At our recent AGM we decided that a main focus of our work this year would be to support children with disabilities. In some ways this is similar to our work from 2009 when we started to fund the Good Shepherd Special Needs School.
Our partner in this work will be Sebastian Waiswa and his Organisation for the Parents of Deaf Children with whom we have been working for 4 years.
OPDC are trying to empower children and their families and improve access to education, improve their health and well being, provide recreation and sport and contribute to the rights of these children, who are so often abused and neglected.
HUGS is currently helping 10 children with disabilities in the Jinja region. They have a range of problems. Blindness (like Rosemary in the picture above) deafness and physical problems too.
Rosemary is studying History, Economics, Divinity and General Studies at Soroti School for the blind.
During the last year OPDC have made regular visits to see how these children are getting on at school and have seen the remarkable changes that can come from just a little help and encouragement.
But as Sebastian says "we still have a good number of children who are in dire need to enter and remain in school".
As part of this work Trustee Denise with great help from Primrose, a senior Opthalmic Nurse at Moorfields Hospital, the Tropical Health Education Trust, and Royal Free Hospital are all helping to address eyesight problems for children. We have just agreed to fund eyesight review and treatment for about 45 children whom Sebastian has identified. Our work there has already helped 156 children.
OPDC is also helping parents to create sustainable income and is running training courses for mothers who wish to learn tailoring skills. A New Zealand charity has provided sewing machines.
OPDC has also started on the journey of building a small school and clinic area as part of a local and sustainable centre which will be able to teach deaf children and also provide space for clinical review of the children.
This work is being helped by HUGS and Rotary Blythe Bridge in England.
All this work will be the main focus of a big fundraiser which Trustees Bob and Peter will be doing in May with their "Coast to Coast for Kids" 200 mile cycle ride across England. "Never underestimate two old men on bicycles."
If you would like to sponsor us then please click HERE
This event will replace the Annual Golf Match.