Fazira is a disability activist in Jinja, Uganda. She has a small kitchen garden that she has adapted to her requirements and grows food for her family, dependents and even her neighbours.
“I started realising I had sight problems at 19. The psychological process of accepting my disability was not easy. I lost self-esteem completely.
Eventually, I came to realise that failure to accept a condition is the beginning of your failure in life. The moment you accept you begin looking for coping strategies.
That’s when I went back to university, learning braille and computer skills, making new friends. I became very active in student leadership, which also contributed a lot to my confidence.
After university I was supported by ADD International to get work experience. I helped many disability groups by supporting newly blind persons, counselling them, and placing them in schools.
It took real commitment but I knew where I’d come from so I was always determined, and always hopeful that I could help others. Many people have learnt braille, and gone to university.
I am very strong now. I’m able to support my family, I’m able to support my child – she’s in a good school, she’s happy. I just want to challenge life, I don’t want life to challenge me. I want to live as a role model, as a living example.”
“My garden is very accessible to me, as a visually impaired person because the garden is mine.
Young people need to be supported to start their own small kitchen garden. It’s very easy to initiate and look after. Even for someone in a wheelchair. If we support young people they will be able to earn.
There’s nothing that makes a person with a disability more highly recognised and appreciated in our families and communities than being able to support themselves.
Our families play a big role in building our confidence. Without it you’re bound to fail. Your confidence needs to be built first at household level, then you can spread your wings to the community.
I am where I am because I was supported by other people with disabilities. They have been there for me. In the same spirit, I also want to share and support.
The biggest mistake that’s made is for people sitting in an office to come up with desk-based projects. They don’t have the lived experience. I’m happy to represent this project because I have implemented my own kitchen garden and I have been a very great beneficiary of my own efforts! Now, I’m not only supporting myself, but my family and neighbours – an entire network – so supporting activism really pays a lot.”
100% Homegrown Appeal
The 100% Homegrown appeal raised money to support a kitchen gardens project in Uganda.
Thanks to the appeal, leaders like Fazira can help the next generation of young disabled people start their own kitchen gardens to thrive and unlock their long-term benefits.
More about the 100% Homegrown project.
Hear from more disability rights activists.