Enlightenment in Humanitarian Response for Girls and Women with Disabilities

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In 2018; NUWODU carried out a few trainings on Gender Based Violence and referral systems, Rights Awareness and Empowerment for Refugee Girls and Women with Disabilities in the district of Yumbe. The beneficiaries shared their stories as follows;

Ms. Selua on the veranda of her new home.

I am Betty Selua aged 23 with  physical disability.  I live with my grandmother, parents and siblings. I participated in the 2018, International Day of the Disabled celebrations in Nakaseke and used my facilitation allowance to buy  a mattress and construct house.

NUWODU’s training on Gender Based Violence, rights and Gender Based Violence referral system was the first of its kind to me and the first training I was attending in life. I realised that more  women suffer from GBV than men and most importantly, that PWD’s are more at greater risk of GBV.

The training enabled me to know that PWD’s are important because they have rights just like any other abled bodied persons. The journey to Nakaseke district was thrilling. I was motivated and encouraged when I noticed that there are other women with different disabilities. From that moment, I realised that I belong, and  I belong to a family I can identify with; a family of  women with different  disabilities, I feel part of the community and no amount of words , insults, mockery can shake me! Am confident  am human.

After the celebrations in Nakaseke, I went back a happy person. I did not only receive knowledge but money too! This money did wonders for me and my family. Initially we slept in shelter made of polythene bags, the facilitation I got from NUWODU helped me construct a grass thatched house. At least we have a house now, even though not permanent. I appreciate the initiative by NUWODU a thousand fold.

My parents encouraged me to attend the training and provided my transport to the venue. I want to learn more about people with disabilities generally and women with disabilities specifically. The training venue was made accessible and transport refund was provided. I did not find any challenges in attending the training.

I would love to see women with disabilities  given livelihood projects like liquid soap making, tailoring and affordable income generating activities so that they are financially and economically empowered to be able to meet their basic necessities in life. I also encourage NUWODU to organise more trainings for  girls with disabilities at village level on specific areas  and stakeholders should always plan specific trainings for persons with disabilities.

Ms. Asianju at the veranda of her hut in Swinga 2 Settlement Camp

I am Asianju Gloria aged 35 years with physical disability. I have been a widow since 2017 and I live with 3 biological children and 6 of my husbands children whose mother also died.

After my husband’s death my in-laws refused to inherit me as is the culture, saying they have their wives. This left me defenseless and seen as prey for for GBV. In the camp I sought for casual paid job so am not desperate, but had no certificate because I lost my Secondary Education Certificate while on transit to Uganda. Last year 2018, I decided to enroll in secondary school, since I am older than most students they named me “woman” which used to bother and stressed me a lot and I could not report anywhere.

NUWODU’s training and my participation at the International Day of the Disabled in Nakaseke exposed me to new places and many people with disabilities which totally changed my life. I am confident and focused and no longer ashamed of my disability, age and nick name “woman”.

I wish every girl and woman with disability  benefited from NUWODU’s training so that people do not take advantage of us. They   tackled what affects our lives and the facilitators were practical tickling us to freely share our experiences.  My plan is to concentrate in school and become a teacher  because its where my children’s future lies.

NUWODU should train every woman with disability to know about GBV and rights. More so,this  provides women with disabilities vocation skills to improve their economic status, be independent and sustain their lives. Am so grateful to Organisations like NUWODU that reach to out us even in grassroot areas.