Education is his passion, and he wants to go to university. But he’s blind, and he lives in a developing country, and those two factors combined mean the odds are monumentally stacked against him.
Inaccessible workplaces and negative attitudes make it nearly impossible for people with disabilities to find work where Samuel lives in Sierra Leone. Without a job, he can’t pay college fees or even cover his rent. With an education, he’d be a valuable asset in his village, but without it he’ll struggle to realise his dream, and his community will be the poorer for it.
Samuel began to lose his sight as a teenager. He couldn’t build on his early promise at school as the extra support he required wasn’t available. He struggled to cope with his sight loss – and his situation got even worse when his family abandoned him. There’s a lot of stigma and superstition around disability in Sierra Leone, and people with disabilities are often deserted by their relatives.
Samuel said he had “no purpose in life – I wanted to die.” But after working with Foray Alpha, a community-based rehabilitation officer, he moved to a new village and gained skills to help him live more independently. As his self-reliance grew, his passion for learning was reignited.