Everyone deserves an education, employment, good health, and to be treated equally in their community. Yet too many people with disabilities in developing countries are missing out. Fighting for their rights is an important part of the work you help support, and together we’re making real progress.
When children with disabilities are denied an education, they can be locked into a cycle of isolation, poverty and being dependent on their families. You’re supporting inclusive education programmes to help young people with disabilities learn alongside other children so they can realise their potential and support themselves.
Mafoune, who lives in Mali, is 11 years old and has visual impairments. Thanks to Sightsavers’ inclusive education programme, her teacher received special training and equipment to help Mafoune learn alongside her peers. Her teacher now uses the skills she’s gained to teach all the students together, for example by writing in large print and making sure visually impaired children sit where they can see the blackboard.
The programme also gives the children visual aids, including glasses and reading stands. Mafoune is thriving and is one of the top students in her class: when she grows up she wants to be a bank manager. Mafoune says: “I like geography, arithmetic and science. But my favourite subject is history.”
Stigma, discrimination and a lack of suitable workplaces can all hold people with disabilities back. You’re empowering young people like Kesimire from Uganda to earn money, be part of society and stand on their own two feet.
Kesimire has cerebral palsy. Sadly, her parents abandoned her because of her disability, leaving her in the care of her grandmother. She’s been insulted, underestimated and excluded. Now she’s admired and independent. Through our Connecting the Dots programme, Kesimire has gone from having no skills to being the only knitting expert in her community.
She now has a job and can meet her basic needs instead of relying on her grandmother to provide for her. She says: “If it wasn’t for Sightsavers, I think I would still be badly off. The project gave me skills plus a knitting machine and I now knit sweaters.”