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December Story – Healthcare

by Blanca Garcia on December 10, 2013

In Uganda most specialized medical care is found in the cities. There is some specialized medical care in a few rural areas, which is often offered by a private organization or private individual.

Often times wherever doctors and nurses are available, it is expensive and therefore they only see individuals who can afford this care. This is true for equipment as well.

In 2013, 99 Balloons sent a team of medical professionals to Uganda, where they were able to work with children with special needs, as well as provide training for professionals, caregivers, and parents. The team held a seminar that covered basic medical care, as well as some broader training on speech therapy and physical therapy techniques. They were also able to work one-on-one with families in the Community Care program to provide more specific care and advice for their child.

Our team also included a child counselor, who was able to participate in the seminar for the caregivers and mamas, as well as meet with and pray one-on-one with the parents in the Community Care program.

We were amazed at the many ways our medical team was able to serve and help families and individuals affected by disability in Uganda. The need for continued medical care, primarily therapy services, is great.

This fall, 99 Balloons was also able to connect an Occupational Therapy doctoral student with our partners in Uganda so that she could do her 4-week international rotation working with the children we saw this summer. You can read more about her time in Uganda by clicking here to see her blog.

We’d love for you to check out our Project Page and be a part of providing a year of speech therapy and physical therapy for the 20+ children living at Ekisa’s children’s home.

Join us in helping change the story of disability for these amazing kids!

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Post image for November Story :: Family Support

November Story :: Family Support

by Blanca Garcia on November 11, 2013

Throughout Uganda, there is a general negative attitude towards persons living with disabilities as well as their families. There is a high level of segregation and fear of the unknown. The belief among most communities is that disability is contagious – if you associate with a person living with disability, he or she will pass it on you. Simply walking with a person with a disability is cause for shame.

Families, particularly those living in rural areas, are inclined to go to a witch doctor as they tend to associate disability to bad luck. The belief is that an individual with disability is being punished for sins they committed or that their family committed. There is a small percentage of community members in rural areas that understand disability and as such tend to look for interventions early on in the child’s life.

In more urban areas, stereotypes and perceptions of disability are mixed due to the fact that people come from different parts of the country. But the main reaction to disability in more urban towns is fear and shame, which causes parents to hide their children with disabilities.

This summer, 99 Balloons helped host a dinner for families that are a part of Ekisa’s Community Care program. It was a night to celebrate them for going against the grain, and choosing to keep their children and care for them despite what their culture dictates. We shared a meal together at a beautiful resort on the Nile, and each family received a basket of sugar, rice, beans and laundry soap. We even raffled off a goat at the end of the night – and the winning Mama fell to her knees in gratitude. It was such a humbling and sweet night…

Upon returning from our trip to Uganda, we received an update from Sam, the social worker in charge of the community care program:

“The Mamas felt loved and accepted through this. [We showed them] that we understand what they are going through and we are fully behind them every step.”

You can read more about the family dinner on Ekisa’s blog by clicking here.

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October Story :: Simon

September 30, 2013
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Meet Simon, the guy with a killer smile. He and his wife live with their two children in Jinja, Uganda. He also lives with disability in a country that lacks many resources. For adults living with disability in Uganda, finding employment can be quite a challenge. The percentage of people living with disabilities that are [...]

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September Story:: Education

August 30, 2013
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Paul is 9 years old, and loves people. He’s incredibly smart, and finds ways to communicate exactly what he wants or needs.  Paul currently lives at a children’s home in Uganda. He was born with Cerebral Palsy, and children with special needs like Paul are often abandoned by their families because they feel shamed by [...]

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Africa Trip Update

July 26, 2013

Our team has been back for just over a week. Many thanks to all of you for praying and following along on our journey. Internet access was extremely limited while we were there, which meant we didn’t get to update everyone as much as would have liked, but we look forward to sharing more stories [...]

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Global News Update: Africa!

July 9, 2013

          Click the picture above to check out our global news site and get the latest update from our team in Africa!

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May Highlight :: India

May 2, 2013
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This month, we ask you to join us in praying for individuals affected by disability living in India, as well as praying for the perceptions of disability to change in India. In Northwest India, most people have a Hindu background and believe that individuals with disability are cursed and have done something wrong in a previous life. [...]

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April Highlight :: Kenya

April 4, 2013
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This month, we ask you to join us in praying for kids affected by disability living in Kenya, as well as praying for the perceptions of disability to change in Kenya. Also, for the month of April, we have featured a Global Project that will help expand income opportunities for mothers who have children with [...]

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Guatemala :: Pray and Participate

March 4, 2013
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For the month of March, we invite you to join us in praying for perceptions of disability to change in Guatemala, as well as pray for kids with disabilities living in Guatemala. This month, there is also an opportunity for you to help countless individuals in Guatemala affected by disability through our highlighted Global Project. [...]

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Thank You!

October 10, 2012
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Thanks so much to all who participated and followed along in our “Imperfect Vessels” blog series! Our talented contributors used their gift of words to advocate on behalf of children and individuals with special needs locally and globally. In 2 months, over 5,000 folks stopped by to read and be challenged. We are contemplating next steps for [...]

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