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Food security: people with disabilities in Uganda share barriers and solutions through photography

Image of three women who participated in the project: Overcoming Barriers to Food Security: A photo narrative by people with disabilities. The woman in the middle of the three holds a camera.
A project focused on identifying barriers and solutions to food security in Uganda asked people with disabilities to document their findings through photography. © Light for the World
  • Economic Empowerment

By highlighting community voices and expertise, our report identifies challenges to food security and opportunities to create positive change. 

“It is hard for women with disabilities to get married, so it is hard for us to get land.” 

A new report examines micro-level barriers to food security for people with disabilities in northern Uganda — by amplifying the voices of those affected. 

Food security: capturing stories from Ugandan people with disabilities 

Overcoming Barriers to Food Security: A photo narrative by people with disabilities followed a participatory, qualitative approach centred on individual stories. Participants were invited to take photographs to identify challenges and uncover community-led, disability-inclusive solutions to achieve food security in the West Nile region (Arua and Yumbe districts) and Acholi subregion (Nwoya and Omoro districts). 

About 735 million people are facing hunger in the world, an increase of 122 million since 2019, according to the latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report from the United Nations. 

The photo narrative from Uganda is part of the We Are Able! programme run by ZOA in consortia with Light for the World, The Hague Academy for Local Governance, National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), VNG International and Africa Disability Forum. We Are Able! Is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Voices for change: addressing food security challenges 

In Uganda, the programme aims to empower and amplify voices, and create resilience among people with disabilities and other excluded groups, particularly those faced with food insecurity in areas of protracted crises.  

“This report provides valuable insights into the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing adequate food,” says Silvester Kasozi, country director for Light for the World Uganda. 

“It highlights the community’s perspective and the meaning attributed to these barriers. Moreover, it aims to amplify voices and uncover local solutions for disability inclusion in achieving food security.  

“The photovoice approach aims to put the power of storytelling into the hands of the participant through participatory photography. It goes beyond statistics and embraces personal narratives, providing a deeper understanding of the experiences and perspectives of individuals within the community.  

“The report emphasises the significance of hearing and valuing these voices, as they hold the key to uncovering local solutions.”  

Disability-inclusive solutions for people with disabilities in Uganda 

The report recommendations include improving accessibility of communication in the We Are Able! programme and raising awareness of the rights of people with disabilities in the community and with government actors.  

Skills development and use of role models are identified as a way to combat the issue of self-exclusion and improve food security for people with disabilities. There is also a need for people with disabilities to have adequate knowledge of the land rights they possess. 

This research was designed, coordinated and written by Erika Bojarczuk, content development and documentation specialist at Light for the World. 

It was edited by Andera Delfyna, learning and innovation expert at Light for the World.

The project research assistants were Sharon Okello Deogratius, Denish Oweka, Connie Adoch and Alan Nume, with coordination support from Muzamil Ali and Simon Opiyo.

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