(based on an interview with Okiring Sam, deputy head and volunteers & interns-co-ordinator at KSPH)

Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped was founded in 1968. At that time KSPH constituted only six children and was located in a small room in a neighborhood school. Today, KSPH constitutes over 120 physically or mentally handicapped children and 36 staff members (excluding voluntary staff members and intern students). Also, KSPH is getting more and more professional, now also employing a residential nurse and a weekly visiting doctor.

Children from all over the region (not only Uganda, but also Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Congo and Rwanda) come to the KSPH. The goal of KSPH is to empower these children, to help them gain self-esteem and to make them ready to face the world. Before they leave the school, they will be ready to speak and stand up for themselves.

Since its inception, KSPH has seen many international volunteers coming and going. The volunteers appreciate the project I think, because many of them return to Uganda to check on us. Working with international volunteers has brought us many positive things. We learn from each other, and every volunteer leaves something behind. Almost every volunteer comes here and notices that something is lacking, and then starts acting on that. Many volunteers have been successful in fundraising, helping us to build this place almost from scratch. Everything you see around was build with the help of volunteers; from the playground to the school buildings to the toilets.

Most importantly though, we feel that we are building up friendships with our volunteers, and they provide us with a worldwide network that we can use to achieve our goals. We think it is very important that our volunteers will feel happy and secure while they work here. We want them to gain a positive and useful experience, and hope to stay in contact with them afterwards. Our volunteers are treated as true staff members. Because we want the best for them as well as for us, we give them a week to decide where they think they are most needed, or where they can contribute most.

The international volunteers have popularized the school. Also, they have linked us to many partners around the world. KSPH is growing, and I hope that in the future more of these schools will be founded all over Uganda.

Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped (School for Children with special needs)


Background Kampala School for the physically handicapped (KSFPH) is a primary school catering for the educational needs of the disabled children in Uganda. Started in 1968 by a few parents of cerebral palsied children, the school aims at educating, rehabilitating and equipping physically handicapped children for self- reliance and development. It follows the national syllabus including co-curricular activities like sports, music, dance and drama, spiritual fellowship and education tours.It also offers vocational subjects like tailoring, screen printing, craft, tie and dye and computer training to all the children that can not continue with further education.

The school has an enrollment of 100 pupils with physical disabilities between the ages of 6 – 18. They include those with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida and polio amongst others.

Therefore the school specifically provides for children with special needs.

The project is located on plot 63A, Balintuma Road, Mengo (opposite the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau) just 15 -25 minutes drive from Kampala city and 30 – 45 minutes from UPA guest house in Nansana.

It has a teaching staff of 13 five of whom are trained in special needs education with 2 of them disabled old students of the same school.


Aim To educate, rehabilitate and equip physically handicapped children for self- reliance and development.


  • Teaching children
  • Care and assisting children in  and outside classrooms
  • Training children in vocational subjects, games and sports and music, dance and drama.
  • Assist in social and physical development of the children through offering occupational and physiotherapy exercises
Volunteer task 
  • Work with the rest of the staff to provide the above to the children in this school
Volunteer qualities 
  • Emotionally strong. The volunteer work on this project requires a person who has close feeling for children with special needs.
  • Having skills in caring for children with special needs or occupational and physiotherapy skills carries an added advantage.
  • Command of good communication skills
  • Ability to work with children with disabilities or special needs.
Rating Low Medium High
Educational X
Practical X
Room for new initiatives X
Emotional challenging X
Work load X
Rating by MTVs X
Working hours Kampala School for the physically handicapped office hours are from 8.00 to 16.30. Working with physically disabled and special needs children call for a volunteer ready to be patient, not emotional and prepared to experience irritating situations. However, a volunteer shall be required to carry a very open heart that can accommodate these situations.Volunteers work 5 days a week.
Transport The project is located on plot 63A, Balintuma Road, Mengo (opposite the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau) just 15 -25 minutes drive from Kampala city and 30 – 45 minutes from UPA guest house in Nansana. Travel from Nansana is easy in public vehicles, drop off at Nakulabye trading centre and continue for a 10– 15 minutes walking distance from Nakulabye via Balintuma road if you come from Nansana.
Accommodation Volunteers to this project shall stay at UPA guest house in Nansana. 
Comments from UPA The placement can be an interesting one because it will offer a volunteer the opportunity to assist and support people who are really in need and will highly appreciate.  A volunteer should also carry an affectionate heart full of love, care and sympathy for children with special needs, command zeal committed to seeing these children live a happy life too. 
Communication Communication with School staff and of the children is easy as most are educated.
Past Volunteers From USA, Israel, Holland and Germany 



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