Katutandike - Let's Get Started - Transforming Lives in Uganda

Ka Tutandike spearheads the setting up of a National Coalition of NGOs working on Deafness in Uganda

Several leading Ugandan NGOs working on Deafness met at the Ka Tutandike offices on 7 April to strategize and discuss modalities and way forward for the National Coalition of NGOs working on Deafness in Uganda. These included Deaf Link Uganda, Sense International, Legal Action for Persons with Disablity and Sign Health. A management committee was constituted consisting present members with the addition of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD). Members requested Ka Tutandike to take the lead in terms of the hosting of the Coalition for a minimum of a 2 year period, after which, the Management Committee would make the decision on the subsequent hosting organisation. Further consensus was reached on the priority aims of the Coalition as well as the selection criteria for membership.

At present in Uganda, although there are some organizations working on Deafness as a disability, most of these organizations operate in relative isolation from eachother. The main reason being that they are not aware of the role and scope and for the most part, about the existence of some of the other organizations working on Deafness within Uganda.  This lack of information coupled with limited resources and staffing results in many of the well intentioned initiatives being very small and piecemeal in reach and scope to make a sustaining difference to the needs of the Deaf.

The National Coalition will focus on Deafness and Hearing Loss and would provide the opportunity for all like-minded NGOs to work in partnership, unity and collaboration to protect the rights of the Deaf in Uganda and integrate them into mainstream development. The aim of Ka Tutandike will be to facilitate a united voice on the issues facing the Deaf in Uganda. With a well established Coalition of the Deaf, it is possible to defend and protect the rights of Deaf people and to improve their living conditions, access to essential services and enable equal opportunities in society.

Initial discussions towards the establishment of a National Coalition of NGOs working on Deafness in Uganda (NCND) were held in Kampala in October 2010 between Ka Tutandike Uganda and Hon. Alex Ndeezi (Uganda's first Deaf Member of Parliament and the Executive Director of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf), together with Christine Semambo-Sempebwa (CEO-KTU), Julius Nkuraija (Programme Manager-KTU) and Anisha Rajapakse (Ka Tutandike Trust UK - KTTUK).  Ka Tutandike sought advice and guidance from MP Ndeezi regarding the formation of such a body. MP Ndeezi advised that the formation of such a civil society network would indeed be hugely beneficial for Uganda the issue of Deafness and that currently there is no such grouping that has ‘Deafness' as its primary mandate and welcomed any intervention that Ka Tutandike could make in order to establish a National Coalition on Deafness .

The official launch of this National Coalition is provisionally scheduled for August 2011.