The effect of Accomplish Children’s Trust and our partner organisations in Uganda cannot be overstated.
During our visit to Uganda earlier this year, we witnessed first-hand how the excellent work of SADICH, RAPCD, RSNF and KCDC is changing the expectations of families with disabled children and their communities. It is no longer acceptable to leave a disabled child to die in the areas in which partners work. It is no longer acceptable to leave a disabled child without food, water and medical care. It is expected that children of all abilities will be in school, exposing a new generation to the abilities of disabled children. When I look back on what it used to be like before Accomplish was founded, it seems a million miles away from where we are now.
Children often arrive at RAPCD’s primary school with nothing. No clothes, no ability to communicate, no sense of self-worth, and a family who feel they are somehow to blame for their child’s disability. One of the most amazing testimonies we heard during our visit was how one deaf child who came to RAPCD’s school learnt sign language, and with the school’s support was able to talk to her family for the first time at 12 years old! Imagine not being able to talk to your mum and dad until you are 12!
The life-changing experiences of the school’s pupils are not limited to learning a syllabus, but extend to life lessons such as how to communicate, how to overcome physical disabilities to dress or wash, how to recognise the greatness in yourself and in others.
We saw over 100 children in the two epilepsy clinics we witnessed during our visit. We heard so many stories of young people, once shunned and excluded, who are now in school or getting married. Most people in the areas reached by SADICH and RAPCD now know about epilepsy. The stigma that used to be associated with epilepsy is being eradicated from society. Families are pushed to get treatment based on the witness of others who have seen the benefits. Epilepsy is truly being brought out of the shadows in this area of Uganda and the light is spreading through towns, villages and across borders. The epilepsy clinics have registered over 500 patients and see an average of 4 new patients every clinic.
Our trip this year was a fantastic opportunity to hear so many success stories as well as focus on how we can move forward with new projects and ideas. All our partners are doing exceptional work and the future for children with disabilities is looking brighter because of your support. Thank you all!