Children with Disabilities – Uganda Hands for Hope

In 2015, Ty Cariad Africa made the donation of special equipment, such as wheelchairs, hand splints, finger splints and knee braces, towards the Children with Disabilities program run by Uganda Hands for Hope. Specifically, these were directed at five children in need: Ruth, Simon Peter, Mariam, Welda and Mercy. These children suffer from various disabilities ranging from physical disability to cerebral palsy to dysgraphia to learning disabilities. All children attended physiotherapy giving them access to these new pieces of equipment, and steady, impressive results could be seen in just a short period of time.

For example, Peter joined the disability program in August 2014 with issues regarding concentration, lack of mobility skills like walking, the inability to use a pencil to write or draw and so forth. However, the program provided him with four therapy sessions per day where he worked on his fine motor skills, speech development alongside physiotherapy twice a month, giving him access to the equipment donated. Significant results could be seen over time such as being able to write his name, speak three letter words, walk a distance of 200 meters without aid and calculate basic mathematical equations, all of which were impossible previously.

Mercy had previously faced great challenges; limited mobility, no language skills and unable to feed herself or go to the toilet herself. Now however, due to the teaching and support there has been a great improvement in her ability to look after herself; she is able to feed and toilet herself and even wash her own clothes. Through beading and sorting skills she has developed her eye hand coordination. Her limb mobility has improved as have her sensory perception. While at 9 years old she was unable to talk but now she can talk and her vocabulary is improving and can she can even sing and speak a little in English. She is now able to interact with other people and follow her mother’s instructions.

Mercy also demonstrated improvement in the following areas:

  • She can match numbers 1-3 and the colours blue and yellow
  • She can recite the numbers 1-6
  • Can complete simple puzzles, she can bead and peg
  • She is still working to improve her ability to use scissors, but has improved with this
  • With assistance she is able to bead a necklace
  • Speech has greatly improved, she can speak three letter words and use greetings
  • Able to feed herself with minimal attention
  • She tries to dress herself and is able to do this with some assistance