Our roots go back to 1994 when the founder Walusimbi Moses then a secondary student witnessed the mistreatment of his cousin due to epilepsy, the stigma and abuse started within his own family and spread across communities. Moses says it was not only his cousin brother Justine who was seen as a curse due to his disability but many other special needs children in the village were abused of their rights like education, associating with family, visitors or even village children among others. Even though it had not registered then the impact of Moses and friends was appreciated by the community to the extent that all special needs children were code named “Moses’s children.” 25th October is todate celebrated as our birthday because in 2003 Moses first donated some of his clothes to an autistic boy who was abandoned for death by his own family, this is what is currently termed as GOAL (Give out and love) event.
Special Children Special People (SCSP) registered in 2013 as a grassroots non-profit organization to advocate, educate/ rehabilitate and empower children with disabilities and families. SCSP currently operates in Kampala and Mpigi districts through supporting inclusive programs. Furthermore, SCSP empowers and builds capacities for youth, parents of special needs children and families affected by disability. Sustainability projects include among others piggery, agri-farming, hand skills training, adult education, handicrafts, micro finance etc. SCSP works with parents/caretakers of special needs children, Community based organizations, local authorities and national institutions to advocate and champion its causes.
SCSP firmly operates along its tagline ‘Realizing the Potential of the Neglected, Transforming Lives’ with which we believe that vulnerable special needs people can be fully integrated into communities where they dwell and can further contribute to its advancement.
Vision: ‘Fully Equipped Special Needs People for Comprehensive Community Integration’
Mission: To champion the education, rehabilitation and empowerment of pwd’s, with a focus on children, through a comprehensively multidisciplinary participatory approach that involves teachers, therapists, parent’s/care takers, community and political leaders to achieve better inclusion.
What We Do and How We Do It
Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation
Before child enrollment, we do a multidisciplinary assessment and then formulate individual learning plans basing on the set goals and targets. With the support of teachers, therapists, health workers support staff and parents, children are trained into activities of daily living, vocational hand skills, spiritual support and behavior management among others. Children are further introduced to basic early formal education to prepare them for possible enrolment to our inclusive school in upper primary (especially those with physical disabilities). This, under normal circumstances is for a period of 2-4 years but may be extended under extraordinary circumstances. Our learning and rehabilitation center offers free therapy and counseling services to the residents, community, parents and pwds. Many parents are usually unprepared for the birth of a special needs child thus early therapeutic interventions rarely occur due to denial and confusion. This hinders a child’s opportunity of progressing or reaching their full potential. SCSP therefore started early intervention programs where it further conducts home visits to families of children with special needs to equip skills, care and support, provide advice and suitable referrals. The children assessed to have the capabilities to perceive well are recommended for inclusive education. Those that have difficulty joining our mainstream school are guided with the input of their parents and specialists to the vocational section.
Advocacy and Awareness-Raising:
SCSP conducts Community Outreach Programs where the organization holistically educates communities about the potential of people with disabilities. There has been a poor mass media message packaging realized by SCSP, some messages on special needs issues aired through the media lacked comprehensive information that would benefit the viewers or listeners.
Additionally, the organization works through advocacy to advance legislation and policies about special needs. SCSP conducts regular grassroot outreaches and further taps into linkages with different stakeholders, partnerships, corporate companies, civil society organizations and government entities to deliver the much needed services that SCSP envisions to extend.
Economic Empowerment and Capacity Building
SCSP equips special needs teenagers, youth and parents with vocational skills like tailoring, sweater knitting, paper bags, agribusiness skills, art and craft production, financial literacy, adult education, micro finance etc through comprehensive training towards starting income generating activities for self-sustenance. While the primary beneficiaries constitute young persons with disabilities, the secondary beneficiaries are parents, caretakers and families who lack worthwhile household income to meet essential needs. Many of them are living in broken homes due to marriage break-ups caused by giving birth to a special needs child. We further extend welfare support to target beneficiaries through home visits where collected gifts and welfare support items are handed over to families affected with disabilities.
- To support special needs children towards self-independence through assessments, early intervention, inclusive education and rehabilitation.
- To extend welfare support to children and families affected by disability and HIV.
- To promote human rights through advocating for legislation,policies and educating communities on the potential of persons with disabilities towards positive attitude and support.
- To promote home and community based locally made rehabilitation intervention therapy tools while conserving the environment.
- To promote the use of technology among people with disabilities.
- To empower families affected by disability economically while building their capacities.
Brief description of the neighbourhood
The centre’s location is strategically located within the community, close to the main road in a suburb of makindye division in Kampala. The facility is spacious with a play area and a backyard garden in a busy residential neighbourhood. The facility is fully fenced, to ensure no one can come in or wander away undetected, or unauthorised. The facility curretly accommodates 23 resident children and 7 day scholars; it has 6 rooms and a 3 roomed boys quarter used for boys dormitory and dining hall with toilets inside. The rooms are used for administration, class/therapy rooms, dormitories, and dining.