"The training has restored hope among the parents and children in the area." Selevano, Parent Carer Training Facilitator, Uganda

Tuesday 18th July 2017

Selevano was trained by Motivation to provide training for the parents of disabled children back in 2013. Earlier this year, he underwent refresher training in preparation for our new When I Grow Up project in Uganda. We caught up with Selevano to find out what happens at the training and how it has the power to change lives…

"As part of my job, I have established new parent support groups in Kasese, mainly for the parents of children with cerebral palsy. I usually train around 8-10 parents at a time starting at 9am until around midday. When I arrive, I greet the parents and introduce myself while seated on a mat with the parents sat around in a circle. The first thing I usually ask is whether the parents have heard of cerebral palsy before. I listen to their responses and then we discuss. Some modules also include feeding, positioning, and even playing to encourage communication.

Selevano sitting with a group of parents and their children with cerebral palsy

When a group completes a module, I explain that I will give the parents few days to practice what they have learned at home. Then, I go house to house making visits to see how they are getting on and whether there are any improvements in their child. 

Poverty is a big problem. Many fathers leave mothers or grandparents look after the children. The children often lack care because mothers are trying to earn a living to survive. In the villages, where parents rely on agriculture, the children are often left in wet bedding all day. Sometimes I find children in the house alone when I visit. Labeling is also a challenge for children with disabilities and most of those did go to school left because other pupils called them names.

Since starting the training, parents have improved and are trying very hard. They are now aware what might have caused their child’s disability - father’s especially are more positive after seeing the children improve and doing things that non-disabled children do. The training has restored hope among the parents and children in the area. There are some parents who joined the groups later after seeing other children in the community improve following the training. Most parents now take care of their children, unlike the past when they were left in houses.

A group of parents in Uganda stand together with their children

One child I support is called Adrine. I was visiting a parent at home and they told me that one of their neighbours also had a child with cerebral palsy. I tried by all means to visit the home and eventually the mother agreed to come to the training. At that time, Adrine couldn’t feed herself, couldn’t speak, couldn't even make a gesture. Since her mother started coming to the training and learning positioning, Adrine is now able to stand and her mother has promised to take her to school next year!"

Selvano works in Kasese through our local partner RAPCD, who are delighted to have him as one of their facilitators:

Selevano was selected as a facilitator because he was born in a family of people with disabilities – he is sociable to children with disabilities and has the heart to work with them without discrimination. He is a man who will move up the high mountains of Kasese looking for children with disabilities!

 

This project is supported by UK Aid from the UK Government.