Empowering Voices: The Journey of an OPD

Interview with Disability People's Forum Uganda

The Living Inclusion Network got the chance to exchange with the Disability People’s Forum Uganda (DPFU), an OPD based in Kampala, Uganda. In this edition of our OPD voices segment, we share some thoughts from the founder and chairperson of DPFU, Peter Kayanga. Get to know more about his organisation’s mission, the journey they have been on and their prospects for the future.

Please introduce yourself and the role you play in DPFU 

I am the founder, chairperson, and current executive director of DPFU. I have a Bachelor of Development Studies from Makerere University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from Uganda Management Institute (UMI). I also hold a Diploma in Human Rights from Pretoria University in Johannesburg, South Africa. My leadership in DPFU is instrumental in driving positive change for people with disabilities in Uganda.

Picture of Peter Kayanga. CEO of DPFU
Peter Kayanga, Executive Director of DPFU. Picture by DPFU

How would you sum up the goals and work of DPFU, for people who have never heard about your organisation? 

The DPFU was established in July 2016 in Kampala and serves as a platform for individuals and organisations committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. The forum focuses on various critical areas, including disability rights advocacy, sex education, human rights, climate, and gender projects. The inspiration behind the DPFU lies in the need to create a united voice for people with disabilities. It was founded to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in Uganda. The DPFU aims to promote inclusive policies, awareness, and empowerment. By fostering collaboration and dialogue, the forum strives to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for persons with disabilities in Uganda.

The best moments in my work are like sunrise whispers when ideas bloom and creativity dances. They’re the syncopated rhythm of collaboration, where minds harmonize, and innovation takes flight. These moments, like constellations, illuminate the path forward, reminding me that work isn’t just about tasks—it’s about weaving dreams into reality. 

Could you briefly describe some of the projects you’re currently involved in? What are some of the challenges faced? 

We are involved in a variety of projects such as the disability girl child life skill programme. We also work in crucial areas such as adolescence sexual and reproductive health, online sexual health service, family planning programmes, the wheelchair programme, and the drug abuse programme among people with disabilities. We are also working on establishing a function blended centre (Hi Tech Blended Disability Center). We are interested in connecting with other disability-focused organisations, such as the African Disability Forum, to share experiences and collaborate on common goals. 

Athletes in a basketball court during a sports project for persons with disabilities by Disability People's Forum Uganda.
Athletes in sports project for persons with disabilities. Picture by DPFU

What do you look forward to in the next five years for your organisation? 

Our organisation aims to raise awareness about disability rights and advocate for policy changes that promote inclusivity. We will collaborate with government bodies, NGOs, and community leaders to ensure that disability rights are prioritized. Strengthening our members’ skills and knowledge is also crucial. We plan to organise workshops, training sessions, and seminars on topics such as accessibility, employment, and independent living. Empowering individuals with disabilities will lead to a more inclusive society. 

Building partnerships with other organisations, educational institutions, and businesses will enhance our impact. By working together, we can create a stronger network and address common challenges faced by people with disabilities. 

Over the next five years, we aim to advocate for accessible infrastructure in public spaces, transportation, create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, ensure access to health care, social inclusion and celebrating achievements. 

In summary, our vision for the next five years revolves around empowerment, advocacy, and creating a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities.  

In an ideal world, persons with disabilities should be fully included and empowered. They should have equal access to education, employment, healthcare, and social participation, without facing discrimination or barriers. Additionally, society should recognize and celebrate their unique contributions and perspectives.  

What else do you want to share with the LIN members?  

LIN members should actively participate in virtual events organised by the network. These events provide spaces for exchange, inspiration, and learning. Stay informed by subscribing to the quarterly newsletter. It includes updates on current developments, resources, and practical tips. Gain insights from lessons learned and practical examples across different contexts. 

Share your experiences and expertise with fellow network members. Collaboration and mutual learning are also essential. Leverage on the network to find partners for joint programmes or advocacy campaigns related to disability inclusion. 

Peter Kayanga also mentions that while they make the effort to implement their projects, they face a lot of challenges such as lack of human resources, lack of an official address, transportation inconveniences and lack of official equipment and furniture. They are very interested and open to collaborating with similar organisations to continue their work.

For Further Information

Contact: Disability People’s Forum Uganda Kawaala, Kasubi, Lubagadivision 

Tel: +256779290623/ +256754701020 

Email DPFU: info@disabilityforum.org.com

Email Peter Kayanga: kayangap24@gmail.com

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