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Case Stories

Case Stories

Changing attitudes for children - Similar challenges but individual stories

MEET: Afoyorwoth Destiny

Destiny was the third born in a family of five children to her late parents in Arumukeng, Nebbi.

According to her care giver, Lithiwu Comfort, she was born “normal”.

“She was able to cry and giggle well indicating that she will be able to communicate when she grows up”

Destiny deafness developed after a long period of treatment for cerebral malaria from the hospital and she is the only deaf person out of the five children.

In private interactions with the project team, she shared that she gets annoyed when other children call her “abobo”, meaning stupid.

The project team held a number of deaf awareness sessions for the teachers, students and family members.  Following this and according to her class teacher, Destiny’s performance is improving.

“She is actively participates in class work despite communication challenges which have an effect on her esteem.”

She now feels better at school now, but wished all her teachers could communicate in sign language.

”Me happy at school, teachers love me”,

She added that due to the (project ) awarenesses with the children, pupils no longer call her abobo, but her real name. Destiny shared that she has a dream of being a nurse, or learning weaving if she fails make it.

MEET: Erikia Stella​

Stella, a young deaf girl who used to be forced to go to school has now become the most punctual scholar in her primary school in Maracha District.

At 13 years old, she had not willingly appreciated going to school.

This is partly attributed to her family’s lack of interest in the value of education and also her father, described as an alcoholic, who could not provide any support for school materials, leaving the burden completely on her mother.

Stella’s mother explained that “I love my daughter and I don’t care how much I will suffer to ensure she get a meaning in life. My efforts are being frustrated her father who leaves home early morning and returns drunk in the night”.

Prior to the project operations in Maracha, Stella who had been enrolled at school, seldom attended and eventually  she decided to just stay home, due to the twin frustrations of lacking care and support both at home and at school.

MEET: Jokudu Jane​

Jokudu Jane is a 15year old girl who goes to Cinyi Primary School in P.2.

 “She was attacked by malaria with severe convulsion at two years and was taken to hospital and later confirmed deaf by the doctor in South Sudan”, according to her mother

She is the only deaf person in the family of five children.

By the time she became deaf Jane had not yet learned how to talk. During the first project visit to Cinyi Primary School, Jane was so moody and irritable that she would just cry whenever she was brought close to any new person.

MEET: Fiona Muja

Fiona Muja is the 12 year old daughter of Wani Julius and Mary Gune.  She is one of the brightest girls that the team has met at such a refugee school and is in Primary 6.

Fiona migrated to Uganda from the war-torn South Sudan in January 2017 with her mother, two brothers and two cousins.  Her polygamous father decided to remain in South Sudan with his other wife and children who were in slightly safer zone.

MEET: Osinge Walter

15 year old Walter started to feel ill.  He had begun to vomit, had a bit of diarrhea, a temperature, shivers and a headache;  possible signs of malaria.

“He was feeling very sick and I did not know what to do, he vomited and had some joint pains”,  his mother recollected

Walter’s mother knew that her son was sick and then rushed him to Angal Hospital in Pakwach for treatment which did not yeald positive results.  Later it was discovered that Walter  was suffering from meningitis which affected him for a long time.  His body became paralysed along one side.  When he was discharged from hospital he came home and was talking, but two days later he stopped talking and hasn’t talked since then.

Restoring Hope to a Family

MEET: Claire

Claire is the second born in a family of three. She lives with her grandmother in Lungujja, one of the suburbs of Kampala City.

She is one of the pre-school pioneers with great vigour for studying at Uganda school for the Deaf. With barely two terms she spent in school, Claire has already taught her younger brother basic Sign Language with whom they communicate very well. This has also has helped her to pass messages to her parents especially her grandmother who has not yet had the chance of attending sign language lessons. She is able to sign clearly that her family members are able to understand her communication.

With the interaction with her classmates at school, Claire has extended the practice home. She is friendly to everyone, interacts with peers and it is hard to find her face gloomy; She is always smiling. With this, she has created friendship with community members who love her so much and feel like visiting her all the time.