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Self-help group for mothers with disabled children

Since the beginning of 2016, we have been supporting the Suubi Lyaffe maternity initiative in Uganda's capital Kampala. The self-help center currently cares for 36 children.

Mothers with children with disabilities have joined together in a self-help group and take turns caring for the children. The children receive free physiotherapy and medication. Their mothers experience psychosocial empowerment at the center.

After prenatal complications that remained undetected and untreated, after an infection, an accident or a serious illness in early childhood, the further development of affected children often progresses with a delay. Severe, lifelong disabilities can also be the result. In many cases, constant special support can help children to become more independent in their everyday lives.

Most recently, the number of people with disabilities in Uganda was recorded in the Uganda National Household Survey of 2013. This survey recorded that a total of 7.1 percent of the population, about 2.1 million people, lived with a disability. Since the census only considered disabilities in people over the age of five, the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. For many of those affected in Uganda, adequate support fails due to a lack of money.

Mothers of children with disabilities in Uganda are often left to care for their children on their own. Some receive no support from their families, are labeled as "God's curse" and are abandoned by the children's fathers. If there is no steady income, they cannot afford the costly therapies for their children in the long run. In addition, there is often a lack of information about appropriate treatment and support for the children.

For the mothers, the situation carries a high risk of stress, isolation and depression, which in turn can have a negative impact on the further development of the children. At the same time, a stable mother-child relationship is an important starting point for babies and children in their development. As the first caregivers of infants, it is usually the mothers who can provide security and love to their children and accompany them in early development.


We want to support children with disabilities and their mothers:

  • The children should receive support tailored to them so that they can develop in the best possible way without having to pay for the costs themselves.
  • The mothers should experience psychosocial strengthening so that they can fulfill their important role in the further development of their child.

Suubi Lyaffe, a self-help center in Uganda's capital Kampala, has created a safe environment for children with disabilities and their mothers to recover and develop. Through the center, the children receive physical and exercise therapies tailored to their needs and abilities. If needed, the children also receive walkers and wheelchairs. In the event of illness, children are transported to specialized clinics. Necessary examinations, therapies and medicine are accessible to the children free of charge.

The mothers are always involved in the therapies so that they can continue the exercises with the children at home and thus also restore or strengthen their bond with the child. The experienced therapists support the mothers in their important role and assist them with tips on how to better understand and respond to their children's needs.

The interaction and exchange  with other mothers in a similar situation frees many of the participating mothers from their isolation and helplessness. In addition, Suubi Lyaffe offers training in income-generating activities for  the mothers, so that they can provide for themselves and their children independently.

The self-help group was founded in 2016 with the help of the local parish, with the mothers taking turns in caring for the children.

With the help of donations, we support Suubi Lyaffe with

  • Physiotherapy and movement therapy for the children
  • Training of mothers in home rehabilitation for their children
  • transport services to the center and specialized clinics
  • Training of mothers in income-generating activities
  • Support of the group in administrative matters
  • Building rentals

Country info

Capital: Kampala
Area: 241.040 km²
Population: approx. 47.8 million

Project data

Duration: since January 2016
Financing: Private donors
Partner: Suubi Lyaffe


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