In Uganda people living with a disability can face hostility and opposition. Once regarded as a burden, Agnes has overcome all the odds and now takes care of her 3 children, 7 orphaned children, and her elderly mother.

Agnes, 43, was left paralysed after catching malaria as a young child. Because of Agnes’s disability her parents didn’t see any value in sending her to school, so she never had the chance to learn.

Two of Agnes’s children are sponsored through Amigos and thanks to their support, and an adult education project, she is now able to read and write a little.

Two yeas ago the Amigos Child Sponsorship team delivered some training for caregivers to address a ‘poverty mindset’. During the training participants were tasked with identifying their skills and potential, and considering what they could achieve.

An Eye Opener

‘The training was an eye opener,’ says Agnes. ‘Because of my disability I grew up in a very negative environment, I was continually belittled, isolated and rejected. I wasn’t included in school, social activities or church. I wasn’t considered to be of any value, I was just a burden to my parents and my community. Thanks to the mindset training I began to believe in myself and was determined to move on in life.’

Since the training Agnes has opened a stall in the local market selling household goods and grains. She now makes enough money to feed her children three meals a day.

Building on her success, Agnes has been able to purchase some land on which she plans to build a house and a two room commercial unit to rent out; she has bought a sewing machine to train her daughter in tailoring; and she never struggles to pay the rent anymore. This amazing woman is looking after her late brothers' 7 children, her own 3 kids, and her elderly mother.

Once a burden, Agnes is now taking care of 11 family members!

The Amigos Child Sponsorship programme trains caregivers so that within a few years they are able to pay the school fees of the children in their care. This means we can go on to support other families and help more children.