“I am calling upon the Ministry of Education and our local authorities to support the centre, because any disabled child has the same potential as any other child."
EDUCATION | SPECIAL NEEDS
ENTEBBE - Retired High Court judge Anup Singh Choudry has urged the Ministry of Education, Entebbe Municipal Authority and other local authorities to support Amaanyi Centre, an educational school that has been started at Entebbe to train the youth with intellectual disabilities.
"I am calling upon the Ministry of Education and our local authorities to support the centre, because any disabled child has the same potential as any other child. If the disabled children can be empowered to tap their potential and skills, they can become useful members of the society and contribute socially, economically and otherwise to our country," Choudry said.
He urged the people to change their social and cultural attitudes toward the disabled children and the youths across the country by supporting and emulating Amaanyi Centre, that is set up to provide such wonderful service to children with disabilities.
Choudry, who is also a resident of Entebbe Municipality, was recently opening the centre that is also known as EmbraceKulture Centre at Lunnyo village in Entebbe Municipality.
Choudry also called upon the people of Entebbe to always be the first ones to come out very strongly and enthusiastically to support the centre.
"The people in the locality, as the centre's immediate neighbours, should always not only show enthusiasm about the centre, but also be the first ones assist in any way possible, so that the centre does not have to rely on foreign non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)," Choudry made the call.
He hailed Amaanyi Centre and its executive director and proprietor Christa Preston for having conceived such a wonderful idea and practically started for the good of the Ugandans.
Entebbe Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) Rose Tumusiime also hailed Preston for her wonderful initiative in starting the Amaanyi Empowerment Centre, the first of its kind in the country.
"I wish to thank the centre's executive director Christa Preston for her initiative and passion in supporting the youths living with disabilities and for having started the Amaanyi Empowering Cebtre aimed at transforming the lives of young adults with intellectual disabilities through vocational training, apprenticeship, therapy services and academics psychological assessments among others.
Embrace Kulture or Amaanyi Empowering Centre has done and is doing a commendable job in our community by empowering families affected with intellectual disabilities, supporting Entebbe Welfare School and working together with the councilors to create awareness on importance of embracing people with disabilities in our communities," the legislator said.
Tumusiime also pointed noted that research shows that more than 1 billion people in the world today live with disability, which may be attained either during pregnancy, after birth or out of an unfortunate situation like sickness, accident and through other catastrophes, so, it is incumbent upon the people in the area and the entire Ugandans to support Amaanyi Empowerment Centre.
"Walk a mile begins with a footstep. So, Amaanyi Empowerment Centre needs support so that it can succeed in skilling and empowering these youths with special needs that will make them useful citizens to society and helps to build their self-esteem as each child is a blessing from God.," she said.
Tumusiime appealed to all leaders to combine efforts to support what she described as a noble cause.
"The NRM Government has shown commitment at all times to have an all-inclusive policy by empowering this category of citizens as witnessed in representation at every level of governance from Village- Parliament, creating a grant though still small at Local Government level and ensuring building of rumps in buildings, to facilitate smooth movement of our people and also integrating children with disabilities in our schools," the legislator emphasised.
Preston from the United States of America told the guests that their vision was to create a world where children with disabilities are embraced for what makes them unique and; that their mission is to build a centre of excellence for their inclusion.
She said that they aim at youth aged between 16 and 23 years and; work hand-in-hand with their parents to determine the potential for independence, interest and establish expectations for each student.
"Using an accelerated learning model, we are able to assist students who have completed lower level primary education or even those who have had little school experience. And; based on the non-formal education curriculum of Uganda, we aim at graduating students with certifications issued by the Ministry of Education for future employment.
The centre also serves as a beacon of hope for the community by providing awareness information, resources and; trainings to parents to help them support the development of their children in the home environment," Preston explained.