Around one billion people worldwide live with disabilities, 80% of them in low resourced countries. In Uganda, 26% of the population live with disabilities. Since approximately 57% of the Ugandan population is below the age of 18 years, it is estimated that there are over 3,000,000 children in Uganda with disabilities. These range from extremely severe physical and/or mental disabilities, to very mild ones that are hardly noticeable.
Most communities still view disability as a bad omen, bad luck, punishment or a curse for the sins the parents must have committed. Some people see disability as witchcraft or a contagious condition that should be avoided, which leave families who have children with disabilities alone and isolated. Most of the families live in poverty and are not able to access the few available resources for their children. The lack of readily available support and information to parents prevents them from giving their children quality care at an early age, which in turn increases the severity of the children’s condition.
The Special Children’s Trust was established to meet the needs of these parents and their children in whatever way possible, whilst also showing them the extent of the love God has for them and the family He blessed them with.