Charlotte Baker (Lancaster University)
Disability in Rural Uganda: Founder Augustine Yiga tells us about TORUWU
The NGO Training of Rural Women in Uganda (TORUWU) was founded in 2000 and operates in Kikajjo Village, Nsangi sub-county of Wakiso District.
The Director of TORUWU, Augustine Yiga told us about the organization’s work to build the capacity of women, young people and children in social and economic activities.
TORUWU trains women in income-generating activities such as baking, mushroom growing, music, tailoring and liquid soap making to enable women to better support their families. The organization works with women and their families to promote awareness of health hazards that affect their wellbeing. TORUWU is also building a school, and facilitates development projects and programmes aimed at reducing poverty.
Central to the work of the organization is the support of disabled people, including those with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, amputees, people with Down’s syndrome, and people who are deaf and or blind. Augustine Yiga explains, “Many of the disabled people the organization supports were born that way, for some children, their disability is a result of untreated malaria or other illness, and other disabilities result from accidents”. The organization provides material support for families and offers regular physiotherapy sessions to disabled children.
A major challenge the organization faces is that many people in Uganda still consider disability as a curse. Augustine Yiga said, “We have several stories of single mothers whose husbands chased them away because of certain disabilities of the children. For example, the mother of a 20-year-old girl who is severely disabled always relates this painful story. Many husbands claim that disability is due to the mothers. Some of the husbands look at these mothers as having misfortunes thus end up chasing them away with their disabled children”.The organization’s work is critical to the individuals, families and communities it supports. To find out more, please visit their website: www.toruwu.com