“Some people don’t have children, I’m lucky. I have a child.” Her statement was profound. In Uganda, disability is seen as a curse. Most mothers in this country wouldn’t see a child living with special needs as a blessing. Instead, they’re often seen as a burden and are frequently hidden away. But Rose is defying the status quo. She sees the God-given worth of her daughter and loves her with her whole heart. This is exactly what we’re fighting for – to see every child in Uganda, no matter his or her disability, celebrated in a family.
But this family’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. Rose’s husband left her soon after Patricia was born. He didn’t want anything to do with a child with disabilities. Rose had never pictured herself as a single mother, but she persisted even when things seemed hopeless. She has surely risen to the occasion. When asked about Patricia, she shared,
“I love Patricia so much. She is a clever girl. She is funny, she is happy. She is always happy! She has changed a lot since we first came to Ekisa. She can now read, recognize letters, and count. She loves going to school and likes her teacher so much. I feel so happy to be her mom.”
We’re so happy Rose believed in Patricia. She is a star student at Ekisa Academy with so much potential. Her teacher has been working hard to prepare her to enter a mainstream classroom. This term she’s been working on building words and reading out loud. We can’t wait for the day when she proudly enters a mainstream classroom for the first time. We know that just like her mom, she can do anything she puts her mind to. When asked about Patricia’s future, both Rose and Patricia said, at the exact same time, that Patricia wants to be a teacher. We hope and pray that we can continue providing the support and education Patricia needs to see her dream come true. She would most certainly be one of the first teachers in this country with a disability. We believe that is something worth championing.