LinkmeUg together NUDIPU bring you the story of 21 yr old Fahad Sentabadde who lives with his grandmother in Mbarara after being neglected by his father for albinism.
Fahad’s mother paid his school fees till 2014 [S.4] when she fell ill. It is then that he dragged his father to the court and was able to sit final exams. We spoke to him about other challenges he has endured due to his disability.
Fahad: I have lived in Mitete Mbarara with my maternal grandmother since my mother and father broke up. My mother works as a matron in Kampala and that is how she paid my fees.
My mother and father had only me but my father has 10 other children and my mother 3 others whom she also raised.
Challenges of albinism
Fahad: I am the only child with albinism among my parents’ children and have been neglected all my life. Even today, some people just don’t want to associate with me because I am different from them.
But my biggest challenge has been my eyes; the eye glasses I need are so expensive that I have never owed a pair. As a result, I don’t see objects at a distance.
Fahad: I had problems reading from the blackboard but teachers never paid attention to me; so I always relied on listening. This is why I didn’t perform well in my exams.
The skin of albino is affected by the sun and because I can’t afford skin creams, it turns red and in the evening it feels like heat is leaving my body through the pores.
Have you ever received help from an organization as a child?
Fahad: Not at all, many organizations don’t reach villages. My mother has toiled to raise me but it was through borrowing and I couldn’t let her go through that pressure when she fell so ill.
Her children too don’t look after me so I can’t even attend a cheap training. It always bothers me that most children with disability are from poor families, we can’t afford basic things.
Source of income today
Fahad: I have no income because I failed to get a job. My only option is my cousin’s welding workshop where I am learning the skill but it involves so much light which affects my eyes.
We have limited land on which we grow food for home but my aunties help out with grandmother’s needs.
How did you overcome stigma?
Fahad: There is a difference between a disability from birth and one got later in life. Over the years I have learnt not to pay attention to the negative comments from people as well as participate in activities with other children so as not to be left out.
What support do you need?
Fahad: Welding affects my eyes so I would be glad if I underwent training in modern agriculture. In the meantime, I need a job, one where I don’t work under the sun not near heat.
I would be glad to have eye glasses to read a few things.
Message to youth
Fahad: You may not be disabled today but it can happen anytime; so treat us well, don’t neglect but give us the opportunity to show you what we can do.
To get in touch with Fahad, contact LinkmeUg
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