Kathryn Dutile (Uganda)

Kathryn Dutile (Gulu Disabled Persons Union – GDPU, Uganda): Prior to her fellowship, Kathryn earned an MA in international development at the University of Manchester. In support of her thesis she researched the challenge of delivering sanitation services in Uganda from a gendered perspective. Kathryn became interested in development during study abroad and through volunteering in Ghana and South Korea as an undergraduate student. After her fellowship with GDPU, Kathryn wrote: “Sometimes the best moments were when the power went out and all the staff was just chatting about life, politics, relationships, etc. (Also) grant writing at this level and amount was new. (I) gained more technical WASH knowledge - whereas my specialty was more about institutions and behavioral changes.” Kathryn remained in northern Uganda after her fellowship. kdutile@advocacynet.org

5 Days, 10 Schools, 1 Needs Assessment

29 Oct

Between October 16th and October 22nd two members of the GDPU and I visited 12 schools, although we only assessed 10, within various sub-counties of Gulu District. We had three goals with the assessment. 1.) Understand the need to children with disabilities (CWDs) in school in terms of water and sanitation 2.) Gather important data which can be used by GDPU to write proposals and present at conferences on this issue 3.) Determine locations of accessible latrines we plan to build.

I can say we have succeed in all three of our goals and learned an immense amount on the way. GDPU plans to turn this data into a complete report in November, but here’s just a snapshot of our findings.

On water and sanitation:

Borehole at Akonyiebedo P.7

Borehole at Akonyiebedo P.7.

• While some NGOs attempt to build accessible latrines for students they are often taken over by teachers or administration for personal use
• Communities surrounding the school heavily uses latrine and borehole causing extreme wear and tear
• While NGOs often attempt to provide accessible water and sanitation, it is not up to standards required for persons with disabilities (i.e. doors are too narrow, ramps too steep, no sitting provision)
• No school has attempted to modify the borehole to allow it to be accessed by CWDs
• There is a lack of coordination between NGO service providers and disability advocates

Attitudes towards CWDs:

Tochi Primary Drawing

Students drawing challenges at their school

• Bullying of children with disabilities is one of the largest issues facing children with disabilities
• Majority of public schools offer no services to children with disabilities
• Teachers are unsure of how to assess and often do not assess students with disabilities
• Teachers and administration are aware of issues related to children with disabilities, but lack knowledge of solutions

School Environment:

Inaccessible grounds

While this school has new toilets, which have made some provisions for CWDs, the path is clearly inaccessible.

• While ramps may be at the school, paths around school are often rough

Posted By Kathryn Dutile (Uganda)

Posted Oct 29th, 2014

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