ARUA. People with disabilities (PWDs) from the different parts of West Nile region have received food support from a local community based organization (CBO) in Arua.

Touch a Life – West Nile extended the support to PWDs on Saturday to ease their lives during the ongoing coronavirus disease lock-down period.

At least each of the PWDs was able to receive 5 kilograms of maize flour, 2 kilograms of beans and a bar of soap to help them go through the hard times imposed by the pandemic. Over 50 PWDs benefited from the aid.

Zubeda Shida Olekua, the Touch a Life – West Nile program coordinator said the disabled persons managed to receive the support because they are in the organization’s categories of the needy people.

“Why we chose to help the disabled people is because they are in our category of the needy people we think we should help. We actually don’t work with only the disabled persons, we also work with the elderly persons and we are looking at those aged 80 years and above,” Shida said.

“We also look at children especially the deserted ones that have been abandoned by their parents and so on, but especially during this Covid period, we now realize as a result of the lock-down, livelihood has become a challenge. Most of them (the disabled people) you see here don’t work and some of them are actually cobblers and others are beggars on the streets,” Shida added.

She said with the challenge, it has been difficult for them to even get what to eat.

“With the little we have got, we thought we should support them even if it can take them for only a week or three days, really no problem. And to the populace out there, I would think it is very important that we touch someone’s life. Something small you can give to support them can change their lives for good. So, if you have something little that you think can reach out to the needy people like this, kindly if you don’t know how to reach them, you can pass through us, we can always get them for you and we support them,” Shida appealed.

The beneficiaries expressed gratitude to Touch a Life – West Nile for coming to their aide, but appealed for more support, saying life is not easy for them especially during this lock-down period.

ShidaaShida hands over maize flour to one of the PWDs on Saturday. PHOTO BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI

Jamal Candia, a resident of Ozuvu cell in Pajulu Ward, Arua City thanked Touch a Life for the support. Candia who works as a cobbler in Arua town said he is going to look for more food to add on what he has received so that he continues taking care of his seven children during this hard time.

“It is my first time to receive such help. I pray that God continues blessing these people (the Touch a Life) so that they can give us more support. I also call upon the government to come to our aid with food which is the biggest challenge we are facing in our homes during this corona period,” Candia said.

Sumbua Muhamad, another beneficiary also commended Touch a Life for the relief, adding that she has been raising her four children single-handedly by begging on the streets of Arua. Sumbua, however, noted that with the support, she will take a week without going on the street to beg.

Sauda Ojobiru, a mother of two disabled children who benefited from the food aid, equally noted that it is the first time for her children to receive such support. aid

“People used to come to my home to take the details of these children of mine for support, but they never came back. Even though I thought these people of Touch a Life were going to do the same, I am happy that they didn’t deceive us. I am sure this food I have received will take us some good days,” Ojobiru said.

Recently, the government of Uganda announced that it had put aside shs54.7 billion to be shared among selected vulnerable people hit by the second covid-19 lock-down. Each selected vulnerable person is slated to receive shs100, 000 for buying 20 kilograms of maize flour, 10 kilograms of beans, one bar of soap and three litres of cooking oil. The balance of shs20, 000 would be spent on other essential items.

Reports indicate that the vulnerable groups including bus, taxi drivers and conductors, touts, boda boda riders, saloon operators, slum dwellers, orphans and vulnerable children among others would get the money next month.