“Oscar is now able to eat our local food,” Oscar’s mum, Sandra, tells us with a shy smile. Oscar is the baby of the family, with 7 siblings. “His health has improved. He is now eating well together with the family.”
Oscar was born with Hydrocephalus, a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell. The majority of children living with disabilities in Uganda are often stigmatised and marginalised by their communities, something that Oscar’s parents know all too well. “Our neighbours stigmatised us telling us that Oscar would die.” Oscar’s mum sadly remembers how their neighbours shunned them.
Oscar’s family could not afford the medical bills and treatment that Oscar needed. Luckily Justine, a community volunteer in their village, took action.
“Most children with disabilities often suffer in our communities, so I counsel families on how to take care of their children and encourage them not to abandon them,” Justine tells us why she decided to become a community volunteer and work with families of children with disabilities. She has continued to walk with Oscar’s family through their journey. “I love children and I like working with parents to take care of their children,” she adds.
Justine connected Oscar’s family with our social workers who worked with the family and thanks to your support, we were able to pay for Oscar’s medical needs. Oscar’s mum was also provided with a small grant to start a fish selling business so she could take care of her family.
It has been 8 months since Oscar got the surgery he needed, his health has greatly improved. His mum could not hide her joy telling us that Oscar is now able to recognise his brothers and sisters. “His face is filled with joy when he sees his brothers. He gets so happy when he hears them playing. When you call his name he starts laughing and smiling and opens his arms for you. He is so full of life.”