"Now I am on the road to where I want to be because my son is achieving something." - Helen

Brian was born with cerebral palsy and spina bifida. He also has hydrocephalis which causes a build-up of fluid on the brain, leading to brain damage and learning difficulties.

After diagnosis, his mother Helen had difficulty coming to terms with his disability and didn't know where to go for help. She had no choice but to leave employment to care for him full-time and had to pick up odd jobs wherever she could. Without enough money to care for Brian and his two brothers, Helen had no hope of scraping together the money she needed for his vital medication as well.

What's more, stigma and discrimination remain rife in Uganda where Brian and his family live. They experienced negative reactions and attitudes from the local community, and were ostracised from their friends and family.

"I felt devastated," she told us. "I had never seen this before so I didn't know what to do, what to expect or how long it was going to last for. Discrimination was horrible. Many people didn't want to associate with us because we had a child with disability. People were afraid to be near him as they thought they could catch it. There is just not enough education about these conditions."

Thankfully, Brian and Helen attended Motivation's parent carer training and these hard times are now a thing of the past.

The training they attended helps parents to understand the true causes their child's disability and learn simple skills and techniques that ensures their child will develop in a healthy way. It also teaches the parents more about disability rights, empowering them to stand up against discrimination and fight for their child's inclusion.

In addition, Motivation's parent carer training offers parents the chance to learn activities that will help them generate an income for their family - soap making, pig rearing and basket weaving, for example.

Following the training, Helen now has her own soap making business and no longer has to worry about her finances. What's more, Brian is now included in the community, attending school and making great progress.

Now, I am on the road to where I want to be.

"Now I am on the road to where I want to be because my son is achieving something," Helen said. "I believe he will achieve more things than he has previously been able to do. I want him to be independent and to be able to communicate so he can look after himself if I am not there. I really want to see that in his life."

Support Motivation

You can provide more parent carer training for people like Brian and Helen by making a donation today.

Photos © Matt Grayson