Supporting People with Disabilities in Uganda
We started supporting Ugandan people with disabilities in 2012, when Siisi, a volunteer at Mondo, opened a café named Pop Up in the capital city Kampala. The café operated following the principles of social entrepreneurship, and offered training to the students and graduates of two partner schools. Sadly, we had to close the café in 2014 – read more about the project and its ending here.
In 2014, the production center at the Bluesky school for special needs children was built, and the atelier-store at the Kampala Initiatives was opened. Since it is extremely difficult for people with disabilities to find jobs in Uganda, the positions created with the help of Mondo are life-changing both for the individual and the community, as they help to change attitudes toward special needs people.
The production center at the Bluesky school offers handicrafting workshops a few days a week: students weave different artefacts of banana leaves, earrings of soda bottle caps, keyrings, leather sandals and belts.
The production center has its own farmland, where the youth grow corn, bananas, potatoes, and other produce for themselves and for the school. It also has facilities to keep cows, chickens, ducks, and rabbits.
The Kampala Disabled Initiatives is a functioning women’s grouping, and the relations between the members and the leader are good and trusting. The leader is familiar with accounting and has had training in the field of marketing and social media. Regardless, the effectiveness of marketing and profit from products sold in 2015 remained modest. The women in wheelchairs admitted the need for future help from volunteers in finding stabile local retail spaces. Quality sewing should have a good market in Kampala – the purchasing power of the Kampalans is growing, and a lot of tourists visit the city.