As one of the major ways of bringing People with Acquired Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy (PWABIs) together to develop themselves, they started to hold quarterly meetings where they shared business ideas and experiences.
The first meeting that attracted 20 participants was held in October 2010, where all the 10 Labour Market Project parishes in Kampala were represented. Caregivers of the PWABIs also attended and will continue to attend the meetings. The project parishes include Kyebando, Kanyanya, Mpererwe, Kawempe I & II, Bwaise I, II & III, and Mulago I&II.
The meeting was held at Maama Florence Nakato’s residence in Mpererwe. The major objective was bringing together PWABIs/caregivers, who are involved in businesses and those willing to start businesses, to share different ideas and experiences.
David Mulya, a consultant from International Labour Organsation (ILO) facilitated the meeting. He discussed many business ideas with members like how to start a business; how to manage a business; and how to overcome some of the business challenges.
Mama Grace, a very hardworking caregiver explained how she started her tailoring business on a verandah with a few clients but now owns a big shop of clothes with many customers. She said she has achieved a lot in spite of looking after her 20-year-old daughter, Grace Kisakye.
Caregiver Madina Nanyazi, commonly known as Mama Mbeja, also owns a retail shop in Kanyanya Parish. She also explained how she handles her business and her nine-year-old daughter that she said got a brain injury at birth. She urged other caregivers to balance between what they do and caring for their children.
Many caregivers were inspired by these presentations and said they had started to realise the benefits of their meetings and working in groups to be able to support each other.
Some PWABIs who attended included Ronald Kalanzi (makes door mats and repair shoes) Ambrose Ssewanyana (studying welding), Peter Serubiri (owns a retail shop in Kyebando) and Paul Nsubuga.
The meeting was crowned by cutting a cake, given to the members by UNAPD, with a slogan, YES WE CAN PWABIs, which excited members and named it after the Kanyanya and Mperere groups that merged.