Stories of Hope

YouBelong works with service users and their families to create awareness about their rights and entitlements.

July 11, 2018

YouBelong connects service users and their families to community resources including the police and the Local Councils so they are able to report injustice.

“Othiambo” is a 42-year-old man from Kiwenda, a village in Wakiso district who was diagnosed with chronic psychosis at Butabika hospital 20 years ago. By the time the YouBelongHOME team took him on, he was in Butabika for his seventh admission as he was presenting with un-coordinated speech, neglected personal hygiene, and restless behavior for five months.

 

Man working with YouBelong staff at discharge
YouBelong staff interacting with “Othiambo” during the service user assessment at Butabika hospital

During our engagement with “Othiambo”, he told us that while he was in Butabika, it had come to his knowledge that more than one acre of his land was taken by the Local Council Vice Chairperson from a neighboring village. “I felt disrespected and it was a big setback in my life. What hurts me the most is that the person who grabbed my land was my friend…….. But I forgave him”. He said with a resigned tone. As we delved deeper into this matter, we found out that Othiambo had bought this piece of land from the Vice chairperson, but had not yet secured a land title. Othiambo’s home was on the land and there was also a garden of bananas and cassava, which allowed him to sell some of the produce whenever there was a bumper harvest. Othiambo has been resettled by the YouBelongHOME team in a different home given to him by his father

The Local Council Vice Chairperson in Kiwenda took advantage of Othiambo’s admission to a mental institution — assuming he could not defend himself against such an injustice. Othiambo’s family also did not support and defend him during this time when he was vulnerable. People struggling with mental illness have a right to own property just like any other person. YouBelong works with service users and their families to create awareness about rights and entitlements of these individuals. We also connect them to community resources including the police and the Local Councils so they are able to report injustice.