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The lives that are changed by disability activism

Christine's shop in Uganda

Meet Stephen and Christine

Supported by our disability partners in Uganda

Your support in action

The colourful region of Masaka, near the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, is home to MADIPHA (The Masaka Association of Persons with Disability living with HIV&AIDS). The organisation has been running for over 20 years and supports a network of disabled people with HIV/AIDs. Here hundreds of people benefit from the support MADIPHA offers; from access to medication; campaigning for equal rights; help for mental health and training to find employment.

ADD International was there from the start providing office equipment and training for staff, today we fund the Inclusion Works programme which helps more people with disabilities have access to employment. 

Meet Stephen and Christine, who have been helped by MADIPHA.

Stephen JJemba, Cobbler, Member of MADIPHA for 5 years
Stephen JJemba, Cobbler, Member of MADIPHA for 5 years

Stephen JJemba, Cobbler

“The best support from MADIPHA has been the loans they give us, with no interest, that help boost our livelihoods. It has helped me grow my small business, and that has provided me with food and security for my family.

I have a wife and two children to support. I know men should be the engines of their families, but in my condition, I need help with some things like, fetching water or when I wash the clothes I will need help from my wife to hang them.

It is not always easy, but I am proud I can make money and do a good job. It makes me happy.

My biggest wish right now is if I raise enough money, I would like to put up a structure about my workplace to shield me from the rain and sunshine. That is the next step!

How do people treat me in my community? Many people still stigmatize us for being disabled. That really hurts me and it happens from everyone. They see us as less than human beings. It hurts when someone doesn’t offer you any help but still goes ahead to despise you."

I am proud I can make money and do a good job. It makes me happy.

A photograph of Christine smiling at the camera, she is sat in her shop in Uganda
Christine Mutebi Namaganda

Christine Mutebi Namaganda, shop owner and councillor elect

“People like me, with HIV and a disability, face a double disability and a lot of challenges. However, MADIPHA is a platform that brings us together. It has decreased the stigma and stress I feel. I speak to other people like me, I go to groups where we support each other and listen. 

It helps me because I don’t have any family. I am my family. I have five children with the eldest being 16 year years old, and I am the breadwinner, so there is a lot of pressure.

You know, being a disabled woman in the community is challenging enough. People talk a lot when they see a disabled pregnant woman in the antenatal hospital. They think, how can she be pregnant, or will her child be sick. It can be very lonely. Many see us as unable but I want them to know that whatever an abled person can do, a disabled person can do it too.

I honestly see my future as a very bright one. I used to think living with HIV and being disabled cripples your future, but that is not the case. I have the hope that the future holds much more than the negativity I previously had." 

I used to think living with HIV and being disabled cripples your future, but that is not the case. I have the hope that the future holds much more than the negativity I previously had.

Christine Mutebi Namaganda

Let's build movements together.

Millions of disabled people in Africa and Asia are still condemned to a life of poverty and exclusion. Right now, organisations of disability activists like MADIPHA in Uganda are working to fight discrimination and ensure every disabled person gets a fighting chance at living their best life. They urgently need your support.

OUR WORK IN UGANDA