This initiative is now fully funded. The Rukungiri Disability team will support the remaining children until the end of 2023. By then, they should all be settled in school with sustainable solutions for transport and accessibility. If you’d like to support children with disabilities in Uganda please consider our other initiatives: The Disability Community Outreach in Soroti and our Disability Action programme
*Dickson was born with a club foot. Despite surgery as a young child he continues to limp. Prior to joining our Rukungiri Disability project he only attended school two or three days a week. He was in too much pain to walk there and back every day. Even when he did attend, he was always late, as it took him a long time to complete the 2.5km journey.
Our Rukungiri team provided boda-boda transport to school, but, on the advice of a physiotherapist, allowed him to walk home. This was good for his mobility and built his strength. Now Dickson could attend school every day and was never late! Soon he started making academic progress too. Next, in 2021 we provided his family with a bicycle to replace the boda-boda. Now he is 13 and the family are able to independently ensure his attendance.
What are the challenges for children with disabilities in accessing education in Uganda?
There are an estimated 2.5 million children with disabilities in Uganda. According to a UNICEF-backed 2014 research study, over 90% may not be in school. Of the children with disabilities who do attend primary school, a staggering 94% fail to complete primary education. Only a tiny 6% – around 15,000 children across the whole country – make it to secondary education. Most of these are children with hearing or visual impairments, so, for children with mobility difficulties, the picture is even worse.
How is our Rukungiri Disability initiative helping children get to school?
In Rukungiri, we are breaking down the barriers keeping children with disabilities out of education. Our team worked with parents and local schools to explore how to help 19 children with mobility difficulties get to school. Beginning in January 2019, the project is now drawing to an end. However, we have a host of data and ‘lived experience’ regarding the most effective and sustainable ways of improving access to education for children with disabilities. As we continue to monitor the children, and consider the lessons learned, we hope to launch further initiatives supporting children with disabilities in Uganda.
Two of the biggest barriers have been the lack of accessible toilets, and transport to school. Journeys to school often involve long distances on narrow hilly paths.
How can I help?
This project is now fully funded and therefore will finish t the end of 2023. If you’d like to support children with disabilities in Uganda please consider our other initiatives. For example, our Disability Community Outreach in Soroti and our Disability Action programme.I want to help