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DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY.

This is the Story of one woman who I admire and I feel the International community should be aware of.
Margaret Arach Orech, like any other person was full of life. As a widow and a single mother of 5 children, she had to work to fend for her family, send them to school provide the basic needs in life and on top of that, provide for her old parents.
Margaret’s dream of seeing her family through was almost chattered in 1998 on that fateful day when she saw death face to face. On her way from Kitgum, her work station with International Service Volunteers’ Association, a job she had just got, was on her way back to Kampala. Margaret wanted to celebrate Christmas together with her family but unfortunately she had to spend months instead in Hospital. Their bus rode on a landmine and she lost a limp. The anger, the frustration and the helplessness were intolerable.
She could have given up on life but the thought of her children becoming total orphans pushed her on and the belief that “God allows certain things to happen in our lives for a reason” kept her alive.
Margaret is now an Ambassador for landmine victims. She started an Organization called Uganda Landmine Survivors’ Association in 2005. This Organization does a number of activities amongst which are:
• Strengthening the capacity of landmine survivor groups and providing leadership training for victims and other People with disabilities.
• Advocating, mobilizing and lobbying for adequate Mine Action Programming and Survivor Assistance
• Establishing support mechanisms that foster socio-economic reintegration and providing peer to peer support by initiating exchange visits and recreational activities.
• Establishing Micro Credit schemes, income generating activities for economic reintegration and provisioning a referral system for rehabilitation of landmine survivors
• Linking landmine survivors with the Ugandan disabled peoples’ movement and taking a lead role in International, Regional and National meetings on the Mine Ban Treaty, Convention on Cluster and Disability issues.
Uganda Landmine Survivors’ Association is a member of International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Visit www.icbl.org and search for ULSA you will find more on Margaret.
Margaret’s work is not without challenges. She has landmine survivors in different parts of Uganda like Northern Uganda and Western Uganda where she has to carry out the above objectives.
Talking to her, you can see a person who is committed to her work but has funding limitations.
As we celebrate Christmas and approach the New Year 2012, if there are people out there who would like to reach out to Margaret, and give a helping hand please do so.
I will bring you more stories on the lives of other landmine survivors and how they are coping with their lives and what Margaret is doing to help them in my next article.

Beatrice Keronga, Kampala, Uganda.

Comments

ikirimat's picture

Well done Beatrice

Beatrice thank you so much for writing about landmine survivors. Raising the voices of the vulnerable women is something important you are doing. Especially landmine victims because I know it is so traumatizing for them to cope. Once a normal person and today disabled. These people need our support, our ears and encouragement.

please continue voicing their voices. You are great.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


keronga's picture

Thanks

Hi Grace,
Thank you so much for introducing me to this wonderful website and thanks for appreciating this article. Indeed Margaret is an inspiration even to me. I admire her self drive.

Surely "their plight is not their choice".

ikirimat's picture

Lessons on tie and dye

Hi Beatrice,

I once looked at your tie and die pieces and I thought that they are so beautiful. I have a group of young people (3) on school holiday that would be trained on how to do tie and dye. Can you find time so that you train them in January? I will be glad

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


keronga's picture

I will train them

Hi Grace,
That is wonderful. I'm ready to train them. I wish you could get me more people and we organise a serious training. Talk to some other parents and we see if it will be possible.
Well thought.

ikirimat's picture

details

just drop me details of what is required by each in my private mail

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


ikirimat's picture

Hello Beatrice, I have looked

Hello Beatrice, I have looked through Margret's work for LM survivors and I have no doubt that she is doing a great work. Congratulations
I would like to meet her and have a discussion. I will appreciate this

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


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