Hidden Children

Children with disabilities are among the most neglected groups in the policy domain as well as in the private sphere. The majority of these children face enormous economic, political, and social barriers that have an adverse impact on their physical, social and intellectual development and wellbeing. Many of them do not have access to the most basic needs such as health services and education; experience multiple deprivations even within their family and are invisible in the national policy agenda. This is due to the fact that some people still considers disability as inability and hence, some people with disabilities are kept away from the public. About 80% of children with disabilities in Uganda are not getting education because of their disability. However education and training for people with disabilities is made possible in a few organizations. For people with disabilities’, going to school is hard but getting a job is even 10 times harder. The disabled just make 0.2 % of the work force despite of the income tax makes a provision of tax incentives for employers of 5% or more people with disabilities. This is basically because of shortages of jobs people with disabilities traditionally qualify for.  

Various factors have been attributed to the increasing number of cases of disabilities in the country among which include; Violence, HIV/AIDS and diseases such as polio, Birth defects, Malnutrition, Population growth, Ageing population, Environmental degradation, Injuries at home, workplace and roads, wars.

Project Overview:

Mercy link believes that people with disabilities are an integral part of the society. We believe children with disabilities have the potential to lead a fulfilling life and to contribute to the social, cultural and economic vitality of their communities. This belief has therefore build a foundation to support and advocate for children/people with disabilities through its arm called “Hidden Children”.

Vision

We want to have a society with all round educated physically handicapped people able to contribute to national development.

We seek to recruit and rescue/provide education, rehabilitation and equip children with disabilities for development and self reliance.

Childhood disability Information and Education: Improve knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning child hood disability within the community, policy makers, Parents and local churches.

Raising public awareness about disability (community sensitization and mobile clinics)

Lobby and provide support for teaching staff for the disabled through sponsorship and financial aid.

Platform for the rights of Hidden Children – Strengthen partnership through networking with stakeholders at all levels and establishing a platform for fulfillment of the rights of disabled children in Uganda.

Lobbying for support towards disabled children/ persons.

Policy advocacy and Lobbying -Work towards the incorporation of childhood disability issues in government plans and policies, at all levels.

Capacity Building - Increase the capacity of children, families and other partner for the fulfillment of rights of children with the special needs.

Reaching children and persons with special needed with the Gospel and also engaging them in community development activities.

Establish units for the people with disabilities in Schools, day centers nation wide Starting with Kampala and Jinja districts where parents of children with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, down syndrome, autism etc could bring there children for physiotherapy, occupation therapy and schooling. These centers will also run vocational training programs like tailoring, cookery, pottery, ceramic bead making, gardening,, cloth printing, knitting , mushroom growing, leather craft cattle and goat rearing. (Zero grazing )

We will Protect and promote the rights of children with disabilities by providing Formal Education , community sensitization , wheel chairs, teaching and promoting vocational skill education to empower them to become self reliant, and also helping them overcome some of their common challenges which include stigmatization, lack of proper communication to the blind, the deaf, competition for seats with able students in lecture rooms, to lack of enough money to buy some material things they need for their education, which are more expensive than the tuition paid by the government yet such things are not covered by the policy.

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About us

Mercy Link Foundation Africa is a mission faith based organization registered under the National NGO Board Registration number S.5914/10122