Its a community based organization founded to improve on the welfare of the community in Uganda. with the help of the mother organization Chrisc Uganda
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Operating as usual
CHRISC Ndejje's cover photo
Empowering the disabled through sports
The circumstance people go through don’t determine where they can go but merely determine where they can start
Young people with disabilities are among the poorest and most marginalized of the world’s youth. Estimates suggest that there are between 180 and 220 million youth with disabilities worldwide, and nearly 80 percent of them live in developing countries.
In Uganda, according to the 2002 population and housing census, at least 4 out of every 25, or 16 percent of the population, are disabled. Applying this estimate to today’s Ugandan population (approximately 30.5 million) would indicate that they may be some 5 million disabled people in the country. Disabled people in Uganda, as in most developing countries in the world, face extreme conditions of poverty, have limited opportunities for accessing education, health, and suitable housing and employment opportunities.
While throughout the world many changes have taken place in status and treatment of persons with disabilities, the remnants of tradition and past belief influence present-day practices affecting such groups.
When a child is born or develops a disability, it is often seen as a tragic event by his or her family and community. In many parts of the country, there are certain traditional beliefs associated with the causes of disability, such as misfortune and contagion, which results in these children and their mothers being shunned and isolated. Moreover, families tend not to priotize the needs of children with disabilities, which is shown by higher levels of malnutrition, lower rates of immunization, and higher rates of infection and communicable disease among children with disabilities. It is really interpreted as a bad sign and in many cases, prevalent in rural environments; it is seen as a curse upon the family, a signal that the forefathers have been angered by misbehavior of earlier generations.
In the South Eastern part of the Country, this view is still common. “When a family has a disabled child, it is widely believed that they have committed a crime against their forefathers and that they are now being punished with the birth of their disabled child. This belief results in parents hiding their disabled child to avoid being laughed at by the community. Parents often feel so ashamed that they do not want their child to live with them”. These feelings of deep shame and fear of being cursed are a direct source of violence against children with disabilities in that area whereas in other parts, children with disabilities are abandoned or dumped in boarding schools and “forgotten”, they may be left to die or buried alive.
The fact that the birth of a child with a disability is burdened with the blame of misbehavior causes great strain on the relationship of the parents. Many marriages end in divorce after the birth of such a child. A typical response of a husband to a child with disability is to pronounce ‘ “I can’t have made such a child” and drive the woman from home. At best, the father may distance himself from the child and refuse to have anything to do with it. The strain that this puts on the woman can lead to the abuse of the child, which is blamed for the misfortune and subsequently, the child is seen as “useless” and given derogatory names , generally according to its disability. This is done not only by children but also by village elders and teachers and stimulates the children to take negative attitudes towards children with disabilities.
Though the government of Uganda has adopted a number of laws and policies pertaining to people with disabilities, including their right to productive and decent work and basic services, there still exist stiff resentment in embracing these Ugandans in our communities. However, in some places a few Non-government organizations have seen their importance and started creating space for them and basing on what has been realized today in such organizations and from our own experience, having these significant talent pool that is being overlooked can add value in the community
CHRISC Uganda, with its mission to empower youth regardless of their ability, creed and geographical back ground has strongly put its focus on the evolving youth with disabilities and among the many reached in its areas of operation, below is a young, passionate, talented, focused and people oriented Owen Balyejusawo from CHRISC Kampala.
Owen was born a normal and handsome man to Julius and Agnes Balyejusawo 13 years ago. At the age of 5, he got a Boda-Boda (motorcycle) accident that took him to hospital for 10 months in coma and thereafter turned deaf after resurrection as his mother tells the story below;
It has been almost nine years since internal head injury crushed into our lives, changing our family forever. People always ask, “How is your son Owen doing now? How are you, your husband, and the other kids? How has your family survived?”. I usually give my polite, standard answer: “Oh…thanks for asking, we are all doing fine. And you?” But the reality is-unless you have experienced the loss, the heartache, and the ripple effects that head injury can inflict- you cannot possibly understand the magnitude and the seriousness of the life-altering implications. The long term impact that head injury imposes on the injured person, family members, and friends is unthinkable. The nightmare of the injury relives itself day after day, month after month, and year after year. Grief and sadness persist even 13 years later, despite all the miraculous gains my son has made since his initial injury.
After the shock of Owens’s accident and head injury diagnosis- when I understood the reality and severity of his injuries, knowing that they were likely to include lingering deficits and handicaps- I wanted to bury my head under a pillow and slip under a thick blanket of denial. But to survive, I realized the necessity of being strong-willed and maintaining an attitude of never giving up. Everyone-I and my family as well as the doctors, nurses, therapists, and even Owen himself- would have to draw on inner resources we had not known existed.
In the early stages of Owens’s injury, he was immobile and essentially in a vegetative state. We suddenly had to become his eyes, ears and voice. We needed to advocate for his every need. My husband and I fought to find the best medical, financial, educational, legal, vocational, and rehabilitation services available. We never stopped advocating for our son’s needs for those of our family. As days turned into months, and months turned into years, I do not know where our energy or drive came from to venture into areas we knew nothing about. But there was no way we would stand idle without trying to help our son possibly regain even some of what he had lost after being struck by a boda-boda while going to school at age 5
We came to realize that the outcome of each head injury, like each person, is unique. A person’s outcome depends on the specific circumstances and severity of the injury, immediate and long-term medical care, rehabilitation services, and the individual patient and family. We also learned that many people with head injury plateau relatively soon after their injury, without making huge gains. Sometime these injured people and their families are left to cope with so much beyond their control: cognitive, memory, behavioral, physical, emotional, and social changes… the medical bills and everyday demands of cooking, laundry, cleaning, going to work, maintaining a marriage, and keeping other children’s studies and activities moving forward.
Rehabilitation: After many months in the hospital, our son was stabilized, but the urgency continued. Getting him into a rehabilitation ward was key to learning how to walk, and to perform basic tasks again. We knew Owens’ recovery was questionable and that he could possibly remain bedridden, wheelchair-bound, or cognitively impaired. But the months of grueling shifts of movement, occupational, and physical therapies began to pay off. Owen fought back like a champion! We began to see small gains-he blinked his eyelids, lifted a finger and shake his lips. Seeing the healing begin was powerful and moving. Yet Owen still had a long way to go.
Reintegrating Home: Anticipating Owens’ release from the hospital, we were faced with a new set of questions. What would we do next? Owen was still using a wheelchair and a walker. He was still struggling with memory and sight loss. He still needed assistance with everyday activities and self-care. I worried about how we were going to cope. When my husband or I were home, we’d tried to focus on the needs and cares of our other children, while managing the daily chores that made the household run smoothly. When we were at the hospital, our only focus was to take care of Owen. I was not sure how, or if, it would even be possible, to mesh these two demanding worlds into one.
I know our family would be under more stress and would have to surpass the extra ordinally level of support and help we were already extending to each other. We had to think about all aspects of home nursing and medical care, to obtain and install all assertive and adaptive equipment, and to prepare Owens’ siblings for the homecoming of their” new” brother. We suggested ways for the other kids to help, and we gave them permission to back off if need be. The care giving was both never ending and exhausting. We had to recognize our own limitations, shed and guilt, and ask for help from our community, friends, and family.
Bringing back his memory: We tried relentlessly bringing back his memory so that he could at least say a word about the incidence and, regain a degree of normalcy, but all was in vain. The accident was a serious one that permanently affected his nerves connecting the brain and ears. The next step was to look for a school where Owen could start off again with his education much as it was also not an easy journey, he spent almost all days at school crying and complaining about the state and school was in.
Friends and Family Relationships: All of our lives had changed dramatically since Owens’ accident. I know Owen felt the same, some of his friends were no longer coming by to play with. With the time that had passed, most of his friends had distanced themselves. Some were just typical self-centered children, but others could not relate to differences, though slight, in Owens’ personality. To his other peers from where he was schooling, Owen appeared childlike, odd and different. To adults, Owen was an inspiration of hope. His subtle humor made everyone smile.
Over time, my husband and I and our other three children began to realize two things: the person we once knew might never be returned to us, and recovery would be lifelong. Because all of our lives had been put on hold for so long while we coped with such staggering changes, we started to nurture all our family relationships. We gave permission to each other to start moving forward, to begin to go back to our daily routines, including even recreational activities.
Owens’ life n CHRISC Uganda: With his inability to talk and hear any more, CHRISC has shaped his life and perception about himself and those around him. The passion he has for sports and active engagement in music dance and drama (R&B) in particular is unbelievable! Its really hard for one to tell whether my son does not talk neither hearing, he is not the same person he was before joining CHRISC, the reality of ability to react with maturity, humor, and intelligence is beyond our belief! His persistence and perseverance are mind-boggling too!
Owen in Tanzania during pre-match warm-ups
I was shocked the previous month (June) on receiving news that Owen emerged the best participant out of the 157 who took part in HIV/AIDS inter-school competitions in Mulago. With mixed joy and tears, I could not believe this and asked myself many questions, how come he out competed other participants without any disability, was this a reality?
Proving all this was another day after a week had gone by when he brought me a letter from CHRISC for me to go and join other parents to players that were selected to go for East Africa Cup in Moshi-Tanzania. This was beyond totally my expectation seeing such miraculous gains and performances my son had made. Every now and then Owen turns into a different and meaningful person, CHRISC has really helped me and him to deal with a” new” person in him who emerged after the accident.
The fragility and meaning of life have indeed become more real as my family has found new qualities, insights and purpose to our days that would not have surfaced if the injury had not happened. CHRISC has really shaped my Son’s future; they have made his famous and gained a bursary at school where he is now because of sports. Long live CHRISC.
Owen in the middle listening to Coach Kyazze during half time interval
Life to and after Tanzania: The only deaf Captain and goal keeper in the continent’s biggest youth sports event, Owen learnt many things that kept on bringing a laughter on his face. The strange wild animals like giraffe, ostrich, Zebras, Masai with decorated ears and the amazing daily evening cultural presentations will remain memorable and above all, the friends he raised within five days he spent in Tanzania.
His zeal to learn and explore new things led him learn how to greet and ask for food in Swahili through writing. He could not talk but managed to capture and write all that was taught in the seminars he attended every morning. He benefited a lot appreciated the opportunity that was granted to him to move for the first time from Kampala to Tanzania, he wants to go beyond playing and becomes a professional football coach so that he can help other youth with similar problems.
The inter-schools HIV/AIDS Quiz competition Gold level ended on Friday 13th of June, the winner for this season is winter-land education center.
NO NAMES OF THE SCHOOL B S G
1. WINTER-LAND EDUCATION CENTER 26 32 42
2. SSAMBWE ORTHODOX PRIMARY SCHOOL 18 22 32
3. NALINYA LWANTALE PRIMARY SCHOOL 22 26 27
4. NSANGI INTERGRATED PRIMARY SCHOOL 21 21 14
5. NDEJJE JUNIOR SCHOOL 16 13 *
6. NALWANA ISLAMIC PRIMARY SCHOOL 21 13 *
7. LADY IRENE DEMOSTRATION SCHOOL 12 * *
these are the results from Bronze level to Gold level for all the schools
The HIV/AIDS QUIZ
The inter-schools HIV/AIDS competition in Ndejje.
the schools showed up in time and the activity was well organised, though some schools never turned up as we had planned but those that came took shape in the Quiz and we had 6 schools out of 7 qualifying for the silver level, the competition was tight that some schools tied in the 3rd position, the silver level will happen on 6th June 2014 and the schools that qualified are; Nalwana islamic, Nalinya primary, Ssambwe, Nsagi p/s, Ndejje junior, winter-land p/s. the school which was disqualified was Lady Irene primary school.
NYIKA LIVINGSTONE’S LIFE STORY
Many things discourage young people to
expose their talents. However opportunities in
Chrisc Uganda are numerous and vital. In the
pre league tournament that was organized at
St.Martin Mulago Primary School, there came a
youngster from superheroes soccer Academy.
Nyika Livingstone is 12 years old. He puts up
in Nsooba-Kampala district, muganda by tribe
and a protestant by religion. The youngster is
in Primary Five at Lower Nsooba Primary
School. He wakes up at 6:30am and do some
house work before he goes to school.
The youngster says that he feels happy when
is next to his parents Mrs.Nabagala Justine
and the Mr. Mubiru Christopher because they
want him to be a great sports man in future.
Nyika Livingstone plays for superheroes soccer
academy led by Coach Ibrahim Nsereko.
However his first time to participate in Chrisc
Uganda’s activities, he was awarded a gift for
being the best youngest player of the
tournament. From then the youngster
promised to be part of Chrisc activities for the
rest of his life due to various opportunities
Chrisc provides to youths around the slums of
Mulago. Nyika Livingstone takes Christiano
Ronaldo who plays for Real Madrid to be his
role model, he also dreams to play football in
Europe at International Level.
At his tender age, the youngster says that he
has never faced any challenges in life because
all his parents are still alive and do provide
everything he deserves in life. He is among the
players that were selected to represent
CHRISC UGANDA in the East African Cup that is
to say U-13 boy’s team.
Life becomes easy when you join CHRISC.
Nyika Livingstone is proud of CHRISC.
By Felix Kakumirizi, Media team CHRISC UGANDA
Rapha Junior Academy is Located in Luwero Town Council 40 miles along Kampala Gulu Highway and near the Luwero District Administration Headquarters.
"Nested within the cool breezed eastern hills of Bugema University, fourteen minutes walk from the main road come and join us here"
LOVING CHILDREN IS A GIFT FROM GOD. WE LOVE CHILDREN AND WE MAKE THEM :- LITTLE HEROES