Etap Ketty is a counselor for Amolatar District, Uganda, representing people of determination in the region. She lives with a disability and knows well that people of determination in that area have constantly been faced with many challenges in mobility and accessing education.
Despite her disability, Etap completed her secondary education in 2003 at a local school in a neighboring district. However, due to financial constraints, she found herself unable to continue any further. Upon returning to her village in 2004 and due to her resilience for her community, Etap was elected as a member of the Farmer Forum and a member of the procurement committee for a national advisory service. She then became a teacher and taught at a primary school from 2007 to 2010.
During her teaching years, Etap observed many instances of discrimination and abuse directed at children and adults of determination. Because she wanted to make a difference, she decided to enter politics in 2010 in order to actively address challenges such as rights relating to education, health, equality and accessibility. Etap was later elected as a counselor in the District Council in 2016 to represent people of determination.
After hearing about Dubai Cares' inclusive education program, launched in November last year, Etap became actively involved. What struck Etap the most was the fact that the program aimed to support the enrollment and integration of children of determination into mainstream primary schools.
Etap has participated in inception meetings, the program launch, several sensitization activities and capacity building in disability and inclusive education. She has indicated that through participating in the program, her knowledge and understanding of the policies and laws relating to disability and the needs of children with disabilities has increased. She also remarked that she recently has had the chance to apply this knowledge and utilize her skills to sensitize the community and monitor capacity at a primary school and health center in Arwotcek Sub County. She even highlighted the school’s level of inaccessibility for children of determination during a District budget conference.
Etap has immensely benefited from the partnership between Dubai Cares and LCD. She said: “There is now increased collaboration and coordination among stakeholders in supporting people of determination. A pledge was even made to implement ramps in all schools and health facilities in the District to enhance accessibility. I am so happy that we are starting to pave the way for young children of determination to pursue their education without feeling held back.”