Fulfilled Dreams Amidst Rejection
By George Katumba, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Hoima District Union of Persons with Disabilities (HUDIP)
Elizabeth Nyamahunde, a 28-year-old woman born with Albinism in Hoima City, Uganda, has faced numerous challenges throughout her life, including belittlement, segregation, and scorn from her community. Despite these obstacles, Elizabeth’s story is one of resilience and triumph.
When Elizabeth decided to get married, she was fortunate to find Peter (not their real name), a man who loved her unconditionally, regardless of her condition. However, their newfound happiness was short-lived as their relationship was strained due to interference from their extended family.
“We encountered significant resistance to our relationship from my husband’s family. They continuously questioned why he chose to marry a woman with Albinism when there were so many other beautiful women in the community. The constant accusations, humiliation, and undermining gradually eroded our love, causing my husband’s affection for me to diminish. He started neglecting his responsibilities of providing for me and our two-year-old child. To make matters worse, he resorted to physical assault,” Elizabeth recalls.
Aware of the challenges she faced, Elizabeth sought support from the Hoima District Union of Persons with Disabilities (HUDIP), a Voice-supported organisation after learning about their efforts to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Elizabeth shares her aspirations, saying,
My dreams have always been simple: to have the opportunity to work and achieve economic independence, enabling me to meet my own basic needs, support my family, and not rely on others.” Recognizing that realizing this dream required empowerment,
she emphasizes the pivotal role that HUDIP played in her journey.
HUDIP provided Elizabeth with valuable skills and knowledge in financial management, business entrepreneurship, accountability, leadership, and more. This comprehensive empowerment has had a profound impact on her life. She now successfully runs a small business, and the community embraces her merchandise without any discrimination.
Elizabeth’s story serves as an inspiration to others facing adversity. Through the support and guidance of HUDIP, she has overcome social barriers and is forging her path to independence and success. Her determination and entrepreneurial spirit demonstrate the transformative power of empowerment and the potential for individuals with disabilities to thrive in all aspects of life.
As Elizabeth continues to build a brighter future for herself and her family, her journey stands as a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. With the right support and opportunities, individuals like Elizabeth can break free from the shackles of prejudice and discrimination, realizing their true potential and contributing meaningfully to their communities.
HUDIP, under the Voice project titled “Including the Excluded in the Democratic Process of the Hoima Oil City,” continues to be at the forefront of supporting marginalized rightsholders to amplify their unheard voices. These interventions have seen a drastic change in perception by the community regarding the rights of persons with disabilities. “The funding from Voice has helped us to strategically engage with the community and various stakeholders to raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and their need to participate in the development agenda of the district” states Mr Gilbert Bigirwenkya, the Executive Director – HUDIP.