“Most children with disabilities are neglected in my community and are not cared for. As a community volunteer I sensitise parents to care for them,” Amina shared with us. Amina has been a youth volunteer in her community for the last four years, and at just 27 years old she tells us that this is just the beginning for her. “I am passionate about fighting for the rights of children with disabilities.”
When she is not volunteering, Amina teaches at a local school in her community. She also recently enrolled for an Early Childhood Development course at university. “I am learning about the rights of children, how to care for them and fight for their rights,” she says with a smile, “I use this knowledge to educate my community and encourage parents of children with disabilities to take their children to school.”
Hawa joins us as we speak to Amina; she is a community volunteer too. The two women are brought together by a love for their community and a passion to see children growing up with their families, not orphanages. “I began volunteering in my 20’s,” Hawa tells us, now 50 years old, reflecting on just how much her community has changed, “I have seen my community change, there is an increase in awareness of the importance of children going to school and staying with their families.”
Hawa and Amina are among hundreds of community volunteers in Makindye District who are helping and supporting families to stay together. They advocate for the rights of children and encourage families to care for their children, rather than placing their children in orphanages.
On December 5th we took the time to celebrate all of our volunteers, like Hawa and Amina, and recognise the hard work they do day in and day out to better their communities.
We asked Hawa if she had any sage advice to Amina, who is just starting on her journey to improving her community. She takes a moment. “Educating the community never ends. It is challenging, but it is rewarding to see a shift in the way parents take care of their children, even if it is just a few parents, then you know you are making a real change,” Hawa says.
Both women have seen this shift in their own communities. “I have managed to get parents of children with disabilities to enrol their children in school,” Amina proudly tells us. As for Hawa, her biggest achievement has been being able to support women to form savings groups that have helped them take care of their children.
It was an honour to take time to celebrate the community volunteers and their commitment to keeping families together in their communities.
Top image: Community volunteers pose for a picture during the celebrations