Our Motto, Vision, Goal and Objectives
Incipiens a potentia
Having young people with disabilities and other forms of special needs that have attended school, participated in learning and social activities, and achieved the best of their abilities in life
To ensure presence, participation and achievement of children with disability and other forms of special needs in educational programmes.
The Foundation is guided by the following specific objectives;
To establish a data bank on children with disabilities and other special needs.
To carry out an assessment of children with disabilities and other forms of special needs.
To prepare children with disabilities and other forms of special needs for inclusion into the community facilities including schools.
To solicit & coordinate sponsorships for children with disabilities and other special needs for education and other social services.
To offer and or /organize vocational skills training for children & youth with disabilities and other forms of special needs.
To sensitize the community on the plight of children with disabilities and other forms of special needs.
Why Mbarara City
First, there is no available data on people with disabilities and in particular children with disabilities in terms of numbers and categories in Mbarara City and the entire country. Many rely on UNESCO’s assumption that 10% of the population have disabilities. This is a wrong conclusion and for how long shall this hold given the changes and the inventions that have taken place in technology and medicine. This, therefore makes it difficult for any service provider to intervene.
Second, there are few Special Needs Education and disability-related professionals to provide appropriate services. The existing general professionals are doing their best but there is always more to be done.
Third, Uganda like many nations of the world is driving towards Inclusive Education. Inclusive Education means that all children attend and are welcomed by their neighborhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. The concept of inclusive education has been spelled out in the Salamanca statement and the framework for action on Special Needs Education 1994. It states that all governments have been urged to “adopt as a matter of law or policy, the principle of Inclusive Education, enrolling all children in regular schools unless there are compelling reasons for doing otherwise”. The basic premise is that the school should meet the educational needs of all children irrespective of their disabilities or limitations. Inclusion of Children With Disabilities and other Special Needs specifically targets;
– Those children are enrolled in school but are excluded from learning.
– Those who are not enrolled in school but could participate if schools were more flexible in their responses.
– Relatively small groups of children with severe disabilities who may require some form of additional support.
The above can only be done if teachers have the knowledge and skills to receive the children and support them to keep in school. The City has only 13 teachers trained in Special needs education. The City has 140 primary schools and 28 secondary schools. (these, include both Government & Private schools)
Fourth, there is evidence of child dropout UBOS (2011).
This partly, is because the children find the school environment not friendly and welcoming.
Important to note also, some children outgrow and end up becoming useless to themselves and society. Inability to proceed with academics shouldn’t be seen as one’s ceiling for achievement in other fields. Some children with disabilities can go skills development and earn a living from their products. There are no such programmes for the children.
It was also noticed that community attitude is still negative towards persons with disabilities generally. African society still associates disability with curses, evil spirits, and charms. People therefore would not want to be associated with the ‘bad’ side. Parents hide children at home, peers do not want to welcome and play with the children and the teachers do not want to be seen associating with these children. Society itself stigmatizes a family that has these children. This calls for continued sensitization of the population.
The above notwithstanding, there are some children that would make it and benefit from schools when prepared enough. For example, a child with mobility problems may benefit from physiotherapy and could walk, a child with speech and language problems could improve her communication and a child with behavior problems or autism could be trained in social skills if this is done early enough.
Last but not least, there are some children who keep home just because they can’t get a school uniform or books and pens leave alone school dues. Parents consider the ‘able ones’ first and when resources allow, they take the ‘disabled’. In most cases, resources don’t allow it. This takes us again to the attitude factor. Many think, people with disabilities can’t make it at school and it’s a waste of time.
Oyesigye Robert Stuart – Team Leader
Area of Operation & Management
AREA OF OPERATION
OSCF was registered to operate in Mbarara City. The City is found in the S.W. Uganda, East Africa approx. 290 kms from Kampala. It’s on coordinates; 00 36 48 S, 30 39 30 E, (latitude 0.6132: longitude: 30.6582).
The City has 6 divisions namely; Kamukuzi, Nyakayojo, Kakoba, Biharwe, Nyamitanga and Kakiika divisions respectively and 21 wards and 169 villages. According to 2014 National Population & Housing Census Mbarara City plus the area that has been added in 2016 (inclusive of the new Divisions) had a total population of 186,023.
The Foundation is managed by a team of nine executive committee members that work with appropriate professionals to promote the Foundation’s objectives.
Among the staff are Graduates of Community Based Rehabilitation, Business Administration (Accounting) and Guidance & counselling respectively, Diploma Special Needs Education and ordinary level leavers majority of whom work on part time basis.
The membership of the organisation includes well-wishers, professionals in Special Needs Education and disability related areas and parents/guardians of CWDS.
His Grace Paul Bakyenga, the Catholic Archbishop of Mbarara is the Patron of the organisation.