Sightsavers as an organization has helped millions of lives across the globe especially people with disabilities more so the visually impaired, and with this they have created many more opportunities for help.
On the 3rd of July 2018, the organization’s Uganda office participated in a summit prepared by the Government of Uganda, through the Gender, Labour, and Social Development Minister; Hon. Janat Mukwaya, on National Disability Dialogue. The summit was being held in preparation for the Global Disability Summit that shall be taking place on the 24th of July.
With an estimated one billion people across the world living with disabilities, the Ugandan Government sought to find out ways of achieving Sustainable Development Goals that benefits even those with disabilities, and Sightsavers Uganda was there to have an input in the discussions.
Not only is the Ugandan Government seeking for those with disabilities to be on the receiving end of sustainable development, but to also be part of the plans and strategies put in place to achieve it.
The Ugandan Government has also a set of commitment that seeks to align with those of the global disability summit which include, tackling stigma and discrimination, inclusion in education, economic empowerment, and the harnessing of technology and innovation.
Sightsavers was represented in the summit by its Uganda office Country Director, Dr. Johnson Ngorok who lauded the summit as he felt it gave those with disabilities an opportunity to interact with policymakers in the process of formulating policies that touched directly on them.
Other than participating in government forums, Sightsavers does take an active role in ensuring that people with disabilities get to live as normal and happy lives as possible. In one of their YouTube videos, the organization highlights the story of a Malawian boy by the name of Peter aged eight, and who was born with hydrocephalus which is a condition that causes fluid on the brain.
In Peter’s early years, he suffered stigmatization as his teacher, Emma Magaso, says that no one wanted to associate with him including children his own age. However, through the help of Sightsavers, which helps run early childhood development in Malawi, Peter was enrolled in a pre-school and the act helped him greatly, in that he was able to learn, improve physically and most importantly, made some friends.
Through all that, Peter has now joined Primary School, and Ben Chikaipa, who works for Sightsavers, says the perception towards Peter from others has also changed gradually.