Rebecca Scherpelz (Uganda)

Rebecca Scherpelz (Gulu Disabled Persons Union – GDPU): Rebecca is from Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated in 2008 from Butler University with an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Anthropology/History. During her studies Rebecca led service trips to Uganda, where she lived and volunteered in Gulu and Kampala. Prior to her AP fellowship Rebecca spent over two years working with Best Buddies, an international non-profit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After her fellowship Rebecca wrote: “I think I found what I want to do long-term. I’d like to go into a long-term career of recipient-donor relations, empowering recipients to speak up for what they need the most... It really made me think about what we give, from dollars to second-hand things, and how recipient organizations deserve the very best…not just leftovers.”



Twero Pa Lugoro: The Disability Rights Music Video

07 Sep

Call MTV. Get Ryan Seacrest on this. Is Casey Kasem still in the business? However it gets out there, be sure to check out this music video, straight from the heart of Gulu.

I hadn’t met Lagum Faith before she walked into the GDPU office selling copies of her latest music video. After seeing her video and hearing her original music, I knew I had to learn more. A few weeks later, I sat down with Faith as she shared her music and her story. Watch the video, follow the translated lyrics below, and read on for Faith’s powerful, sad, and inspiring story.

Twero Pa Lugoro  (Rights for Disability) – Lyrics
By Lagum Faith

When you see a disabled person, please provide support.
Don’t despise the person.
What God has created, you can never change.
Me, who is singing, I don’t even see. I am blind.
I have sung for the rights of persons with disability.
In this world, people are just struggling with life.
Respect rights of persons with disability.

If you see I am blind, don’t steal from me. I am struggling for my life.
AVSI, we thank you for supporting us.
Even the government, we also thank you for supporting us.
If you see a disabled person moving on the road, please don’t despise.
Disability is not inability.

“My name is Lagum Florence Faith. I am a musician. Right now, I guess I’m 18-20 years old. Before I was blind, I tried to study in Pece Primary School, until the year 2001-2002 when I stopped studying in P3. I became blind in 2005 when I was abducted by the rebels.

I was rejected. My mother rejected me when I was still young. Then I grew up with my grandmother. My maternal home didn’t love me well…

When I sell, people steal. When I’m walking on the road, people ridicule me. So this made me sing this song about we disabled people. When you see someone, don’t ridicule. If you see a person selling, don’t steal.

I encounter a lot of problems. First of all, my own parents should have loved me. Now I’m renting alone. The fact that I am now renting a house alone, getting money to pay the rent and eat is now hard.

…If I wasn’t blind, at least I would work in someone’s business. But I can’t work because I am blind. Whenever I start selling anything, the business fails because there are those who come to steal. Above all, I also need to eat. I run out of money. These are the major problems I have.

I started playing music in 2008. I started with gospel songs. My first song was entitled MY BLOOD. It’s about Jesus’ blood poured down for me b/c I’m a sinner. Jesus’ blood washed me clean. [The other song] is called “Twero Pa Lugoro” (Rights for Disability)…

This song I sing is for the world to know that the disabled person can also do something. Or, for a parent who has a disabled child, to know that his/her own child is also able to do something like I’m doing.

It’s for this reason that I sing. And sometimes, I sing to show the abled people that I am able. And possibly, that’s a way to beg for help. I can’t beg people to give to me, but I beg them through songs. If I sang and it made you happy, you pick something and give it to me, I will have begged you.

In my future, the way I think, I must be a respected person. I will become a big person who is respected. That’s why I struggle to sing so that people know me throughout the whole world…so that they have that respect for me, and that support will be there.

Because if I sit quietly, nobody will know about my problems and help me. But now there is nothing. That’s why even education has defeated me.

I want if people are going to hear me, this is what I tell them: Whenever and wherever in the world they live, they should know that a disabled person is also a human being and can do anything an abled person can do. Secondly, if anybody who can help me with anything, support me because I don’t have the strength. Anything any person who can help me in the way of my education, I’m able to study whenever. …Help the disabled persons to educate them because disability doesn’t prevent one from being educated. You can even travel outside in the world.

And also through my songs. I want to continue with the song, but I don’t have the money. I want it to be put on the internet and I want help in any way possible.”

Interested in helping Faith? Contact me at rscherpelz@advocacynet.org for details.

(Lyrics translated from Acholi with help from Ojok Patrick and Aciro Moreen. Interview translated and transcribed with help from Ojok Patrick and Okumu Dickson – thank you!).

Posted By Rebecca Scherpelz (Uganda)

Posted Sep 7th, 2011

3 Comments

  • Rebecca Scherpelz

    September 7, 2011

     

    I forgot to mention that the music video features many GDPU beneficiaries. Keep an eye out for Victoria at her sewing machine, Ojara mending shoes, and the GDPU sign!

  • Rebekah Nimtz

    September 15, 2011

     

    Please hook me up with more of this! and Victoria too! 😀 I wish I hadn’t missed this blog post before you returned

  • BZ

    September 26, 2011

     

    Seriously AMAZING story and great video!

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