Finding his future

Emmanuel


Emmanuel is a 14-year-old boy from the Amolatar district in Uganda. Thanks to support from our inclusive education project, Emmanuel was able to access education and now dreams of being a teacher.

A school boy in a pink shirt leaning on a wall

Emmanuel is a 14-year-old boy from Kizimba Village, Agwingiri Parish, Agwingiri Sub County in Amolatar district in Uganda. He is the ninth born in a family of ten. Both he and two of his sisters have hearing and speech impairments.
 
When Emmanuel was ten years old, his father died. His mother couldn’t afford to keep him in a school for disabled children. She also believed he wouldn’t cope in a mainstream school.
 
So, Emmanuel went to live with a friend of his brother’s in Kampala. The friend became Emmanuel’s guardian and provided funding for him to go to school again. However, during the third year of his education in Kampala, his guardian passed away. Emmanuel had to go back to Kizimba village to live with his mother.

Left feeling isolated

Back in the village, his mother was still unable to pay for him to attend school. She said: “Emmanuel has been very lonely at home with no friends since most children in the community attend school.”
 
Emmanuel had no choice but to stay at home and help out with domestic chores for a while. But Emmanuel’s chance to go back to school came when the team from Leonard Cheshire’s Inclusive Education project in Amolatar District in Northern Uganda came to his local area. They aimed to teach the community about disability and reduce the stigma around it. As well as identify children that could be supported by the project.

Our inclusive education project

Emmanuel registered with the project, and soon after was enrolled at Omara Ebek Memorial primary school in Amolatar district. The project also provided support with his school fees and materials. Emmanuel now has teachers who can speak in sign language, so he feels welcome and comfortable to learn. His teachers have described him as a bright boy, one of the best in class!

Not only is Emmanuel making significant progress with his education, but he’s also been making lots of friends. He loves playing football with them. His mother says: “Emmanuel is now a happy boy with many friends and is very confident.”

Dreams for the future

Through the project’s work, Emmanuel’s community now believe that children with disabilities have a future through inclusive education. Emmanuel says he’d also like to become a teacher himself one day to help other children like him.