Simply by staying at Kyaninga Lodge you will make a difference to the lives of children with disabilities in Uganda.
In Uganda, there are an estimated 13% of children (2.5 million) living with a disability with extremely limited access to healthcare and rehabilitation services.
Many of these children live in extreme poverty in rural areas and have never seen a health professional regarding their disability.
There are very few rehabilitation therapists in Uganda, with a mere 18% of the population accessing specialised services.
In the Western region there are more than 41,000 children who have a developmental disability, almost 5%.
Families of children with disabilities are frequently excluded from their communities due to fear and stigma surrounding disability.
KCDC encourages these families to break the barriers of discrimination empowering them to demonstrate acceptance, inclusion, diversity and equal opportunities.
Their parent education and peer support groups have benefited over 200 families. For example, Mothers groups, Fathers group and specific disability support groups where these caregivers can share experiences and receive the training that they need.
KCDC has been delivering community based rehabilitation services since 2013 reaching more than 5,000 children with a wide range of physical, intellectual and communication disabilities. This includes provision of therapy interventions, assessment and management of severe acute malnutrition and control of epilepsy seizures.
KIMS is a unique school set up in 2020 to address the alarming reality that only 9% of Ugandan children with disability (versus 96% of Ugandan children in general) attend primary school.
KIMS offers a wonderful, engaging and child-centred education to a diverse group of children, including children with disabilities and typical learners from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
The inclusive education at KIMS brings immense benefits to children both with and without disability. By learning together, expectations are increased and learning outcomes improved, for everyone.
As a model school, a key objective is to train teachers giving them the opportunity to experience best practice at first hand.
Seeing children with disabilities learn and succeed breaks down the existing barriers and stigma within the Ugandan education system, providing hope and life choices to even the most marginalised children.
A purpose built centre of excellence is now being built in Fort Portal to provide more effective and specialised therapy for the work of KCDC and access to education, incorporating Kyaninga Inclusive Model School (KIMS).
The aim of Kyaninga Education Hub is to reignite progress towards high quaility basic education for all primary children, by effectively equipping teachers with the necessary child-centred pedagogy to meet the learning needs of all children, including those with disabilities.
“Children who learn together learn to live together” Jesse Jackson.
The Education Hub comprises of 3 key elements:
• Kyaninga Inclusive Model School
• Professional Development center
• Outreach in Local Schools
As is the case elsewhere around the world, children with disabilities remain one of the principal groups currently excluded from education provision, with approximately only 9% of Ugandan school-age Children with Disabilities attending primary school.
The right to a high quality education for children marginalised by disability and poverty is an urgent issue. Inclusive education can break the link between disability, family income and lack of educational achievement. Therefore, there is a moral imperative to support teachers to raise attainment and close the disadvantage gap.
A fundamental reason for the poor quality of education and exclusion of Children with Disabilities is the severe shortage of well-trained teachers who are adequately prepared for working in diverse classrooms, or equipped with the confidence, knowledge and skills to effectively support learners with disabilities.
The key to the solution lies in training teachers in effective inclusive, learner centered practices.
There are an estimated 820,000 Ugandan children with disabilities in need of assistive devices. KCDC alone has a list of over 300 local children in need of a wheelchair.
Typically, children who are in need of assistive devices and mobility equipment are often left at home lying on a mat on the floor while their caregivers have to go to market to sell produce. This poses many obvious dangers, including risk of illnesses and injuries.
Kyaninga Mobility was set up by KCDC to manufacture and supply locally produced wheelchairs and other mobility equipment for their clients.
The local terrain requires a wheelchair that can endure a rural environment and be modified to fit the unique needs of the wheelchair user.
Great emphasis is placed on using locally and sustainably sourced bamboo for the wheelchair construction, ensuring also that other parts are readily available within Uganda.
There is great potential to create additional revenue by supplying affordable wheelchairs to meet the needs of an estimated 2.2 million children for the East African market and beyond.
Kyaninga Forestry Foundation (KFF) was originally set up in 2010 to help local communities find ways to deal with an ever increasing demand for natural resources, such as firewood.
KFF has successfully planted over 40,000 indigenous trees, dramatically increasing the abundance and bio diversity of birds, primates, insects and lizards in the Kyaninga Forest.
Projects are also underway to conserve and protect other important eco systems such as rivers, swamps and lakes, where trees play an integral part in soil stabilisation.