By Jaffari Muyinda
African Evangelistic Enterprises (AEE) has launched a new program dubbed “together for inclusion” (TOFI) which is aimed at ensuring that people with disability do not drop out of school a new entry with the main goal of the fulfillment of the rights of people with disabilities.
The three year programme will be implemented in Mayuge and Luuka districts.
The target direct beneficiaries are children with disability of primary going age, parents and caregivers of children with disability, local government officials and teacher training institutions.
Cindy Okullo, the Program coordinator African Evangelistic Enterprise (eastern region) said the programme has two main components.
The first is inclusive education which is to be implemented within the school setting with an ideology of having local schools equipped to facilitate education.
The second is economic empowerment aimed at vocational skilling for persons with disability in which 120 youth are to be skilled, 222 in 2021 and the same number in 2022 respectively.
“The ideology behind this is to have our local schools, our community schools equipped enough to facilitate education for persons with disability other than us saying where can I take my child with a form of disability?” Okullo said.
She said as an organisation they look forward to ensuring that all schools in the community can facilitate the education of children of that nature through a number of activities that will include accessibility, refurbishing of structures and construction of schools.
“We know that they have special schools but we want to move away from that. We want to ensure that all schools that we have within our community can facilitate the education of the child with disability and its having a number of activities, first of all we need to know that there is access so the elements of infrastructural development will have to be inclusive, if there has to be a latrine which is part of the activity under this component it will have to be inclusive,” she said.
Paul Muzige, the principal assistant secretary Mayuge district commended the work of non government organisations in Mayuge.
He urged partners to carry out a thorough needs assessment to understand the key challenges and have a proper database for people with disability since it tends to be a challenge to the district.
“I would probably think that you need to carry out a thorough needs assessment of persons with disability and understand their key challenges,” Muzige said.
He expressed concern over the lack of delivery beds for women with disability saying given the limited funding, the district is unable to procure such expensive beds on the basis that it may suffocate the health department.