Reach A Hand Uganda in partnership with Spinal Cord Injuries Support Society, OJ Disability Foundation, and Light for the world launched a Spinal Cord Injuries campaign yesterday. The launch event took place yesterday at Reach A hand Offices based in Kansanga Kampala.
Reach A Hand Uganda was able to donate approximately 200 wheelchairs to Spinal Cord Injuries Uganda as a result of this Partnership, which will aid persons with spinal cord injuries. This partnership aims to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries, their prevention and treatment, as well as advocate for better services for people with disabilities in Uganda.
While addressing the media and people with Spinal Cord injuries, Reach A Hand Founder and CEO, Humphfrey Nabimanya, revealed that the purpose of this campaign is to create awareness on spinal cord injuries and to support persons living with spinal cord injuries. The campaign also seeks to garner support to see that people with spinal cord injuries are provided with the best possible spine care.
“Having the Spinal Injuries Support Society and OJ Disability Foundation reach out to us to partner on this campaign is a testament to the programming and advocacy work RAHU has done on Disability inclusion so far and we do not take it for granted. RAHU is being challenged to do more because to whom much is given much is expected and the challenge is welcome. As Reach a Hand Uganda, while working with our partners, we commit to continue supporting and creating a proper working environment where persons with disability are accommodated and appreciated. We call upon everyone to join in and support the movement on creating an inclusive and safe environment for persons with spinal cord injuries” Nabimanya confirmed.
The Woman MP representing persons with disabilities, Laura Kanusu was the guest of honor. While giving her speech, the tough talking MP urges the Media to stop marginalizing people with disabilities in their reporting.
“Disability is about people, it’s not cars, houses,, or other objects, it’s about working with children, men, and women with disabilities. While Working in different spaces, we should know that disability is about the people we serve hence need to be inclusive. She also added that the media should not only be part of the stakeholders that advocate for inclusion but should also learn how to relay information on issues concerning disability” She noted.
In attendance was the chairperson Spinal Cord Injuries Support Society Uganda Denis Ouma. In his remarks he revealed the challenges he has faced because of his disability.
He said “I faced countless challenges, the inaccessible environments, information, unequal access to opportunities, stereotypes, and the insurmountable exclusion that Persons with Disability continue to face in various communities. What society needs to know is that persons with spinal cord injuries need to be treated with care, love and respect. They need to be supported and given equal opportunities as well. I thank organisations like Reach a Hand Uganda and Light for the World for recognizing the need to create an inclusive society with and for persons with disability’’ he noted.
Spinal Cord Injuries Support Society Uganda is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to people who have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI). It offers community-based programs to assist persons with SCI and other disabilities in overcoming obstacles, achieving their goals, and leading satisfying personal, social, and professional lives. Spinal Cord Injuries Uganda is able to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities through its advocacy programs.
Another Keynote Speaker was Silvester Kasozi, Country Director Light for the World. He noted that people with disabilities use everything people without disabilities use. So society shouldn’t look at these people as a burden.
“Its imperative for us to create equal opportunities & awareness about the existence of all challenges that affect the life and livelihood of persons with disabilities. This is because whatever persons with disabilities use is also used by people without disabilities. We need to raise awareness in all forms of creativity. Let people know the benefits with working with people of disabilities, let’s not look at these people as a burden” he noted
Also, Reach a Hand Uganda is a disability-inclusive organization dedicated to providing more opportunities for young people with disabilities to explore their talents and abilities. Inclusion of persons with disabilities at all levels and in all parts of life is one of Reach a Hand Uganda’s core beliefs. This is seen in our programming and activities like the Peer Educators Academy, the Sauti Canvas, and diverse projects like the Make 12.4% Work Initiative that is funded by Light For the World. Light for the World works with young people with disabilities to implement trailblazing programs which support their rights.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) is now considered as a personal and social obstacle that can be successfully addressed in high-income countries, rather than the end of a valuable or useful existence. This shift reflects improved medical care, which implies that people can survive, live, and thrive following an injury. The situation is considerably different in low-income countries. Quality assistive devices such as wheelchairs are scarce in low-income and many middle-income countries, medical and rehabilitation facilities are scarce, and possibilities to engage in all aspects of personal and social life are limited.
Today, the World Health Organization indicates that every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI). They also note that the majority of spinal cord injuries are due to preventable causes such as road traffic crashes, falls, or violence. Therefore there should be effective interventions available to prevent several of the main causes of spinal cord injury, including improvements in roads, vehicles, and people’s behavior on the roads to avoid road traffic accidents. Not forgetting the need to support and to make available opportunities and services to persons with spinal injuries.
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