These nine parents describe how as volunteers, supportive partners, carers, teachers, entrepreneurs, patients or as unrelenting advocates for their children, they have made an impact on the success of our projects – from eye health to inclusive education and practical skills training for people with disabilities.
A father himself, Materson volunteers as a pre-school teacher in Malawi. He often collects and drops of children with disabilities like Theresa, so they can attend pre-school.
“I was concerned that a lot of children weren’t going to school. I wanted to give them that foundation, so when they go to primary school they’ll perform better. Now, we have 148 children, 20 with a disability. Now every kid in the village who is disabled is attending the pre-school and we’re hoping that they will graduate to other schools.
Monica, who lives in Uganda with her children, used to find it difficult to communicate with her daughter Hellen who is deafblind. Through support, she is now able to use touch to help Hellen establish a routine and do tasks independently.
“To see her now, smiling as she joins in a game with her siblings, I see the difference. As a parent, to see your child happy, is as much as you can ask for.”
Isaac was 20 when he lost his sight. He had to stop going to school and his future was limited. Back in 2015, we first met him at one of our inclusive programmes in Uganda, where he learnt to knit. He said: “After getting a knitting machine, I will work. I can earn money, I can even get a partner, I can care for my family.”
Now, he introduces us to his family: “This is my lovable wife, the beautiful one you see, and this is the baby whom God has given us. When people look at us, they don’t believe it!”
We’ve repurposed some illustrations, originally developed to support teacher training in pre-schools in Malawi, into colouring pages. Help your children to colour in the sheets and learn that all children, regardless of disability or gender, should be able to attend school.Download the drawings here
Dr Moira Chinthambi received a Sightsavers scholarship to train as an ophthalmologist and now works on our inclusive eye health programme in Malawi.
Alinafe Zaina is studying clinical ophthalmology in Malawi with the help of a scholarship provided by Sightsavers’ inclusive eye health programme.
We’re working with partners in Cameroon and Senegal to ensure people with disabilities are able to take part in every stage of the political process.