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Youth with Physical Disabilities Development Forum (YPDDF) - Uganda

To consider our attitude towards disability and how the Youth with Physical Disabilities Development Forum (YPDDF) is helping disabled people in Uganda to have better quality of life.

by James Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To consider our attitude towards disability and how the Youth with Physical Disabilities Development Forum (YPDDF) is helping disabled people in Uganda to have better quality of life.

Preparation and materials

  • If you would like copies of the Uganda Human Rights Commission document and YPDDF photos, or more information about YPPDF, email info@feedtheminds.org.

Assembly

  1. On 2 July 2007 Fred Mugerwa tried to get in a taxi. In Uganda, this is a regular part of everyday life, and Mr Mugerwa was shocked to find himself refused a seat. This was because he is disabled. Other more able-bodied passengers were allowed in instead. It is alleged that the conductor of the taxi told him that he ‘did not have time for deformed people’.
  2. Mr Mugerwa did not accept this. He is currently fighting a case at the Ugandan Human Rights Commission which has accepted that if his allegations can be proved, then his constitutional rights would have been violated. He has also supported the Youth with Physical Disability Development Forum – a charity that aims to empower disabled youths. Their specific goals include changing social attitudes and norms towards the disabled, through campaigning and lobbying, and to increase the number of university scholarships for young disabled people.
  3. Today, the YPDDF is focused mainly on improving human rights advocacy skills in disabled youth, helping them to be more assertive in their right to be included in society. The government has given them a grant of $15,000 alongside other donations to allow for the continuation of such projects. The organization also aims to demonstrate that disabled individuals need not rely on charity – by organizing and training their members to be economically productive, it provides a sustainable model for the development of better attitudes towards the disabled. Farming and manufacturing are both demonstrated to be industries that can be managed by the disabled.
  4. The state of human rights in the world is generally improving. Despite the continued intolerance of some, laws continue to defend those who cannot defend themselves. What this legal case shows is that as well as abolishing discrimination in our laws, we need to truly remove it from our culture. This involves a concerted effort from everyone to never accept injustice but always challenge it.

Time for reflection

Think about disabled people that you know.
They may be young or old,

rich or poor.

How do you think of them?

Do you hold prejudice about disability?

(Pause)

How could you act today to improve the quality of life of those with disability?

Prayer

Help me to look beyond the outside of a person

to see each person as you do.

To value them for who they are.

To treat them as I would have them treat me.

Amen.

Hymn

‘God is love, his the care’ (Hymns Old and New, 169)

Publication date: April 2009   (Vol.11 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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