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By Joseph Malinga My name is Rashid Kalule, 23, a resident of Namulesa village, Mafumbira Sub County, Jinja district. I am a person living with Cerebral Palsy (CP). I studied up to senior six but failed to continue with my studies because of lack of fees. I now do some part time work as a teacher of Social studies with one of the schools in my village. I earn shs 20,000 per month.

 I benefited from the HIV/AIDs project being implemented by NUDIPU. I was trained as a peer educator. My role is to sensitise young people in matters related to HIV/AIDs issues. Using the skills acquired I, together with my colleagues have formed a youth club, called Namulesa Youth Reach  where on top of HIV/AIDs issues we also provide education on life skills.          

Being a peer educator has helped me a lot. I used to hold a negative attitude towards myself. This was affecting my ability to realise my potential. I would go to school for the sake of going but had little interest in whatever I would engage myself in.

After meeting NUDIPU I have developed a positive attitude towards myself.  I now know that being disabled is not a crime. It doesn’t mean that by being disabled, my world has ended. With NUDIPU’s sensitisation efforts, I have managed to fight off the stigma and since then I have been able to engage in constructive work.  I cultivate beans, maize, bananas and coffee.

The Trainings I received have also helped to change my sexual behaviour. I  had a view that PWDs do not get infected by HIV virus. I used to think sex is a chance for PWDs so I would struggle to grab any sex opportunity. In the process I had more than one sexual partner. I did not know this was dangerous to my health. 

To make matters worse I would have unprotected sex, fortunately I did not acquire the virus but suffered from syphilis. Now I know that HIV virus does not discriminate. The way it affects people without disabilities is the same way PWDs suffer. I have also known that sex life is not about having many sexual partners.

I was trained in HIV/AIDS issues as a peer educator. Since then we have formed a forum called Jinja district Peer educators Association to push forward HIV/AIDs issues. We meet every Tuesday and Saturday to discuss issues of concern. Our work is being noticed by many stakeholders who are now particularly identifying me to get involved in their activities.


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