Motivation receives accolade for its work in Uganda at the first ever World Cerebral Palsy Day Awards

Motivation celebrated for its work empowering the parents of children with cerebral palsy and giving disabled children a better start in life

Motivation has been announced as a ‘major award’ winner in the Quality of Life category of the World Cerebral Palsy Day Awards announced today (6th October).

The Awards showcase the best examples of projects or campaigns that have created real progress to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy – at a community, national or international level.

Astrid Jenkinson, Programme Development Manager at Motivation and a key member of the team who helped oversee the project comments “We are delighted that Motivation’s work with the parents of children with cerebral palsy impressed the judges and hope that this award will help raise the profile of the positive partnerships and activities that can make a real and tangible difference to quality of life.”

Funded by UK Aid from the UK Government, the three year project that caught the attention of the judges addressed the lack of services and support for the families of disabled children in Uganda. Working with partners in Kasese, Gulu and Kampala Motivation delivered training on the causes and practical care of children with cerebral palsy – helping over 1,600 parents. Parents like Lucy, whose daughter Waldah has cerebral palsy.

Following Waldah’s diagnosis, Lucy had difficulty bonding with her child, which was made worse by the negative attitudes of her family who severed ties with her and the wider community who ostracised them. Lucy lost her job, and hid Waldah away in their home, trying to care for her daughter as best she could, but eventually became severely depressed.

Thanks to the training provided by Motivation, these dark days are over. Meeting with other parents of disabled children, Lucy realised that she was not alone. She also began to understand her daughter’s disability and learnt how to care for her. This new found understanding helped Lucy to nurture that precious mother daughter bond and empowered her to regain control of her family’s life and happiness. Lucy now shares her new knowledge and confidence and works as a facilitator at a local hospital delivering training to other parents of children with cerebral palsy.

This story is not unusual, and therefore the impact of the project has been significant. 88% of parents said that they felt more confident caring for their child and 86% reported improvement in their own well-being. In addition 819 children were fitted with appropriate wheelchairs or supportive seating, increasing their mobility and independence. Over 500 parents also received training in income generation activities and were linked to village savings schemes, and we worked with schools to promote greater inclusion of disabled children.  

Astrid goes on to explain that there is a lot more work to do and that “Motivation has been in discussions with a number of organisations about extending this programme into the east of Uganda where we know that there is a significant need. However, this is dependent on available funding.” 

You can watch a short film about our work here.

For more information about the project contact Astrid Jenkinson or Joanna Hall