By Najib Mulema

Cheshire Services Uganda a locally registered Non Governmental Organization working for and with Persons with Disabilities, Orphans and other vulnerable Children on Friday joined Little Hands Go Green and NEMA to plant trees at Kyambogo Primary school in the suburbs of Kampala ahead of the Green Festival 2017 as a way of bridging the disability gap and promoting Inclusiveness of children with disabilities in our society.

During the event, Little hands Go Green Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Masembe said for a long time, his organization has been pushing and carrying out environmental conservation education in primary schools across the Uganda and in Rwanda but had not deliberately set out to purposely include children with disabilities directly in the campaign.

DJs Mercy (Left) and Roja (Right) also joined the Little Hands Go Green team to plant trees in Kyambogo Primary School.

“This tree planting exercise therefore will be the start of a deliberate push and a call to all to look at Ugandans in general to ensure that persons with disabilities are respected and given an opportunity to enjoy a better life by empowering them to take part in the greening efforts as well. Uganda is still grappling with the rampant effects of deforestation and climate change and the recent mudslides in Sierra Leone were a constant feature in years past in the Eastern Ugandan region of Buduuda,” said Masembe.

NEMA ED Dr. Tom Okurut (left) and Little hands CEO Masembe Joseph (Right) planting a memorial tree in Kyambogo Primary School

“Little Hands Go Green and NEMA Uganda believe that involving children with disabilities in this exercise will promote inclusiveness in society as well as bridge the disability inequality gap and promote sustainability,” he added.

Masembe further revealed that at this Year’s Green Festival, children with disabilities enter for free and will also be able to showcase their conservation efforts.

NEMA Executive Director Dr. Tom O. Okurut, who was the chief guest at the event, said the authority decided to take part in the initiative because they saw a need to involve the disabled children into conserving the environment since they are also part of the community.

“We saw that everybody has a role he/she must play in conserving the environment. Even though they are disabled they have a big role in contributing to the environment and also the knowledge they get while included in this program is very important,” said Dr. Okurut.

NEMA has for the past few years continued to partner with Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green to drive environmental conservation campaigns and initiatives.

The GREEN festival will take place on Sunday 3rd September 2017 at the Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala Uganda.

Cheshire Services Uganda was established in 1994 and legally registered in 1997 as National Council of Leonard Cheshire Homes in Uganda.  CSU comprises of 7 independently managed Cheshire services of Katalemwa, Nkokonjeru, Buluba, Budaka, Butiru, St Francis Rehabilitation Centre Pamba and the two St Francis Schools of the Blind Madera in Soroti district.  CSU is a member of the Leonard Cheshire Disability Global Alliance.