In this week’s focus on Youth PWD, LinkmeUg brings you 31yr old Isabirye Isaac from Iganga. Isaac represents Little Persons on the NUDIPU Youth Committee. We spoke to him about his challenges and what he has been able to achieve.
Isaac: I hold a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Busoga University; my family members worked together to take me through all my school.
History of disability
Isaac: This disability doesn’t run in my family. When my mother was 2 months pregnant with me, she suffered sleeping sickness. Am told that the strong medication she received affected my growth.
Challenges at school
Isaac: Being a little person attracts so much attention. My schoolmates always teased and insulted me; they would say that I was wasting time studying because no one would marry or employ me. This really affected my concentration in class.
Some children would start fights with me just to find out if I was energetic enough to defeat them.
Isaac: I have a small business – a stationery shop in Lugoba, Kawempe where I offer computer training, photocopying, printing, scanning among other things.
Do childhood challenges persist today?
Isaac: Yes, the discrimination is the worst; many people don’t want to associate with me but keep staring and laughing at me. Some people even call me urgently only to get there and they burst out laughing. Some children even stone me when I walk around.
Rising above the challenges
Isaac: I have learnt to ignore insults and negative people. I am always looking for ways to grow my small business into something bigger.
What support do you need?
Isaac: I need financial support to boost my business with more computers and a better photocopying machine.
Message to youth
Isaac: Youth without disability should stopping discriminating against us because even with physical disability, we have the ability and to engage in many society activities and relationships.
Our rights and freedoms also need to be preserved.
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