Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 3

Wheelsblog – Uganda, Yumbe 2023: Blog 3


We've got a fantastic Wheels for the World team in Yumbe, Uganda for the next ten days. The team are reporting back with regular blogs. Here's the third report. Please continue to pray for the team in their ongoing work. Thank you for your support.

Yumbe Blog 3 (Days seven to eight) May 8–9th 2023

It has been a difficult two days as the wheelchairs still have not arrived and our original plans had to change, but the team pulled together and drew on each other’s strengths to make these days positive. The team visited two different areas of Bidi Bidi camp.  Yesterday we travelled two hours each way to Zone 4, and then today three hours to Zone 5 when we had to turn back and find another route as the steep river crossing was obstructed by work on a new bridge.  Travelling provided lots of photo opportunities of day-to-day living – repairing leaking hut roofs with thatch, working in the fields tending crops, fetching water from village pumps and selling fruit beside the road. 

We met one child aged 9, at his home where he lived with his aunty and mother.  His mother told us that when he was born his father left as soon as he found out his child had a disability. This is a common story here in Africa where fathers leave because they believe that disability is caused by a curse which they fear.  Our aim is to show disabled people respect and love in the hope that we are modelling positive attitudes and in a small way maybe influencing change.

In each of the Zones we met beneficiaries who mainly had complex needs. The therapists gave advice on postural support including sleep positioning to protect body shape in people with complex disabilities, as well as fitting recipients to wheelchairs that would best support their needs. The HHA team here reported back that they have learnt a lot from working alongside the therapists. They particularly valued learning more about how to manage clients with complex disabilities inducing how to improve good head positions for feeding and swallowing properly.

A group of people from the area batting some balloons to each otherWherever we go we seem to attract a crowd of people and these two days on the camp was no exception. Shortly after we arrived a trickle of onlookers turned into a flood. Children came from nowhere and soon Lynne had them involved in ripping foam to fill cushion covers used for postural support. Towards the end of day puppets were given out with much amusement and later balloons and bubbles provided entertainment with fun and laughter.

Today a crowd of children gathered around a family as our pastor David was sharing the Gospel and praying. His message was that the recipient was not just accepted but was also special to God. As David talked, more adults and children pressed forward to watch and listen, some inside the church climbed the wall to reach the small upper windows behind him, holding onto the bars to lift themselves up to see. It reminded us of the story in the Bible where the man was lowered from the roof because the crowds were gathered too tightly to see and hear Jesus. We felt that this was a scene that perfectly represented the ethos Through the Roof.