Waldah was just five months old when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Family and friends believed the disability to be a curse, so they turned their backs on the baby and her mother, Lucy.

The neighbours said I had produced a snake.

Lucy's boss told her to choose between her child and her job. The pair had little hope for the future.

Sadly, their story is not uncommon in Uganda where disabled children and their families face daily discrimination. 

A staggering 91% of disabled children miss out on primary education. Denied their chance to learn, socialise and be a part of their communities, many are left with low confidence, limited job prospects and no hope of becoming independent adults. 

Lucy tried to teach Waldah at home but her progress was slow. Her communication skills did not develop and her mobility did not improve.

Before long, Lucy realised she had to find Waldah a school that would accept her and give her hope of building a positive future. She was lucky to find a teacher who could provide an inclusive classroom for Waldah amongst other children.

Today, Waldah is eight years old and has been attending a primary school near her home in Kampala for three years. Lucy is delighted with her progress.

"Waldah has changed completely! She couldn’t speak three years ago but now she can speak!

"I do have worries about my Waldah but she is eating independently now and her communication is good. She can really sing too! She can pick up a chorus straight away!"

Waldah is the only disabled child at school, but her teacher, Qasasa, works very hard to make sure she is included. Through play, Waldah has built her confidence, become more mobile and started taking interest in making friends.

"Waldah doesn’t see that she is different now. She is very social and she makes friends so easily.

"She has improved so much through playing with the other children - I am looking forward to finding out what else she can do."

Motivation’s All-Stars Appeal will use sport, games and play to break the stigma around disability and ensure that more children like Waldah can be included - in school, in play and in society.

Our training will help more teachers like Qasasa to create schools where differences are embraced and everyone has the chance to learn.

Our mentoring will teach disabled children about their rights and empower them to build positive futures.

Give before 3rd March 2020 and your donation to the All-Stars Appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

Help us to create a world where disabled people are included in society, levelling the playing field for generations to come. 

Donate online now

Photos © Matt Grayson