Disabled children to benefit from Arua city kids’ festival
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
ARUA. Children living with disabilities are set to benefit from Arua city kids’ festival which is slated to take place on January 13, 2024, the organizers have said.
The third edition of Arua city festival is being organized by PAM Events in collaboration with Arua city authority under the theme: “Bridging the gap between Adults and Children.”
Speaking during a press conference over the weekend, Pamela Licoru, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the kids’ festival said the proceeds of the event will be used to help the children living with disabilities in the community.
The event that will attract hundreds of children and their parents will be hosted at Arua OPM grounds in Arua central division, Arua city.
“Basically, we are targeting something more sustainable. Of course, in the last edition, we helped children with disabilities, we gave them wheelchairs and other things. However, how best do we leave them? Do we just leave them there? As we were visiting their homes, we realized they were in a dangerous state, they needed more than that,” Licoru said.
“Why would you give a kid a wheelchair to go to school yet there is no school fees, when the parents of such a kid cannot even afford a meal. You know most kids with vulnerability – there is a way they can easily get malnutrition challenges. But what we basically did is we discussed more sustainable ways of helping them. We focused on at least empowering their parents to better their lives,” Licoru explained.
She observed that the upcoming kids’ festival is purely dedicated to empower the parents of the children with disabilities to ensure sustainability in bettering their lives.
“We told you of a family where the kid is disabled, the mother is disabled and the father is disabled, so we are looking at empowering the parents to be able to sustain and help those kids with vulnerability so that we close it, we know we have done and we have helped where we can,” Licoru said.
She noted that in the last edition, they reached out to 15 children with disabilities because their intention was not to help and leave such children wanting.
Licoru said they partnered with the leadership of the people with disabilities (PWDs) in the city to carry out the needs assessment of the beneficiaries, background information and visited their homes to support them.
“There is a long list of children with disabilities in the city, more than what we can do. We shall still maintain the number of the children we supported by empowering their parents with the proceeds of this year’s kids’ festival. Since this is a city festival, we are like, let us first start with our house (in the city) and possibly in the future we will be able to stretch our hands to other areas,” Licoru said.
Emmanuel Angudubo, the Ayivu Division Town Clerk who doubles as the events head of finance and marketing said this year’s event has opened them to so many partners with the most visible being the Arua city persons with disability union.
“Why we don’t want to over stretch and we don’t want to have a number which we may not be able to sustain is that we have been following these children, even after the event we continued to visit these households and we have continued to maintain contact with the guardians or parents who are supporting these children. So, our focus is to ensure that whatever we have started, we should be able to sustain it,” Angudubo said.
He remarked that other disadvantaged children barely need clothing and some basic necessities of life like food.
“We had Albinos who only needed that oil and they needed some specs. So, the categories are many and therefore, we want to follow up with them and we want something which is a bit sustainable. We don’t want to have a number that when we are supporting, we are not creating an impact. We want to create an impact and that is why we are calling the public to come and support this course,” Angudubo appealed.
Gerald Iga, the events manager said at only shs10,000 early bird and shs15,000 at the gate per child, parents should prepare to bring their children for the kid’s festival so as to enjoy engaging games and activities on the fateful day.