In a place like Manjamadu, a rural village in eastern Sierra Leone without access to quality healthcare facilities, a small scratch can lead to a life-threatening infection. Several years ago, Daniel, now 13, was playing soccer with friends when he cut his right foot on a tree stump. Untreated, Daniel’s foot and then leg became badly infected, and his leg had to be amputated to prevent the infection from spreading. His father, who had already lost three children to the Ebola epidemic in 2014, kept his son at home from then on.
Last year, Mambu, a community outreach worker representing Humanity & Inclusion’s Educate a Child project, heard about Daniel, and strongly encouraged his family to send him to school. Because children with disabilities are often left out of the education system in Sierra Leone, HI’s community outreach workers seek out children like Daniel and connect them with the support they need.
HI helps children with disabilities to learn by enrolling them in school, providing them with assistive devices and school supplies, and by educating parents, teachers, and other community members about the importance of including all children in school.
Today, Daniel is a fifth grader at the Kono District Education Committee School. With his teachers’ encouragement, he is slowly building up his confidence. He is even planning to participate in the school’s upcoming sports tournament. “In the future, I want to become a teacher,” says Daniel with a big smile.
“Each time I see a child that I identified attending school, I feel proud that I have been given the opportunity to change their life,” says Mambu.
In addition to helping children, Humanity & Inclusion also improves the accessibility of school buildings through the installation of wheelchair ramps and other features, training teachers to work with special needs students, and providing adapted teaching materials to schools.