The Equal Opportunities Commission paid a visit to vulnerable persons of Mapeera Bakateyamba’s Home in Nalukolongo on 13th April 2017. . The purpose of the visit was to inform staff and beneficiaries of the home about the Commission’s mandate and how they can use the Commission to obtain justice.

On behalf of the Commission, the charity visit was attended by Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi – Chairperson to the Commission, Mr. Julius Kamya – Commissioner Education, Training, Information and Communication, Mrs. Bernadette Nalule – Commissioner Legal Services and Investigations and other technical staff. In her remarks, the Chairperson expressed gratitude to H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda for establishing the Commission and giving it powers to ensure Ugandans access equal opportunities in the distribution of resources, social services, employment, access to justice and many other services. Against this, she assured staff and beneficiaries of Mapeera Bakateyamba’s Home that the Commission is ready to ensure they access equal opportunities and that they are included in the plans and budgets of government institutions. She informed them that the Commission’s visit was intended to hear their concerns, which would be forwarded to Government through its reports and meetings with Parliamentary committees and H.E the President of Uganda.

In his remarks, Mr. Kamya narrated the origins of the Commission – stretching as far back as the early 1990s when Uganda debated, passed and promulgated the National Constitution of 1995.

He further informed the inmates that they can still have a meaningful life after leaving the Home. As part of the visit, the Commission officials were to interact with the hosts after the meeting and requested those with complaints related to discrimination or marginalization to raise them for redress.

Sister Maria Mildred Abitegeka – the assistant home administrator thanked the Commission for fulfilling its pledge to visit the charity home. She then narrated the historical background of the home and hailed the founder – Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga (RIP), who established it in 1978 to provide shelter, health care and other basics to people who were injured during the war that ousted Idi Amin. She revealed that the home has thrived on donations from individuals and institutions; adding that there is no discrimination in the provision of care to the vulnerable persons at the home – all people are treated equally.

Sister Abitegeka further briefed the meeting on the different ways through which the needy persons reach the home with some being sent by police, Non-Government Organizations, religious institutions and many other channels. She explained that the administration makes research on the people sent before enrolling them on and intimated that some are not needy and the home’s administration resolves the complaints they have with their families through ADR mechanisms after which they are sent back to their homes.

She then reeled through the challenges they encounter – including inadequate variety of meals and personality differences.

“The administration and staff of the home encounter challenges including complaints from these vulnerable persons who often request for change in meals yet the home is sometimes incapacitated to provide what they want,” explained Sister Abitegeka.

Mr. Raymond Mutebi assisting a sister carry one of the vulnerable persons into a wheel chair

The Principal Education and Training Officer – Mrs. Petua Isabirye appreciated the management of Mapeera Bakateyamba’s home for hosting the Commission and sharing with them their experiences and pledged on behalf of the Commission to visit the home again.

The Commission was then led by its Chairperson to present its donations to the staff and beneficiaries of Mapeera Bakateyamba’s Home – after which they were taken around the premises.