Murangira defies disability, launches children's book

Sunday, 13 December 2009 14:43 Written by  Vernon Tugumizemu

Murangira was born with normal hearing capacity but, when he was in Primary Six, he lost his hearing sense to mumps, a disease that would later demoralise him to the extent of dropping out of school for some time, although his mother kept comforting him.

Murangira’s mother, Joy Rubohera, wanted him to finish his studies so she contacted some members of UNAD, a deaf community advocacy group, which took him up.

Today, Murangira holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Social Administration degree and is finalising a master’s degree in Social Sector Planning and Management at Makerere University. Rubohera said: “When Ambrose became deaf in 1992, he completely lost hope and dropped out of school despite my efforts to keep him in mainstream education. I now thank UNAD for what he is today. I am not surprised by this publication because he never runs out of ideas.”

Joy Rubohera is the Principal Nursing Officer, Wampurutura Health Centre III, in Ibanda District. Murangira, who is an independent international consultant on inclusive development, acknowledges that without education he would not have been able to publish the book.

 “Children, mostly those with disabilities, do not give up; we must strive to excel in whatever we act upon. If I had given up on studies, trust me, I couldn’t have written this book for you children,” he spoke through an interpreter at the launch of his book.

The launch attracted delegations from DFID, World Bank, Victor Pineda Foundation and Child Africa, as well as representatives from National Council for Disability, Uganda Parents of Children with Disabilities, Uganda Society for Disabled Children, Uganda National Association of the Blind, and National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU).

In the 25-page book, Murangira together with his co-author, Lydia Nakawungu, a programme officer with National Council of Children, advises children, mostly those with disability, to know and stand by their fundamental human rights.

“I want to say that this book is going to remind human rights activists that efforts to promote and protect rights of children cannot be appreciated when children with disabilities are not considered,” said Florence Mukasa, the Gender and Theatre Officer at UNAD.

“Deaf children in schools find it hard to speak yet they have ideas to express, so we pray that government sets up training centres for sign language interpreters,” added Mukasa.

Information Source

The Observer