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


As one drives in to Masaka, there is a small trading centre called Bukulula.  This is where we met Noeline Nakaggwa  - a remarkable woman.  She has a physical disability and outside of her wheel chair, she has to crawl on her hands and knees.  But this did not stop her starting up a Community Based Organisation (CBO) for people with disabilities.  As one turns in to her compound, one is met by the young men and women with physical disabilities, they no longer have to beg on the streets, Noeline has managed to advocate for them and get them equipment for a carpentry workshop.  Today they make furniture and are positive and proud of what they do.  She has also ensured that the Deaf youth she lives with make crafts like beads using paper materials.  They knit sweaters, make printed table cloths and are equipped with skills in improved farming methods and hair dressing.  As a manager Noeline has ensure that there is capacity building, income generation and sustainability.

Noeline can communicate with the Deaf youth, who are part of her beneficiaries. She took off three months to study sign language in Kampala.  It was not easy for her, as she had to crawl on the streets of Kampala and then engage in sign language for long periods.  Her hands and legs got swollen in the process but she did not give up.  She has also ensured that the Deaf children are enrolled in to the schools for the Deaf.  Noeline is engaged in conducting reproductive and sexual education to the youth so that they too get the same chances in life as young people who are not Deaf.  It was while the Ka Tutandike team was conducting a situational analysis around reproductive and sexual education for the Deaf that we met her.  We were amazed at how well she conducted the lessons, starting with herself, moving into peer education and getting the schools and service providers involved.   

She tries to run her organization as best as possible with limited resources and to really benefit the disabled young persons.  It is against this background that Julius Nkuraija the Programme Manager for Disability at Ka Tutandike Uganda nominated Noeline for the Sesse island Rotary club Vocational award 2011 as a way of recognising her efforts as a manager with disabilities and at a CBO level.  She was awarded a certificate of recognition and a sewing machine to strengthen her vocational training work.