Good Shepherd School, in Fort Portal is a magical place; the first special needs school in Uganda. It was the brainchild of Sr Theresa Abigada and built using HUGS money. There are 130 pupils enrolled, cared for in a loving and yet challenging environment plus an additional 25 students on the outreach programme. The academic achievement, for many students, is as good as any UK school. It houses a small orphanage and teachers accommodation, a pig farm, fish pond and chickens. Life is safe, contributions are encouraged, behaviours tolerated and accepted.
A disabled child, in Uganda, often receives no education; they are considered unworthy of ‘investment’. They may have physical disabilities, be damaged by illness, stunted by poverty, be blind or deaf. Common conditions such as autism or cerebral palsy are often misunderstood and the potential of children with these conditions is not realised.
Brenda, is deaf, and attends Good Shepherd school. She is an A* student who scored the highest grade of any pupil in her CCSE year in her province. She learned sign language at school.
HUGS help local people to identify children with disabilities and provides support. Over the years we have helped fund wheelchairs, special walking equipment, glasses, hearing aids, Braille type writers and encouraged vocational skills training for pupils who are unable to achieve high academic result.