Janet Ajangi

My name is Janet Ajangi and I am a member of UNAPD based in Lira, I was born normal but suffered severe malaria in 1996 when I was 7 years, my dad tried all possible ways to help me but in vain. He took me to all the good hospitals in Kampala but could not help me regain my strength and both of my legs were paralyzed. Later the doctor noted that I should return home and undergo physiotherapy. My dad paid some money and I was given calliper, I never lived with my mother and I don’t know her where about. Unfortunately my father died in 1999 and I became an orphan.

My uncle then took over and he refused to cater for my education saying that “am a useless disabled girl without any future”. He further noted that I will not get married and therefore no need to go to school as it will be a waste of money. My uncle died and my grandmother took me to stay with her, she started paying my school fees. I was lucky that she got for me a sponsor who paid my school fees till I completed certificate in stenography (secretarial) and Diploma in social works. Before education, I was not able to speak freely in public because of fear and if any visitor comes home, I would hide under the bed of my grandmother. I even wanted to commit suicide because I had lost the confidence in Me. My relative mistreated me and I faced negative attitudes from all corners. It was really painful for me since I was born without disability; it took me time to accept my condition till I was identified by Lira Physical Disabled Association (LIPHA) board–members and joined the disability movement where I attended a series of trainings and conferences which gave me courage and confidence.

In April, 2014, I was elected as Board member for LIPHA representing youth. Later with the capacity built by UNAPD, became a treasurer for Lira District Disabled Female Youth Association, an Accountant with Lira District Disabled Women Association and a treasurer of the VSLA group. I am now empowered, confident and living an independent and happy life and all attributes to LIPHA and UNAPD. My relatives who rejected me and looked at me as nobody now respect me and wants to be close to me, they even wanted to follow my child’s father for the bride price. I am proud of my handsome son, a plot of land of my own, 3 cows and a motorcycle for my transport. I want to thank UNAPD for the great work which made me an inclusive woman living an independent and dignified life.