Gulu - Northern Uganda
Our organisation was purposefully designed on the premise of discrimination against Persons with Disabilities.
Despite a supportive policy environment, laws guaranteeing disability equality, including The Ugandan Constitution and the Persons with Disabilities Act (2006), are rarely enforced and most disabled children and their families are unaware of their rights.
Equally, only 9% of disabled children in Uganda enrol in primary school and of those 94% dropout because of inaccessible premises and negative attitudes of teachers. As a result Uganda’s disabled children are falling far behind their peers, setting them up for lives of exclusion and poverty and running contrary to the rights guaranteed to them in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, of which
Uganda is a signatory. So we are using adaptive sport as tool to attract audience then provide access to education, build skills and knowledge of health, legal, economic rights, and engage PWDs and communities in advocacy process to further the fight back.
GWBC is dedicatedly working towards empowering the PWDs in our community since the very first day of its inception in 2007, through several measures such as coaching, advocacy, counselling, referral, vocational training, (50 youths trained), and by several other measures.
We have trained, empowered PWDs peer mentors who actively implement the module and its program development to empower others.
We have imparted Knowledge and skills that improve socialization processes and promote equality regardless of disability status in communities in political, social, economic and educational spheres (e.g. educational attainment, conflict resolution/reduced violence of all kinds) .
We have changed attitudes and behaviours of participants (instructors, coaches, teachers, persons with disabilities, community groups) towards holistic and inclusive participation of PWDs in the society.
By participating in adaptive sports PWDs have had increased access to education, health, and socio-economic services keeping them more informed of segregation and discrimination issues and seek other support services.
Some of the successful collaborations provided training in literacy, numeracy, health and livelihood skills to our beneficiaries.
We have gradually strengthened the institutional capacity of local schools to respond accordingly to defend the rights of PWDs.
As a child and adolescent your task is to prepare to be a fully functioning adult. As a young or mature adult your tasks are to have a family and to provide for them. As an elder your tasks are to provide wisdom to family and community. At each stage, the trend persons with disabilities live make it more or less possible to be productive and contribute to the family, community and society.
Our economic situation represents the noticeable realities of an individual's life, including economic security, employability, level of vocational training and education, and the possibility of accessing health care. Economics greatly affect a PWD's physical and psychological health, and negative economic situations make socio economic reintegration very difficult. Currently our members do their personal petty trade, hair dressing, technician work having benefited from Gulu Disabled Persons Union Youth Development Programme (YDP) sponsored by Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) in 2015.
Whatever all of the athletes are stuck with right now is just hand to mouth and we will have to find a way to up their individual earning to boost their morale in participating in the adaptive sports activities.
The population of persons living with disabilities spread over in the communities is characterized by high levels of illiteracy. There are inadequate health facilities and unhygienic living conditions especially in the toilet when persons living with disabilities visit. Pregnant women living with disabilities endure cruelty during childbirth because most health centres do not have adjustable delivery beds. Communication barrier with ‘persons with hearing impairment ’ is a major episode in our health centres.
Spinal Injured persons usually require special medical attention, assistive kits such as catheters, urinary bags, medication yet health centres cannot provide these services.
Adolescent girls and boys are engaging in sexual relationship with peers with disabilities and some boys/men without disabilities lurk for the desperate girls with disabilities putting them at risk of contracting HIV and other STDs.
Many adolescent girls lack access to the most basic sexual reproductive health information – even relating to the significance and management of their menstrual periods. Menstrual hygiene management is a challenged for most girls in regards to their limited purchasing power to buy sanitary towels for the monthly menstruation cycles. In a nutshell, Health care services are difficult for persons living with disabilities to access, especially more vulnerable adolescents such as rural girls with disabilities.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
To live a healthy life, Clean and safe water is a vital ingredient for all human race. Adequate Clean and safe water is however an aspect lacking for most persons living with disabilities in poor low developing countries communities.
Again, inadequate Clean and safe water inform how keep the cleanliness and hygiene around our home and toilets.
We are believing for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to provide good health and dignified living for these vulnerable groups of people living with disabilities.
Most people living with disabilities cannot afford to sink pit latrines for themselves. Yet those especially on wheelchairs and visually impaired usually encounter traumatic challenges accessing toilets/latrines used by others especially in unhygienic conditions.
Intervention by government to provide accessible toilet in public spaces such as schools, health centres and administrative headquarters are still short of the population people living with disabilities who have to use these facilities.
And we too love our environment and cannot just resign yet climatic change affects us both regardless of our impairment.
We are pleased to develop mutually beneficial relationships with corporations/organisations that are passionate about the mission and will work collaboratively with us to take positive action in our fight against the devastating effect of destruction of forest by doing massive tree planting as much as resources permit.
The East Africa Business Summit (2003) identified massive deforestation as one of the most critical environmental crises facing all East African countries.
Countless causes have contributed to this, including but not limited to: illegal logging to meet huge demands for fuelwood, charcoal, carving, in addition to clearing of land for human settlement and agriculture. The statistics on the rates of tree planting (the supply) and tree consumption (the demand) in Uganda are discouraging. Current tree planting efforts are severely constrained by a lack of good quality seed and slow, inefficient traditional propagation methods.
As a partner in this intervention we want to promote immensely and gradually increase tree planting in a way that is sustainable, supports income generation (wherever possible) for small-scale groups and grass-root communities – with an eye on the long-term vision of increasing the country’s forest cover and conserving the environment. Examples of organized, small-scale and grass-root communities that can be supported and empowered to spearhead and expand tree planting include schools, churches, youth groups, VSLAs, women groups, wood carvers, charcoal makers, etc.