Meet Priscilla Kabasinguzi
Meet Pricilla Kabasinguzi, the 14-year-old Star (a Star is a child with a disability), who lives with a brittle bones’ disability. Pricilla speaks well and can feed herself; everything else, however, is done with the help of another person. Pricilla lives with her mother who works as a cook. Her mother, however, has not worked since March 2020 because the institution where she works at halted operations due to COVID-19.
Pricilla was registered with Stars Ministry Uganda (SMU) in 2014, when a church member introduced the work of SMU to her father. At that time, Pricilla could not express herself and had very low self-esteem, in addition to her disability. Her parents were afraid of releasing their daughter for fear that someone might break her already weak bones. SMU would later learn that this fear was also heightened by experiences that Pricilla had in a normal school, where both teachers and other school children were scared of handling her because they did not know what to do with her.
Pricilla’s situation was also not helped by the stigma that most children with disabilities face every day. “When Pricilla started coming to the Stars Daycare and Learning Centre, people, including church members, would tell me ‘Pricilla has demons; she was sacrificed that’s why she is the way she is’. They would caution me to be careful otherwise I might get attacks for working with her”, reported the SMU Director. “Of course, we never believed their stories and we never gave up on her”, she added.
Pricilla has since developed into a self-confident girl, which is very encouraging for the SMU volunteers that work with her, and for her parents who have noticed the positive change in their daughter. This development is a constant reminder about the potential that every child with disabilities has, and how this potential can be released, if each child with disabilities is given the support that they need.
Pricilla can express herself in English. She is currently the go-to Stars’ spokesperson for her
fellow Stars. She has participated in leading children’s church, given a testimony before other children about the things that God had done for her, and given a eulogy at the funeral of a former Star who went to be with the Lord. She has received the opportunity to learn about God with other children at the Stars Daycare and Learning Centre, to learn about God and constantly prays for herself, her family, and Stars Ministry.
On the skills development side, particularly through the use of her hands, Pricilla has shown determination and a high potential for creativity. Currently, she has learned from her neighbours how to make papyrus mats – a common type of handcraft used in Uganda for sleeping, seating, and as decoration. Pricilla has also learned to make doormats and bags out of yarn and other special threads. These creativity skills have a high potential for livelihood for herself and her family. Pricilla has already made a few sales from her crafts and has gifted some of her friends, including the SMU Director, with some of her creative work.
SMU exists to walk alongside people affected by disabilities, children like Pricilla especially, and their families, by sharing the love of Christ, supporting families, and by creating awareness in the church and community about disability. SMU believes that every Star has potential which can be released with love and support.