Since 1992, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for 2019 IDPD is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’. The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
In Uganda, today, we join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of Disabled Persons, with national celebrations held at Kiwoko Church of Uganda Primary School in Nakaseke District. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to grace the occasion.
The commemorations are running on the theme: Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.
In MUST, we were honored to have the PWD University Policy Launched. Fully sponsored by ADB. Special thanks to the University administration for the full support, special regonition goes to the MUST ADB coordinator,Ms Nakakeeto Robina.
At the launch, the keynote speaker was Dr. Eron Lawrence the Dean Faculty of Special needs and Rehabilitation Kyambogo University. In his remarks, Eron said we need to embark on inclusion in every community we live, have an accommodative environment to help PWDs cope and above all use the right language not to insult anyone with an impairment. He further said born with an impairment is easy for someone to adapt and live with it, but it’s rather challenging when one gets or acquires the impairment later in life. With disability it could be anyone at any time. There times when one may acquire a disability resulting from illness, occupational hazards, trauma or anything else. In all Dr. Eron called upon the MUST community to join hands so as to promote PWDs right, he said these are recognized Internationally and Nationally.
This was followed by a lived experience by Ms Nakachwa Jannat Med II. She said, she was born a normal healthy child who grew up with so many plans and expectations. Little did she know that life would take a left turn. In her S4, she was involved in a car accident, survived with serious injuries. These were well treated and she was hospitalized for about six months. Later on, the doctors realized her lower jaw was not healing as expected. On proper examination they released she has developed a tumor which was cancerous. To avoid further damage, they had to remove the jaw. This deformed her face to date.
This cost her 2years out of school. One day her Mother told her, “look my daughter people live with conditions some permanent others temporary your condition is permanent, we have to prove to the world that you can still achieve your dreams no matter what happened. I will support you all the way and God’s Grace will carry us through. With the words of encouragement, from her mother, Janat was motivated to go back to school. She was in Nabisunsa girls School for her A level. This was not easy for her because the community kept looking at her with pity. This journey of pity came to pass when she made it to MUST under the Door and Special needs Government Scheme. Today Janat still lives her dream of becoming a doctor.
She ended with a quotation from Charles Schwab that says: Nobody’s good in everything. Advantages and disadvantages come in many forms”. What keeps you going is your determination and ignore what others think of you.
She was given a standing ovation for the courage and boldness to tell her life story. Later, the Vice Chancellor prof: Obua Celestino, ADB representative Ms. Ndholorwa Reste, KeyNote speaker Dr Eron Lawrence,the executive Director of Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Prof:Kwesiga Charles, Focal Person PWDs at MUST Angella Nakato and, Student representatives of PWDs from different Programme, Joined the Chairman Council Dr. Warren Naamara to officially launch the policy.
Thank you all for supporting the PWDs in our community. Especially with special consideration during examination and test period. For the staff HODs thank you for the time off when all is not well with your PWD/Special needs staff. Bless you all.
Our motto says Disability is a mindset