Impaired but independent

Impaired, but independent

Polio is gone, but Alex is not.

I have been living in Bukedea, Uganda for 6 years, working with others to improve the situation in education and health care and I am happily married to a Ugandan lady, Rose. Last year, I came into contact with Alex. Alex got polio when he was 7 years old and has been unable to walk ever since. Due to the violence at the time, he could not go to school. Later he learned to read and write in his own language, Ateso. For years, he has tried everything to provide for his family, but each time he failed due to lack of knowledge and skills and lack of money. Last year, we had Alex trained by a carpenter. He soon found out that this was it for him. He developed quickly. We got him started in purchasing hand tools and paid for some repairs on his tricycle so that he is mobile. In his village people come to him when something needs to be made from wood or repaired. In the meantime he has made 100 chairs, which are rented out for weddings and parties. Alex is still paralysed and that will not go away. But now he can take care of himself and his family and be proud of what he has accomplished. He is no longer dependent and no longer has to hold up his hand.

There are a lot of people here like Alex. Often due to polio or another disease, sometimes due to violence, sometimes due to other causes. We have started a project called “Impaired but Independent”, to help these people help themselves.

What is the setup?

We start with an interview in which we try to assess:

  • The physical and mental capabilities of the student
  • The preferences, experiences and situation of the student
  • Other stimulating or hindering factors

We then discuss a number of concrete options that could suit the profile of the student. If a reasonable option emerges, we investigate whether it is a reasonable perspective for the student to acquire part of the income for himself in the future through this activity

Options can include tailor, carpenter, barber, baker, bicycle repairman, welder, basket maker, soap maker, and many others.

Once a choice has been made, an individual trajectory is determined together with the student that best suits the (situation of) the student (on average about 6 weeks to 6 months). Where necessary, the student gets medical support to make this possible

At the end of the process, the student is helped to make his activities financially profitable. This is done by providing him with the most necessary resources.

It is then up to the ex-student to collect (part of) the income for himself and his / her family

We believe that with 4000 euros we can help 20 people, which would be a nice start, for the further development of this project.

Interested? See our contact page.

Impaired but Independent (summary)
Because of polio and other diseases and causes many people in Bukedea are impaired. They are often almost completely dependent of their environment.  
Action until now:
9 people have been successfully trained or are being trained and supported  in various area’s  
Training these people vocational skills, that fit with them and their situations and support them to build up a living for themselves and their families.  
Expected results:
All impaired people in Bukedea are able to fill in (part of) their financial needs  
Current status of the project:
9 impaired have been trained or are being trained at the moment.
Effect of the project until now:
9 impaired but now (partly) independent people