Today was one of those beautiful days in Uganda, not just because the sunny weather (yesterday it poured for 8+ hours along with an all day power outage) but because it was filled with joyful children and proud parents! Today, the team spent the day at the Kampala School for the Handicap, a school run by a wonderful leader named Joy and a school that Sister Schools has been partnered with for a while now. We are in the process building a vocational school where the children can learn ceramic bead making and sell their beads, along with dyed fabrics and tailoring. And most importantly, learn a skill and have a chance at life.
Most of the children there have some form of disability, loss of limbs, Downs Syndrome, and the list goes on and on, but the most common one is Cerebral Palsy. They have some amazing staff and teachers that take care of the children throughout the year. And as a lot of the children we have met in Uganda, their stories will break your heart; abused, tossed on the street, or tied up in a back room their whole life so no one can see them and the family won’t be embarrassed. The Kampala School for the Handicap is starting to change that societal stigma.
But today was different. Today it was their annual sports day, a time to compete and show the skills that you have learned throughout the year to the teachers and their parents. It is really fun to be a part of and to watch their beaming faces! We brought uniforms donated from Fernwood Elementary and the children smiled from ear to ear when they put them on – thank you Fernwood! Most of the games focused around life skills, pouring and passing water, wheelchair races, planting seeds, getting ready for school, cricket, tug-a-war, musical chairs, soccer with your hands, and a few more. Pictures will tell the story of today better than my words could ever relay.
Needless to say, it was a day I will never forget. One of my favorite moments, was when I was standing on the sideline cheering the athletes on while taking photos, and a young boy, who couldn’t speak, came up and wrapped his arms around my waist and silently watched the games with me.