Realising dreams in Uganda
Jesca Alyano is a 16-year-old disabled girl from Uganda. Thanks to our inclusive education programme, she can now access an education.
Jesca Alyano is a 16-year-old girl from Amolatar in Northern Uganda. She lives with her father, a single parent, along with her four brothers and two sisters.
As a young child, Jesca had an operation on her legs, which had curved. After the operation, Jesca developed paralysis in both of her legs. After Jesca became disabled, her father decided to keep her at home. He couldn’t take her to school, and she was unable to travel on her own. So, she stayed out of school for three years.
Jesca's education experience
Jesca wanted to go to school like other children. Her father did try taking her back to school on his bike, but it got stolen. So, Jesca had to drop out again. Her father thought about sending her to boarding school but did not have enough money. He was also worried about the level of support she would receive if she lived away from home.
The Town Agent of Amirimiri Ward contacted Jesca’s father about Leonard Cheshire’s Inclusive Education project in Amolatar District in Northern Uganda, supported by Dubai Cares. The project helps children with disabilities in the local community to go to school.
The project team invited him to a meeting about inclusive education. This meeting opened his eyes. He came away realising how important it was for Jesca to go back to school. He also saw that every child has a right to go to school, whether they have a disability or not.
He registered Jesca with the project after the meeting. The project team assessed her, and she enrolled at Amolatar Primary school in 2018. The project provided her with learning materials, a school uniform, and sanitary towels. Her father, meanwhile, joined the parents support group formed by the project.
Finding friends and happiness
Going back to school has had a significant impact on Jesca. Very quiet beforehand, she now happily plays with other children both at school and at home. She has many friends at school and in the village – a far cry from when she was isolated at home on her own. Jesca channelled her new happiness and energy into helping her family.
Jesca’s father is very proud of her and says: “I want to support my daughter until she finishes her studies. I have learnt that my intention to keep her at home due to her disability was a barrier to her. She deserves to realise her dreams.”