Each year, a new cohort of disability rights professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia travel to the US to participate in a five-week Fellowship Program about inclusive civic engagement. Fellows stay with host families in the US, working with mentors from universities, non-profits, and other US-based organizations. During their Fellowship, each Fellow writes a blog about their experiences.
Rashid Kalule is a 2023 Fellow in the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement. This program is sponsored by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston in partnership with Humanity and Inclusion (HI). The following blog post was written by guest author Rashid Kalule.
My name is Teopista Nannyanzi. I am a disability rights advocate working with the Pan African Network of People with Psychosocial Disabilities (PANPPD), an organization advocating for the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities across the African continent. I also offer technical support to organizations targeting mental health advocacy in my country, Uganda.
In April 2023, Dr. Evan Borisinkoff, an associate professor at Minot State University (MSU), embarked as a US Outbound Fellow to Kampala, Uganda. The purpose was to provide technical assistance to his colleague, Priscilla Kisakye, in the development and piloting of a parent training program.
This long-awaited journey started on May 3, 2023 when I landed in Boston and received a warm welcome from Heike and Christa, our very own PFP team leads who have been very supportive and made sure this was a dream-come-true trip.
I have a lot to say about this Fellowship, because it is one of a kind and is full of people with high skills and understanding of issues related to the inclusion of people with disabilities in different fields. I was very comforted by the process of preparing for my trip and the welcoming I received on May 4, 2023 at the Boston airport.