Chained Up or Left to Die: Disabled Children in East Africa

Orphaned Child Uganda
Photo Credit: Evan Earwicker/

East Africa (Mission Network News) In East Africa, children with disabilities or mental health conditions are often severely mistreated. Parents don’t always know what to do with their disabled kids and even see them as curses or bad omens. So these children are often locked away or chained up. They are malnourished, abused, and cut off from the rest of society.

Dean VanderMey with Set Free Ministries says sometimes these disabled children are cast out and left to die, even as infants.

“They actually put them in the jungle and they let the wild dogs come and eat them at times. So it’s even worse than you might think. Sometimes they’re not just chained to a pole.”

Set Free has been working in East Africa since 2005. They were first invited to Uganda, then expanded to other countries in the region.

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