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  • Writer's pictureChrista Preston

Did you light it up Blue? We did in a BIG way

April 2 marked World Autism Awareness, a day traditionally celebrated by showcasing the color blue (either in clothes or lights) as a statement of solidarity for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly called “autism.”

This year embraceKulture was honored to partner with Rugby Tackling Life and Charles River Rugby to have over 200 rugby players across 3 countries put on blue in support.

Over weeks of awareness events efforts culminated in the first ever Autism Celebration in Uganda.

How mobile phones are revolutionizing the spread of awareness

"Her attitude towards her very own daughter changed"

In Uganda, one in one hundred is aware of autism. I cannot stress how dire the situation is for those with Autism in Africa. Awareness is literally lifesaving as without it children are being starved, neglected and abused.

I have seen it first hand…

Faith was developing like any other child until around age three when she stopped speaking. Instead she started chirping like a little bird. Her family, with no access to information, relied on tradition beliefs. They truly believed that their child was cursed or possessed. Fearing shame from the village they abandoned. She was in a mental institute when she was finally diagnosed with Autism. It took months for her to overcome severe malnutrition.

For decades organizations have struggled to address the crisis of awareness. But now we have a new solution that (not to brag) is revolutionizing awareness efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, eKulture. eKulture empowers parents, teachers and persons with disabilities to be the agents of change by putting information in their hands, literally. Using their mobile phones, users logon to eKulture where they can access courses leading them on the journey from awareness to acceptance.

eKulture is taking Uganda by storm. In the first week of launch we have almost 100 users, over 200 course modules taken and the trainings are working, improving knowledge and changing attitudes.

One of our amazing volunteers, Aggie, walked around with an ipad showing attendees how to use the web site. “There was a mother there who didn’t even know her own daughter had Autism,” she said. “She was very negative during the initial survey, but after she read the information on eKulture her attitude, towards her very own daughter changed!”

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