When we first visited Florence in Kampala, we quickly concluded that she was the kind of person we simply had to support. We’ve been proved right.
With an irrepressible love for children, already at the age of 19 at medical school she saw the gap in care between that offered to fully able and to disabled children. Her plea to God was, ‘You need to do something about this’. By the time she completed her studies she was saying, ‘God, let’s do something about this’.
From the beginnings in 2006 with a drop-in centre for eight children, her work has expanded to support over 5000 children and their families in a range of therapy, medical and support services and centres.
Mothers would say to Florence, ‘Have you ever seen a child with disabilities succeed?’ Now they can see it is possible.
Instead of seeing disability as a curse, parents are beginning to see that their children can be a blessing. Not only through the practical way which have improved the children’s health and wellbeing but in the touches of kindness that come from Florence’s team: a live chicken as a gift at Christmas, a pamper day of facials and makeovers for the mamas on Mother’s Day.
Other mamas used to say with a sigh, ‘I want to go to work but I can’t’. Dawn Children’s Centre has now given them the opportunity.
Florence believes that God gave children as gifts. Her vision is for every child with special needs in Uganda to have at least one intervention and to help them live dignified lives to the glory of God.
A disabled marathon is one of her next projects, a first in Uganda.
People comment on how easy it is to talk with Florence, yet behind the scenes she is like a juggler with twenty balls in the air at the same time.