KAMPALA - Having a child with a disability poses severe challenges to parents, making their lives more difficult. For parents living in a very poor developing country it’s even more challenging.

Do you go to the hospital when you earn less than a dollar a day? How many years can you carry on when your husband left you after giving birth? How many insults can you bear? For some parents it goe too far, and they give up and kill their own child. Some do so by intentionally starving their child, or by not giving essential medicines, while others do so by brutally killing their disabled child.

For lack of a better word in Uganda these murders are called ‘mercy killing’, the word itself suggests taboo. It happens behind closed doors. The parents grant themselves mercy by doing so. After years of frustrations that come with taking care of their disabled child, they give up. They want their life back. We show stories of parents struggling with the efforts and sacrifices related to caring for their disabled child. We tell the story of a disabled child who survived a murder attempt. And we have two shocking confessions of mothers who just gave up and killed their own child.

The documentary was aired on Belgium's Canvas on  17th of February 2018.

In 2019 it was nominated for De Loeps investigative journalism prize. In the category 'Signalerend'. 

This project was funded through Journalismfund.eu's Flanders Connects Continents grant programme.

Team members

Gerald Bareebe

Gerald Bareebe works as a political reporter for The Daily Monitor, Uganda's largest independent daily.
Gerald Bareebe

Luk Dewulf

Luk is a Belgian investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. 
Luk Dewulf

Inge Wagemakers

Inge Wagemakers holds a PhD in development studies (Antwerp University, Belgium).

Inge Wagemakers
grant of €4,000 allocated on 15 July 2016





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