Interview with Rosemary Nambooze

5 days ago
In this video, faculty member Amy Parker interviews Rosemary Nambooze who was in Portland from Uganda for the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) ...

English subtitle

My name is Rosemary and I come from Uganda.
Uganda is located in part of East
Africa.
I'm a mother of a child with special needs, but above
all I'm a mother of three beautiful
children and I'm the director of Angel
Centre for children with special needs.
I'm glad to be here, in 2010 I was
undertaking my master's course in
Belgium master's in globalization and
development and that was a time I was
expecting my son Abryl. Everything
appeared very no more the pregnancy and
you know everything to appear normal but
unfortunately at birth, Abryl was
diagnosed with Down syndrome. That
was the beginning of everything. It was
so difficult to come to terms because
throughout my lifespan I had never come
across
A child with down syndrome in Uganda. But I was lucky but in Belgium they really had
good service. The care and support for
new mothers was really good. I went
through a lot of counseling and guidance.
The doctor spoke to me well about Down
syndrome and I got the opportunity to
see a person with Down Syndrome in Belgium.
Time heals each time helps you
to heal and also you know counseling
talking to you because at birth also Abryl had several defects. He had a heart
problem so he had very low oxygen. He had a hearing loss, narrow
throat he couldn't eat by himself,
couldn't swallow directly the
breathing was supported by oxygen. The journey seemed to be tough after one year
and a half in and out of hospital
you know, I decided
to go back home. Why? Because I believed in the power of working with other
mothers who are going through what I've
gone through. That was the path of
Angel Center for Children With Special Needs.
We called it Angels because we
believe these children angels and men of
the agency back home in Uganda hidden
homes disability is still regarded as
witchcraft.
everybody stereotype concerns disability
in my country so we give it such a good
name angels you know you all know how
good angels are how innocent they are
and that describes a child with
special needs one of the greatest thing
I've seen in my children
special needs your heart is open you
love unconditionally what everyone
values to be so big before you like I
can share you are welcome if you want
to learn
please come online because they put you
in such a world of open-mindedness like
to speak to people is not it's no longer
problem this is what I'm here for is to
give hope to parents of children
especially back home that it's
possible it may be different but it's
good to parent a child special needs
it may be different but it's good so we
have learned to appreciate small steps
in life and what a normally encourage
parents is one that you are not alone
the best community you need those
parents who have gone through what
you're going through we have all the
powerful messages and information you
need to help you cope
Abryl is very amazing, Abryl is six year olds with typical
Down syndrome what's so amazing about
Abryl one that he learned to call
my name to me that was very amazing and
calling me mama
he looks directly in my face and says
mama food mommy food you know and he
tells me so often how he loves me he's
one person in this world what I showed
me how he loves mommy I love you
and Abryl has a goat he has a goat yeah
he has a goat he has a goat and he loves
taking care of his goat
we have used the goats as a strategy of
teaching him how to be responsible and
he really knows that goat belongs to him
when the goat has a problem he will come
and call you mummy may that's how he
makes the noise it doesn't tell you
mummy goat but you say mommy may may
mummy may when you you should run very
fast to see what's happening with the
goat
sometimes it's rolling around the Rope
and maybe it's fully you know something
or he calls the sister Abigail mayyy so
that's how we have learned to identify
him with the words it doesn't call it to
goat but when you tell him I bring your
goat he will go and see but he calls it
by the
sound what we have done has angel Center
who have tried to show parents to
identify themselves with the activities
at all
so what we encourage families is to
identify they are child with the
activities that take place at home
because I've also seen some households
with young children down syndrome
teaching them how to grow food we use the
local stoves how to make a local
Jayco stove help the mom around you know
with household activities it's very
important when you look at how African
structured our greatest
strength is in community participation
our communities our collective like we
know each other
typically I know my neighbor and my
neighbor knows me and they know the
children and what makes our connection
so strong our children today five years
down the road we are in to an outreach of
over eighty nine children especially
but we can really spread out we can
really carry a message of hope to
parents in Uganda which is very good I
think my biggest advice is one: to
help family you shouldn't we shouldn't
be people to do a lot of judgment
because most educators have done a lot
of judgment you're not doing these you
know doing that oh this will not happen
and you know everything this comes back
way home where they say African families
hide children children in the hidden
world but when you come down to Africa
and here from
the story behind why he has to keep a
child home you'll be blown by the
absence we do it because of love we do
it because we don't have access to
services we should appreciate contexts
as educators I know I can imagine if an
American would come to back home full of
knowledge and wisdom and everything but
when you get back home you'll be blown
away with what we have and how you're
going to work with it what we have so I
encourage them to be open minded to be
innovative and creative to use the
locally available resources and support the communities.