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COVID-19 Response For Women With Disabilities

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I am Zaitun Alice of Kochi sub-county, Kochi parish. I became a widow during the COVID19 lockdown. I started Kochi Women with Disabilities group in 2015 with 20 members.

I worked hard to register Kochi Women with Disabilities group at both sub-county and district level, started a VSLA, applied and received the special grant, and worked hard to get a tender on the market where we get UGX 200,000/= every Friday for 2 years now.

When Kochi Women with Disabilities group was included in the Aga Khan Gender and Civil Society Response to COVID19 Project by NUWODU, we mobilized more women with disabilities to join the group. It was a must for everyone to save. The project helped us a lot in planning for whatever money we got, and everybody is actively working. We want to prove that “disability is not inability” as some members, now, borrow up to UGX 500,000.

As for me, I sell fish, manage my family without any support and pay my brother’s school fees. He is in Senior 3 In Moyo Secondary School. As a group, Kochi Women with Disabilities plans to buy land and construct a produce store at Kochi trading centre.

I am Irita Isiru with a physical disability living in Pajama Parish Drajini Sub county. I had been in groups of able-bodied people where nobody listens to you as a woman with a disability. Life was hard as a single mother of 6 children because I depended entirely on digging for myself and for others for a small money. The education of my children was a big problem.

When NUWODU organized us into groups, we were trained in financial management and savings. I learnt how to save money. whatever money I get, I plan what to do with it and every night, I think of what to do to get money daily. When the seed money came, I decided to borrow UGX 100,000 to start a kiosk at my home because the trading centre is far. I bought sugar, salt, match box, soap, cigarettes, sodas and repacked some of the items and entrusted my son to manage it. Every evening we must know how much was sold. I get good money of between UGX 100,000 -150,000/= daily.

I can pay school fees for my children and bought a hen which is laying eggs, hired a bigger garden for ground nuts, beans and cassava.  I look forward to a better future. My advice to other women with disabilities is, work hard, join, or start a group, don’t be alone.

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