Having a disability in Uganda is a serious disadvantage. Disabled children are often viewed as ‘useless’, as they cannot assist their family with work in the fields or look after younger siblings at home. However, the Diocese in Rukungiri is helping to change this mindset. In 2012 Mission Direct began working with the Diocese to start the construction of a new school facility, Kitazigurukwa Special Needs Unit – the first of its kind outside Kampala.
There is already a mainstream primary school at the site, and a single classroom for a deaf class with 3 children. Existing school buildings are in good condition and we aim to integrate facilities for disabled children on this site. The school will cater for a variety of physical and mental disabilities, with specialist teachers and facilities to enable these children to have the same educational opportunities as those in the mainstream school. Where possible, the children will not be segregated.
A trained team from the Diocese will locate and assess children with disabilities in the area, and a school of this nature is what many families with disabled children have been waiting for, as it is too costly for them to send their children to a specialist school in Kampala. Evas has been working for many years to end the stigma experienced by children with disabilities and their families – her motto is that every child is a blessing from God.