“We worked on cartography, braille training, psychology and the mobility of blind people. Sightsavers helped us a lot. They offered training to the teachers and we received special tablets and punches for braille typing. They gave us calculators, braille papers [and other equipment]. They also helped us with the children’s medical care.
“We also needed functional toilets and materials for their mathematics courses. And I have been in charge of bringing lunch from home and sharing it with the children and their teachers – [otherwise] they would have been obliged to go back and forth. Their transport is also an issue.
“During the first week there were three children who used to cry because they didn’t want to come to school, but now they are telling me that they should be coming even on Saturday and Sunday; they end up liking the school! There’s total inclusion, they play with the others, and you can see that they are self-confident. They no longer have the barriers.
“I’m very happy [to see it] as a mother. I personally wanted to see children with and without disabilities together, playing and studying. We can see that children without disabilities are not smarter than them. So that makes me so proud. And I can say that in my career I have learned new things.
“Children with disabilities have the right to education like all the other children. As I’m used to telling parents, physical disability is not a sickness. Disabled children can have a chance to succeed and become important people in the country.”
Sightsavers’ inclusive education programme in Senegal is funded by Irish Aid.