Our Impact in Uganda
Ojiambo James, Client, Masebe Village
I am 26 years old and my son—Ian—was born with a cleft palate in 2018. Because of his disability, his lips did not cover his teeth and whenever he ate, his food would fall out of his mouth. My wife and I tried to hide him as much as possible from society—we feared the stigma associated with having a child with a disability. We live in a small community in East Central, Uganda, where children with disabilities are seen as a curse to their families and are shunned by society. Whenever we dared to walk outside, people would give us disgusted looks. I did not know how to help my baby, so we continued to live in shame.
It wasn’t until 2020 when a Village Health Team member, employed by the Ugandan government, told us about a disability programme run by mothers2mothers (m2m). After just one meeting with the m2m Mentor Mothers at Banda Health Centre, we were referred to the hospital in Jinja. They arranged transport for us as we lived very far from Jinja and could not afford the fare. My son was assessed, the doctors successfully operated on him, and we received medication to take home to help with his recovery. Now, Ian has completely healed, and we can boldly and confidently walk and play outdoors with him. My wife and I will always be grateful for the support we received from m2m. We now keep an eye out for other parents who have children with disabilities, share our experiences, and tell them that disabilities are not a curse, and refer them to m2m for help and support.