“When I finish my education, I want to be a teacher, so that I’ll support those who are like me, as they face a lot of challenges”, says Eunice.
Eunice is a Primary 5 learner at Rajaf Educational Centre for the Blind. She is excited to be back in school after over a year of school closures due to COVID-19. Though she speaks of difficulties with mobility of getting to and from school due to being visually impaired, she is optimistic about the future and says, “At least when I am in school, I know I will achieve my dreams. When I was at home, I was not happy because it seemed like there was no future for me. I am happy to be back in school”.
Eunice received Cash Transfers from GESS in 2020 while schools were closed. She used the cash to buy sanitary towels, amongst other items. “The money is very helpful because, sometimes when family members see someone like me, they can’t even plan for and provide the things you need”. The GESS Cash Transfers are meant to lift the financial burden of buying educational materials from parents and to motivate girls to stay in school.
Eunice and her classmate, Benson, are the only two learners in the class. They both hope to complete their education and to find meaningful work. There are 21 learners at Rajaf Educational Centre for the Blind. The school accommodates learners from Primary 1 to Primary 5.
Eunice, like many learners with disabilities, needs our support to realise her full potential, and the first step is to break the internalised cultural discrimination towards persons with disabilities. If an ordinary school closer to her home had been willing to be more inclusive and supportive, and if she could have access to the appropriate learning materials and devices, it would not have been necessary for Eunice to travel far from her home to a special centre.
Let’s all do our part in society to break the stigma and to support learners with disabilities to attend their closest schools with the children from their community and complete their education! The GESS programme is working towards equipping all teachers and head teachers to support learners with disabilities in inclusive education in line with the new National Policy on Inclusive Education of South Sudan.Tags: Behaviour Change, Disability Inclusion, education, FCDO, GESS, girls' education, Global Affairs Canada, South Sudan, UKaid