Eight year-old *Marvin is one of the children benefitting from our disability project in Rukungiri, Uganda. Marvin has cerebral palsy, and walking long distances is a challenge. His parents work as casual labourers and struggle to earn enough for basic needs. The whole family of two adults and four children live in a single room.
Marvin started school when he was five, but his attendance was erratic. He also often arrived late as his mother had to carry him to and from school. The time spent transporting Marvin meant she couldn’t work, and the family struggled to find the money for school fees, uniform and food. Marvin was withdrawn and shy. Sometimes the other children teased and mocked him for his limp, and eventually Marvin refused to go to school at all.
A Care Plan for Marvin
Our Rukungiri team developed a Care Plan for Marvin. He now receives boda-boda transport one-way (to school) and his school fees are paid. Last year, before the pandemic closed schools, he attended school every day and on time.
Marvin’s academic performance has improved, and walking home for exercise, on the advice of the physiotherapist, has improved his mobility. He is walking better and even likes to play football! With all these things to raise his confidence, Marvin is happy with his classmates, interacts well, and looks healthy. The team hope that after another year of school taxis, Marvin will be able to walk both ways comfortably.
Huge thanks goes to those donors to our Rukungiri Disability Project who have helped transform Marvin’s prospects! Thank you for your generosity and compassion.
The children of the Rukungiri Disability Project are too geographically scattered to be brought onto our child sponsorship programme in the usual way, so we are looking at alternative ways of building further stability in their lives. Our work with Disability Support Groups elsewhere in Uganda has shown that owning livestock brings huge benefits. By breeding pigs or goats, families have an asset which improves their ability to look after themselves, and makes them less vulnerable at moments of crisis.
At Christmas 2020 donors bought goats and pigs for 68 vulnerable Ugandan families affected by disability, including Marvin’s family, as part of our ‘alternative gifts’ programme. Thank you!
You can find our more about the work of our Rukungiri Disability Project below. We also support a separate initiative helping marginalised families affected by disability in Soroti, Uganda.