Disability is a real taboo in some African areas and has a heritage of prejudices and superstitions: the majority of the population still believe that a disabled child is a curse. For this reason, children are discriminated and locked in their houses or abandoned by their fathers who consider them useless and even for the rest of the household.
Centre Urugwiro, built in 2004 and since 2007 coordinated by an Italian lay missionary, is a day care centre, open from Monday to Friday, that hosts children, adolescents and adults with different disabilities, ensuring adequate healthcare in order to encourage their integration in the Rwandese society. The centre promotes welcoming and animation activities, games and sports, music therapy, physiotherapy and literacy, but also manual works such as gardening, woodworking, welding, tailoring, agriculture and farming. Moreover, it provides home visits for those who cannot reach the centre.
The physiotherapy service was started in 2014 to help vulnerable families with disabled children to access basic healthcare service, in order to improve the health conditions of the children and to living conditions of the whole family. The percentage of disabled people in this area is very high. In 2019, ten children with physical anomalies or feet or deformities were welcomed in the centre, therefore it was necessary to buy orthotic and other expensive corrective devices. Lo spazio in cui si svolgeva la fisioterapia, inoltre, era diventato insufficiente per le esigenze dei pazienti, che non riuscivano a svolgere comodamente i vari esercizi di riabilitazione con i deambulatori. PRO.SA Foundation funded the expansion of the physiotherapy room equipped with a waiting room, which is very comfortable for the families waiting for their turn, who are offered breakfast every morning. At the same time children are provided with special toys to do rehabilitation exercises by playing. PRO.SA also supports the project “Step by step” which includes the purchase of orthotic devices to ensure a corrective therapy to the children of the centre who cannot walk without them.
Currently, Centre Urugwiro grants 58 disabled children of the area, the opportunity to be properly cured, to grow up healthy and to redeem themselves from cultural discriminations. Children-and-family care increases the general wellness of the entire household.