The Refugee Next Door

The Refugee Next Door

29 Novembre 2013: Buwedda and its experience in integrating physically handicapped children

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For those who haven’t had the time to read our previous articles, here’s a quick debrief.


In Uganda, most of physically handicapped people live in the remote villages. It is therefore difficult for them to get access to education, healthcare and social needs. The Refugee Next Door has decided to act and integrate physically handicapped children in their primary school. We have actively started researching and identifying the specific needs of people with disabilities in Jinja and learning from Ugandan partners to start building a plan of action. 


We would like to share one of our special encounters with you, Samson Guloba.


Samson is the founder of Buwedda (Butembe Women With Disabilities Development Association), a Ugandan NGO that is achieving outstanding work on empowering rural disabled women and children today. One of their projects, BUWEDDA’s Mobility Improvement Program, aims to provide access to mobility equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, canes and tricycles). They are convinced that “as their physical mobility increases and dependency on others decreases, their overall well-being & self-esteem improves as they become contributing members of their community.”


Samson has spent a lot of time, sharing his knowledge and experience with us. He highlighted the important aspects to take into consideration when adapting your school in order to welcome disabled children, as they should be. We are very thankful and honoured for his help and advice and we are looking forward on continuing to share experiences to improve the life of people with disabilities. 


Samson shared a testimony with us:



Jackline Nangobi, 16 Years old.


Jackline was rescued by BUWEDDA after a concerned community member reported to one of our community groups of women with disabilities in Kibibi, Budondo sub-county.She was kept in a very dirty shelter behind the family house under the orders of her stepfather who did not want her to interact with his other children. When he was around, Jackline would only be served food if there were leftovers when the rest of the family had eaten.


 Her mother was chased away by her first husband for giving birth to a crippled girl. She claimed that she could not disobey her second husband who accepted to be with her under the condition that her disabled daughter would not be seen.


We had to force our way in the home after getting the details of where the girl was kept. We discovered that she was sleeping on rags and could bathe only once a week. She didn’t have any clothes and was denied education. We reported the matter to the police for child abuse and neglect. The parents were arrested and we signed an agreement with them to provide support and treat the girl as part of the family, like her siblings.


 BUWEDDA gave her a wheel chair and took her to our rehabilitation and vocational training Centre. Today, she has completed a one year training course in tailoring and has been resettled back to her family as we look for funds to provide her with a sewing machine and a startup capital to engage herself in some economic activity to support herself.

The shack that she was living in was destroyed by the police and her mother underwent some counseling and training on children’s rights. Today she is no longer ashamed of her daughter.”


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