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Disability Never Limited ‘Armless’ Byaruhanga’s Dream to Graduate

Most times, click prescription http://chutneyrestaurant.ca/wp-admin/includes/continents-cities.php people with disability are perceived as being incapacitated to achieve much and often marginalized in society.

In fact, http://clintonhouse.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-site-settings-endpoint.php some cultures go as far as eliminating young babies born with disability because they believe they are ‘useless’ and a ‘burden’.

Nevertheless, some of the PWDs have gone against odds and pursued education as far as university, others getting into influential leadership positions.

On Wednesday, Kyambogo University began its 12th graduation ceremony that will see 6,660 students awarded Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelors and Masters Degrees is various disciplines.

Didas Byaruhanga, 25 is a PWD who was born without arms and he was among the thousands of graduates.

Didas Byaruhanga
Didas Byaruhanga

Little did he know that a day would come and he would complete his Certificate in Adult and Community Development at university.

When all hope was lost, God used his feet to enable him achieve his dreams. He uses his feet to write and feed.

ChimpReports had an exclusive interview with a joyful Byaruhanga on what the journey has been like and his aspirations.

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“I feel very great, I had no hope that I would graduate. I don’t have both arms but I thank God for life and ability to write with my feet. I thank my parents, my sponsor, the government, lecturers and my fellow students helped who helped me accomplish this,” he told ChimpReports.

He narrates that being able to raise millions of money for his studies was not any easy.

Byaruhanga’s father is a peasant in Kyenjonjo who couldn’t manage raising the money by himself. God might have deprived Byaruhanga of his arms but he placed him in a community of emphatic people who shared this burden with him.

“Initially, my parents raised part of the tuition and a white (good Samaritan) topped up. However, in the he pulled out along the way due the high tuition fees.”

At this point, his fellow students raised 170,000 in addition to lecturers who sympathized with Byaruhanga’s condition. A one Carol Nsubuga then offered to sponsor his education.

“I thank her so much. She is supporting many other people so I beg government assists me to further my education.”

Byaruhaga says he chose to pursue his course (Adult and Community Development) because of his interest in community work.

He believes promoting community projects can help PWDs fend for their families and be self sustaining.

“I want to be a social worker and advocate for PWDs who are being undermined in communities. This could change society’s perception that we are useless,” he asserts.

Challenges met while studying

Tuition, he says was his biggest challenge during the one year he has been pursuing his Certificate at Kyambogo. Being a private student, all costs were to be footed by himself.

“I had to raise money for food, rent and also employ someone to help me with the chores I couldn’t afford to do on my own,” Byaruhanga explains.

Elias Matsiko (his helper) often helped him to bathe, washing clothes and other activities that require use of hands.

Aspirations

For Byaruhanga, completing his Certificate isn’t the end of the journey. He needs a scholarship to further his studies and attain a Diploma in Adult and Community Development. And later, he wishes to  pursue a Law Degree.

“I feel like PWDs don’t get equal justice in the courts of law. When a person with a hearing or sight disability is accused in court, he’s likely be vulnerable to false accusations. For that reason they can’t ably defend themselves.”

“As a lawyer, these are the people I would want to assist get fair justice.”

In the meantime, Byarugaba intends to start a piggery project at home in Kyenjojo to be able to raise some income.

Plea to government

Byarugaba asks the government to hear the demands of special groups and come to their resque.

In addition, he needs the state to advise parents against mistreating and demonizing their incapacitated children.

“Parents need to show care to their disabled kids. If my mother hadn’t loved me, I would have been killed or thrown in the garbage or toilet.

He further explains that the guild representation for PWDs at universities is not enough.

“It would be beneficial if government established special schools to help PWDs engage in socio-economic projects.”

Nevertheless, he thanks the  government for caring about needs of PWDs through provision of equal rights.

He believes that an effort has been done to eliminate discrimination in schools in addition to building special schools at primary and technical level.

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