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Souleymane wants children with disabilities like him to access education


Souleymane, who has a visual disability, is studying with adapted teaching materials supplied by Humanity & Inclusion. When he grows up, he dreams of becoming a teacher and making schools more inclusive.

Souleymane Chapiou, 13, is studying in Maradi, Niger, with the help of adapted teaching materials provided by HI.

Souleymane Chapiou, 13, is studying in Maradi, Niger, with the help of adapted teaching materials provided by HI. | © J. Labeur / HI

Souleymane Chapiou, 13, is in fourth grade at a school for students with visual disabilities. Thanks to the materials provided by Humanity & Inclusion, he has easily adapted to the school environment and is studying hard to become a teacher. He draws his strength from his dream: to see the day when all children have access to quality education.

The right to education

Souleymane’s favourite subject at school is history. © J. Labeur / HISouleymane comes from a modest family and lives with his parents and brothers. When he was about 2 years old and just starting to walk, his mother noticed that he had difficulty finding his bearings when breastfeeding or moving around the house. Gradually, the lens in his left eye darkened until it became reddish. Shortly afterward, his right eye also became infected. Today, Souleymane has difficulty identifying objects, even at close range.

It was during an awareness-raising campaign on education for children with disabilities organized by HI's community workers in Maradi, Niger, that the family became aware of the boy's right to education. Souleymane's father decided to enroll him at Ceinture Verte, a school for children with vision loss.

Driving inclusion forward

HI has provided Souleymane with materials adapted to his visual disability. © J. Labeur / HISouleymane is happy at school. He loves to study and his teachers are impressed by his performance. His favorite subject is history, and every morning he asks his teacher for a new lesson.

To help him study, HI provided him with adapted learning materials: a tablet, cubarites (dice-shaped tools used for arithmetic), dominoes, toys and an adapted computer. HI also organizes festive events: fun and informative get-togethers between students with and without disabilities from different schools. Awareness-raising sketches, sports competitions and exchanges are organized between children so that they can meet and get to know each other.When he grows up, Souleymane wants to be a teacher and make school more inclusive. © J. Labeur / HI

“I'd like to say a very sincere thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get me into school, because without them, I'd probably be on the streets. When I grow up, I'm going to fight for the education of all children with disabilities, especially those with visual disabilities, and for our schools to become more and more inclusive. My dream is to become a teacher and give children with disabilities the chance to access their right to a quality education.”

HI's socio-economic inclusion and inclusive education project in Maradi is possible thanks to funding from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NORAD and UNICEF. Since its launch in 2017, it has provided more than 80 schools with adapted teaching and learning materials, identified nearly 5,000 children with disabilities for personalized support and trained nearly 600 teachers in inclusive education, sign language and Braille. In addition, 380 parents have been informed about deafness and introduced to sign language, and almost 50,000 parents and community members have been made aware of and trained in disability and inclusive education. An additional 260 people from the public services and the professional world have been shown how to welcome people with disabilities. Finally, 35 educational advisers have been trained and 80 young people with disabilities have benefited from appropriate vocational training.
Date published: 07/06/23


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