George Basil Okudi is DSi's Self-advocate Fellow, living and working in Uganda, his focus is on human rights in Africa.

We asked George about the right to education in Uganda for people with Down syndrome. He went to interview Obo Boniface (a young man with Down syndrome) and his mother about their experiences. Here is what George had to say about his meeting:

“I met Obo Boniface and his mother. He is aged 18 and from Northern Uganda. They are a family of 6 children. He is the last of 6.

He went to school in a normal school and did not learn much. Up to now he has failed to write though he can speak, even his name is a problem for him to write. At home his speech is good but with other people he is shy and struggles.

His mother paid for all the school fees since his father left the home. She has struggled as a single mother with little assistance from other sources. With all the other brothers and sisters, the moment Obo was born the father decided to leave the home and from then on it has been her.

The current education Obo is going through is vocational training where he is learning tailoring. Currently he has learnt how to pedal the machine, but the cutting of cloth is still a problem for him, and the learning is very slow.

His mother thinks the current vocational school is not doing enough; teachers seem not to have attention for him, even the materials for learning which she bought for him are not used since the beginning of the year.

From my personal view, his rights are not met to facilitate proper learning at the institution in his current class. Countries should ensure an inclusive education system so that people with disabilities can develop their personal talents and skills.”