due to a lack of understanding even by medical professionals. It is also difficult to find skilled workers to provide care.
By working at the community level, Uhambo builds a network of inspired and engaged individuals who want to serve and transform the perception of people with disabilities. Uhambo's provides trainings for key community members, medical workers and staff of the Children's Home in Warmbaths. The training teaches about the rights of people with disabilities, the medical causes of disabilities and identifies community resources. This is an important building block to create an inclusive community,
For every child with a disability who is reached through Uhambo's work, an additional six family members are positively impacted. With changed perceptions and a more inclusive community in Warmbaths and beyond, children with disabilities can further their development and reach their potential by attending school and explore income opportunities. Uhambo grows and connects its network of social change agents who advocate for policy change and create a better world for children with disabilities.