A young girl in a blue shirt and face mask sits in a wheelchair and writes in a notebook

Shelcia pursues her passion for school

Shelcia is joyful and intelligent, with dreams of becoming a doctor one day.

Born with a disability that prevents her from walking on her own, Shelcia, 8, uses a wheelchair to move around. She lives with her parents and cousin in Matola, a suburb of Maputo, Mozambique.

Shelcia loves going to school and playing with her friends. She’s currently in Year 3 at the Patrice Lumumba primary school, an inclusive school with teaches trained in providing specific support to students with disabilities.

“My teacher is great," she says. "My classmates are also very nice. They help me during class and at playtime; we all have fun together. During playtime, I like to stay in the classroom and make my friends laugh. I have thousands of friends at school!”

Going to school has completely changed Shelcia’s life. She has discovered a real appetite for learning.

“I love going to school," Shelcia explains. "I love to learn. I already know how to count, and now I'm learning to write vowels."

Shelcia is full of ambition and there is no stopping her. She wants to become a doctor with the clear goal of helping other children. Her father, Ananias, shares her ambition.

"My daughter is very intelligent,” he says. “I know she’ll continue her studies and go to university.”


Special support for learning

Shelcia used to have trouble writing because her wheelchair prevented her from sitting at a desk. Through its inclusive education project, Humanity & Inclusion met with her family members who were determined to find a solution. Her father made her a personalized desk by fitting a wooden board to her wheelchair. Now, her notebook and textbooks are at the right height and her hands are free to write.

Ananias also requested extra assistance for Shelcia to help her develop her abilities and continue her schooling. Cristina and Gláucia, members of the Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Mozambique, provide her with specific support and organize regular coaching and information sessions, in person or by telephone.

“They often come to the house, and are a great help to me,” Ananias says. “They are my pillars.”

Students help each other

Shelcia's school is a bit far from her home, so her father and cousin help her get there on time.

"My daughter can get around at home or at school, no problem,” Ananias explains. “But it’s more difficult for her to use public transport because people ignore her disability. They don’t help her to get on the bus, for example.” 

At school, though, Shelcia’s teachers and classmates are accepting and helpful.

“The fact that the school is inclusive is very important because it’s a step towards the inclusion of children with disabilities,” Ananias continues. “In an inclusive school, children are taught to help and support each other. In this way, other children learn that disability does not make you different.”