Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.

by Joy for Children-Uganda
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.
Restore Lives of 100 Children with Disabilities.

Taking a stroll in one of the slums of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, one notices Children with special needs struggling to play with their peers who are not disabled.

Children with special needs are most marginalized and their concerns are often ignored. They face pervasive barriers that limit their participation in education. While there have been recent efforts to improve inclusion of children with disabilities in Uganda for example access to education through 3 different types of schools- Special schools, units attached to main stream schools and all inclusive schools that allow both children with or without disabilities, exclusion is still persistent

UNICEF (2014) estimates about 16% of Ugandan children are disabled and only 5% of the children are able to access inclusive school and 10% in special needs school. According to ministry of education and sports (2017), about 172,864 children with special needs are in primary schools and 8,945 students in secondary schools. Access to quality education has long been recognized as both a fundamental human right and as essential for reducing poverty, inequality and achieving other development goals. Sustainable development goal #4(Quality Education) stress the need for inclusive education for both boys and girls.

Kato’s Story.

When Kato and his twin brother Waswa were born 20 years ago, their parents were thrilled to have twins. In African settings twins are considered to bring good luck, riches and happiness to their families. Unlike for Kato’s family, things turned out different when his elder brother Waswapassed on a few weeks after he was born.

“Before I gave birth to my twins, life was good. I used to work in a kindergarten as a teacher and i would to support my husband with managing our home. Things took a different turn when I gave birth to disabled children; my husband abandoned me after the death of our son.” said Agnes Kato’s mother.

The family re-located to Mulago, Katale zone one of the impoverished slums of Kampala leaving under a small one roomed house with limited access to the sanitary facilities particularly for Kato who was then unable to move by himself.

“I stopped working because I had to stay at home and look after Kato, He cannot do anything by himself. I have to feed, bathe, take him to the washroom and put him to bed in the evening. “The mother adds.

In March 2016, Agnes joined the Children with disability project under Kampala slum women Development project implemented by Joy for Children-Uganda in the four slum communities of Bukoto, Mulago, Makerere kivulu and Bwaise. The project currently supports 55 Children with different kinds of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, visual impairments among others.

Joy for Children-Uganda trains the women in skills development, empowerment and offers weekly physiotherapy aid to the Children with special needs. As a result of these different interventions, Kato was able to get a wheel chair, enrolled in a nearby school and is able to get out of his chair with ease, get out of bed and feed himself.

The government of Uganda has taken several strides in ensuring inclusiveness in the education sector for example the inclusive education policy which focuses on modification in teaching methods, learning resources, communication and adjusting the learning environment to meet individual learning needs.

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Alice is an amazing single mother raising her only Child Son Joseph who has cerebral palsy. Her She never stops Smiling every time when she’s sharing about Joseph`s different abilities.

Before Covid19 hit the country, Alice worked as a dobby; she washed clothes and on a good day like a Saturday she earned up to 20,000(7) and this helped her run daily family expenses. However this changed when the new normal called for closure of schools, children got back home and most people not working, giving them a great deal of time on their hands that meant that Alice had to run out of work.

Through our weekly community outreaches we had a chance to, find out that Alice once not only had a sewing machine which she had kept in the store for so long but also she was once a tailor but had quit since dobby business was more profitable and needed no Capital. We had the chance to encourage her to start sewing again. We agreed to apply for a loan of 20,000($7) in the women`s saving group that was used to repair the sewing machine. Alice is now happy to be back in business amidst all the challenges that have come with the spread of COVID19. We thank God  that a skill Alice learnt as a kid, the changing times found her in position to take advantage of it with a little push from Joy For Children Uganda.

Join us in supporting families raising children with disabilities in the slum communities of Uganda, and be part of restoring lives of 100 children. 

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This month of May, let us celebrate the magical healing power of rehabilitation services and professionals who help patients and Children with disabilities to set and achieve their goals every day.

Therapeutic rehabilitation provides life changing treatment for millions of Individuals, by helping to minimize physical and cognitive disabilities, overcome limb stiffness and illnesses.

As a result of the Covid-19 induced lockdown, many initiatives like homeschooling to foster learning and wellness of children have been put in place both online and physical classes. However, Children living with disabilities especially those in the slums and rural hard to reach areas have been left out in terms of cost and access to basic rehabilitation services like physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment, since their parents are not empowered to do it by themselves.

Following a couple of phone calls from many caretakers of Children living with disabilities, we learnt that their health had deteriorated,  This has Increasingly happened due to Covid19 shocks and World Health Organization regulations  which forced parents to limit their  Children from moving freely, play outside and with neighbors. Their access to rehabilitation services was limited due to ban on public transport, those that had learnt how to walk by themselves needed walkers to stand up and walk again, those who had learnt to speak retarded since their interaction with speech and Physio therapists was limited. Lack of Access to therapeutic rehabilitation has led to a major setback.

In the month of April, we carried out door to door visits to some of these Children`s homes availing them with Physio and occupational therapy  services like massage,  Cardio Vascular exercise, General Stretch bends and Play with a goal to strengthen their limbs and navigate the world on their own. We did this alongside their parents so that they can learn and do it on their own.

Tremendous results have been achieved where by five children are back on their feet to walk again, stiff limbs are have relaxed and more children are yet too.

Parenting is not an easy role for everyone but for Parents with Children living with disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, hydrocephalus, and Cerebral palsy it is extremely harder, they need a little cheer up :-) To let them know they are appreciated for playing this great role support.

Our campaign is still running, kindly support our cause. 

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Chess helps children with special needs improve their memory and also do better in school. Despite that, Godfrey Nanyenya, a disability activist at Joy For Children Uganda and a chess coach says parents are not quick to embrace the sport.

 

“Teaching children with disabilities is quite challenging,” he reveals, “it is not only a skill they need, but they also lack basic needs.”

Nanyenya says when he goes into the community to train the children, he finds that they are lacking necessities in life such as food, which hinders them from properly concentrating on the game.

Besides that, some parents do not take the game of playing chess seriously.  “They think you are wasting their children's time,” he says.

To get the parents to agree to it, Nanyenya says he has to go an extra mile of enlightening them about what chess is and showing them videos of how children who have participated benefitted from it.

“The community sees children with special needs as incapable of doing anything in life but when you show them series of how other children have been transformed in life and how they have made it, the parents change their attitude,” he says.

Nanyanye reveals that when he introduced children with low brain development to chess, they started improving in their education especially in science subjects.

Starting to play chess in Primary Six at Bat Valley Primary school, Nanyenya says he voluntarily trains the special needs children to challenge the negative mindset in the community.

He advises parents who have such children to expose them to a variety of things. “Most of these children are very talented but they are not exposed,” he says. “You should not just lock your children in the house but rather unlock their potential.”

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Joy for Children-Uganda

Location: Kampala, Uganda - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @joyforchildren
Project Leader:
Joy for Children Uganda
Kampala, Uganda
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