The combination of poverty and disability is toxic. Add stigma and discrimination, and the mix is even more destructive.

Of an estimated 2.5 million children with disabilities in Uganda, up to 90% are not in schoolCitation. Accessible toilets and classrooms are rare. Families in poverty often can’t afford the healthcare needs of a disabled child , let alone be willing to invest in their education. Negative community attitudes to disability are isolating and destructive. Outcomes for children with disabilities are bleak.

How does Global Care help disabled children in Uganda?

Global Care has been working to advocate for and support children with disabilities in Uganda for a decade. Working through our Ugandan teams, and local activist groups, we are working to create the conditions in which children and young people with disabilities can thrive, in their family settings and more broadly across the community.

Ruth, a disabled child in Uganda, sits at a school desk, propped up by the arm of an otherwise unseen adultWhat a difference a toilet makes.

*Ruth’s lower limbs are paralysed, so she can only shuffle on her bottom. Her mother was determined she would start school, and carried her 4km every day to get her there…but after four days, Ruth was asked to leave. She couldn’t use the toilet independently, so she wasn’t welcome.

Our Rukungiri team were able to commission a new toilet and path which Ruth could access. With the gift of a wheelchair, and a more inclusive headteacher leading the school, Ruth can now access education. Read her full story here…

Initiatives have included

  • building accessible latrines at schools attended by disabled children, and making classrooms accessible by adding ramps and decent paths between buildings
  • providing mobility aids and specialist seating in classrooms
  • providing bicycles and other means of transport to allow parents to safely get their disabled child to school,
  • supporting playgroups for isolated disabled children, offering stimulating activities, networking and peer-to-peer support, helping families access services
  • income-generating initiatives to help stabilise family finances, to enable parents to better care for their disabled child and meet inevitable extra expenses
  • training for staff and volunteers working with children with disabilities

All these initiatives have been funded on a one-off basis. For instance, it costs around £5,000 to build an accessible latrine at a school – initially helping a small number of children, but over the years ahead potentially helping many more. There are many other things we could do to help disabled children in Uganda, if we had more funds available!

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Could you become a Change-Maker, with a monthly gift, to enable us to build up a regular income stream to support this important work? Or you can donate, your gifts are always welcome. Please use the buttons below to make your choice. Thank you!

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