Discovering abilities beyond my disabilities.

Jackline Nakabikwa Kibuuka is a visually impaired young Ugandan leader. She says joining Restless Development in April 2019 as an intern in Uganda, gave her a confidence that will endure.

During my internship, things I thought I could not do, I was asked to do. This process built my confidence and led me to discover abilities I never thought I had.

I found this opportunity through “Light For The World Uganda,” an initiative that works with persons with disabilities towards a fairer world for everybody, by promoting equal rights and chances for all. Restless Development is one of the stakeholders. 

I joined nervously, worried that being a reclusive person, I would struggle to fit the team, moreover as a member of the human resource support team (which calls for excellent people relations!). But knowing about Restless Development’s inclusive and open culture encouraged me to give it a shot. In my second week, we had our usual quarterly staff workshops that brought together over 70 staff members! I can’t forget the nervousness that came with my being new and the last to arrive at the workshop! I felt guilty though I was not judged by anyone, instead, I was warmly welcomed. That’s when I learnt my first lesson: the importance of time management!

My reclusive personality got its first test during the team building sessions. Those forced me out of my comfort zone. The sessions introduced me to teamwork, collaboration and how that contributes to organisational success. At Restless, there is a family-like kind of bond among staff. From the workshop, I realised how lucky I was to work with a family away from home, where managers are down to earth and not segregative but supportive! This helped me to keep my promise to myself, that I would never be late for work again. A promise I have kept till the end of my internship. These are not just Restless Development Values. These are values I will take everywhere with me because I feel they make me a better professional.

Interning at Restless Development has built my character and given me a firm foundation for a strong career. I am no longer the reclusive person I was and this has allowed me to become a strong team player. I am more adaptive and have learnt to work multiculturally with people from diverse backgrounds.I now feel prepared to embark on pursuing my career goals more than I was a year ago. 

My experience at Restless Development has helped me affirm that young people especially those with disabilities have something to offer and contribute to lasting changes in our communities and organisational success. 

Restless Development’s friendly working environment and commitment to investing in people guided me to get the best out of myself. It helped me to overcome self discrimination, and negative attitudes 

The experience enabled me to use 99% of my abilities without feeling the inadequacy of my disability (which I felt was like 1% of me but too often is used to define me). I hope that more organisations continue to give opportunities to young people with disabilities because they have abilities beyond their disabilities. And I’m happy to report I was promoted from an intern to an officer role! 

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Discovering abilities beyond my disabilities.

by Jackline Nakabikwa Reading time: 2 min