The Story of Atugonza: Empowering youth with disabilities to acquire a sense of self-worth

“Now we are hosting career fairs, putting our work on display”

I am Atugonza Milton Isaac. When I started school I was the only one with a disability. All the other boys called me by hurtful nicknames, but in my heart I felt, “If others can do it, why not me? Why not a person with a disability?” When the Connecting the Dots project of Sightsavers came to my village I was doing some agricultural work. I heard the news on the radio announcing that the programme was looking for young people with disabilities to take them
for training. I had previously had an introduction on how to use a computer, so I said to myself, “Let me study computers, because in the next generation everything will be computerised.”
Now my job is to go into the field and monitor the young students in the Sightsavers programme: “How’s the work environment? How are you getting along?” I even go to visit students in their homes to see whether their parents are supporting them or not. I then report back to the office – this one is doing well, this one has a challenge. My mission is to empower youth with disabilities to acquire a sense of self-worth, to see that they too can earn a living, and to lobby for them to know their rights and benefits. I also help them benefit from government programmes, like special grants.

I have seen youth with disabilities doing great, great things. Now we are hosting career fairs, putting our work on display. Now everyone knows that disability is not inability!

Read more about Sightsavers ‘Connect the Dots’ project.