School for children with disabilities in Uganda

In the Teso region of Uganda, there is a high incidence of people living with disabilities. These groups are often shunned by their communities, poverty stricken and, due to their disabilities, unable to vouch for themselves, making them some of the most vulnerable people in the region. Common disabilities include hard of seeing, hard of hearing, loss of muscle function and epilepsy, among others.

Children with disabilities have limited options when it comes to schooling, in this region. They feel and are indeed not always welcome to attend schools, one reason being the lack of trained teachers. Moreover, these children often come from homes of unsustainable livelihoods that are unable to provide for the schooling fees.

IYAU has the knowledge and expertise to address this challenge in the city of Soroti. It is currently in the throes of finalizing the building of a pre-primary school, thanks to the generous support of HELP FUND, IFAD and UNITED EVENTS ROME. IYAU has also identified teachers already trained at teaching special needs children. The director of the school is himself hard of seeing and trained in teaching children with disabilities. The primary aim of the school will be to provide the children with disabilities basic formal education, a fundamental human right. Other pupils, without disabilities, are also encouraged to attend so as not to segregate the former group even further.

In December 2017, IYAU managed to acquire a grant from Help Fund IFAD for the completion of the two classroom block and office. This grant enabled us to plaster the wall, roof the building and fix the doors. Subsequently, the grant has been acquired from United Events Rome which shall be used for the construction of a three-stance ventilated improved pit latrine inclusive in design to cater for the children with disabilities, painting of the building, plastering of the floor and veranda, purchase of school furniture, school registration, and purchasing the window glasses and fitting them. The aim is to complete the school by July 2021 and be ready for enrollment for the new school year in 2022. However, in order for this to happen, a series of obstacles must be addressed. More funding is required to entirely finalize the school as per government standards to enable enrollment of visually impaired children by February 2022. This includes Wiring and connecting electricity, erecting a fence, Purchasing children play equipment, purchase of teaching equipment and payment of teachers’ salaries for 12 months.

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