What is Independence when our disabled brothers and sisters are always left out; considered as social outcasts and rarely catered for? Independence is a day not only to celebrate the core of our beliefs, the very makeup of our identity as citizens of Uganda but also to celebrate our common humanity regardless of gender, age, race, physical ability among others.
Many children with disability are looked at as curses by their families, some are “burdens” especially those with mental and physical disabilities; a perspective that we hope to change through sensitization and support to families with such cases.
The 9th of October had many Ugandans gathered to celebrate Independence, we too as Ssamba Foundation chose to celebrate it in a special way; with our differently abled brothers and sisters at St. Lilian Jubilee Home in Gayaza.
St. Lilian Jubilee Home was started by Sister Lucy Amoit after witnessing that a couple of children with severe disabilities were always left at her church. She answered the call for help and service, the church loaned a small room to her, where she began from and since then, the home has grown housing over 60 people with disabilities who range from 3-25 years in age.
Disability is not inability, the Home had one of the best child violinists in Uganda yet she was blind; unfortunately, she passed away during the lockdown. Some other cases of disability among the children are being lame, Down syndrome, among other severe cases.
Ssamba Foundation was not alone but joined by Rotary clubs of Mukono Central, Kira, Kampala Maisha, Bulindo and Gayaza, which hosted us. The celebration involved a Mass prayer, Rotary Club Fellowship, Give back session and lastly a meal to crown the event.
The give back involved donation of items like rice, clothes, diapers, soap, salt, cash among others which was a collective effort of all partners present. Our Executive Director Rtn. Isaac Ssamba who happens to be the Director Service Projects at the Rotary Club of Mukono Central (Rotary Year 2023/2024), couldn’t hide his joy after after seeing the excitement on the faces of the little angels.
Sister Lucy was very happy and thanked everyone for their generosity and creating time to spend a day with them. She even said that the help came at the right time as she was financially down. She updated us about the purchase of land for the Home in Zirobwe.
The caretakers were a bit relieved as they had extra hands helping out with the children. The children were happy to see both new and familiar faces at their facility.