Children with special needs ought to receive the right care. “Children with special needs” is a euphemism for children with physical and mental disorders or “bluntly” disabled children.
Most of these children are neglected by their own parents most especially their fathers who claim that it’s a woman’s fault, and bad luck to give birth to a child with a disability. Not only the parents, but even the society disregards these children claiming that they were offered as sacrifices in return for wealth which is just a myth. Many of these children are being locked into cages, houses and some are totally abandoned by their parents. Some who have gotten the chance of staying with their parents are staying with single young mothers who lack knowledge on how to take good care of their children, lack enough resources for feeding these children on a balanced diet and above all they are also stigmatized and traumatized.
So, the community environment in which these children are living is not conducive for their needs. Although many parents are usually concerned and worried what to do, they are busy with work and the other family members. They have not learned and have limited time and therefore often do not know how to get the proper care. The parents need training and support in finding the right care. However, Uganda does not have many specialized support organizations to help parents and to train children with special needs.
The Ugandan Government aims at also supporting those children. However, resources (both human specialists and funds) are limited and only a few specialized organizations can be helped.
- Tusaidiane aims at supporting selected organizations in Uganda working with children with special needs jointly with donors for the required funding of projects.
- Help to do research and to define and organize the need assessment for a designated and recognizable environment.
- Help the registered local support organization to draft a proper project plan with budget.
- If required, assist in setting-up and the foundation of a formal local CBO-organization and train in required MS-applications, in keeping accounts, and in required managerial capacities.
- Implement where the Beneficiary is not (yet) able to do so because of lack of technical capacities.
- Hand-over to the local leadership the tasks of project planning, budgeting, and the submission of qualified Requests for Funding to potential donors after achieving sufficient maturity.
- Hand-over the responsibility for implementation gradually to the Beneficiary after the local organization has proved to have the technical capacity for it (=risk reduction for the donor’s investment).
Presently, Tusaidiane is supporting two organizations, who are caring for children with special needs and is doing that in close cooperation with donors and sponsors.
SEECHILD (Sustainable and Effective Empowerment of Children with Disabilities)
The main objective of SEECHILD is to empower children living with disabilities and their families to live sustainable and enjoyable life whereby children with disabilities like any other children are given conducive environment to exploit their talents without marginalizing tendencies from the community. Apart from the general organization, SEECHILD is running since 2018 an integrated skills training day-care centre in Bunamwya in Wakiso District (BISTC) with funding assistance of the Mirembe Foundation of the Netherlands and managerial assistance of Tusaidiane in Uganda. Main activities carried out in Bunamwya are:
- Life skills training which includes among others: activities of daily living.
- Physiotherapy for children living with progressing disabilities.
- Communication skills training (literacy): numeracy, writing, reading, counting and others.
- Vocational skills training: tailoring, crocheting, sweater & book making, music/dance/drama.
- Community outreach programs: awareness raising and good parenting skills training for parents and potential parents of children with disabilities.
- Rehabilitation program for people living with mental disorders done at Butabika Hospital with the family support.
SEECHILD is developing and constructing an integrated skills training boarding centre in Mpigi (MISTC) in Mpigi District on ca. 40 kms from Kampala. This is done with close managerial and technical assistance of Tusaidiane in Uganda.
This development would not be possible without the substantial donations of CONGRAVA in the Netherlands. SEECHILD expects to start operationalizing the centre during 2022.
Support Disabled Children Ggaba (SDCG)
This is a Community Based Organisation established on the 15th of February 2015 and found in the slums of Ggaba on the shores of Lake Victoria.
SDCG strives to help the communities of Uganda to realize their duty of protecting children irrespective of their incapacitation and ensuring that children’s rights and protective measures are put in place.
SDCG decided to open a rehabilitation centre for these children to help them enjoy equal rights and benefits just like other children.
SDCG has a particular project aiming at offering specialized education by professionals. This physiotherapy and speech language project runs over a 5-year period because consistency in treatment is essential for achieving improvement. By stopping too early children can easily forget. It needs a routine since they take a long time to learn.
SDCG believes that after 5 years they will have attained self-sustainability and can fund continuation from own income generating projects like tailoring by the beneficiaries themselves.
Another actual project for 2022 is the surgery of 5 children with polio to correct digestive disorders, a costly affair with the need to boost for income generation for paying out of own income the required after-care costs for several years.
Funding assistance for the above projects is already done and further considered by individuals and a group of former 1961 students at the Agricultural University of Wageningen in the Netherlands. CONGRAVA considers to financially support a project to increase income generation for the after-care expenses. Financing of all needs is not yet guaranteed.