My pupils, especially those who were introverts are now opening up. For instance, one pupil in my class was always quiet and didn’t interact with his colleagues in class. He would not obey even the smallest of instructions. However, introducing a lot of teaching and learning materials and my new mode of facilitation has allowed him to open up and he is now even asking questions in class!’
Disability is not inability - Javed’s story
At the age of six months, Javed was diagnosed with cerebral palsy - a condition which impairs his motor function, meaning he struggles to sit without assistance and can become stiff and uncomfortable without regular massage. People in his local community didn’t understand his condition and when he didn’t start to crawl or develop like other children, they believed that he must be a spirit child.
Javed is lucky that his mother, Mary, was determined to prove her community wrong and sought help from AfriKids. At this time, we only had one clinic which provided rehabilitation for children like Javed and it was situated in a village quite far from where he lives. But Mary was determined to seek help and she began travelling the four and a half hours there and back every week with her son; precious time she could have spent working, but improving her son’s condition was more important.
At the clinics, Javed benefitted from specialist physiotherapy to improve his coordination and mobility. In 2014 we were able to launch a new arm of this project in Javed’s local community, Mary immediately registered him at the new Feo centre so he could continue his rehab closer to home.
The team have now seen huge progress in Javed! When we first met him, he couldn’t sit or walk and he struggled to communicate, but the team are optimistic that in time he will be able to walk with support from mobility aids and that he will also learn to talk. With the right support, he has every opportunity to live a fulfilled life.
Mary has also been empowered and is training to become a hairdresser so she can better provide for her son’s needs. She says she would like to establish her own business so that she has time to prioritise Javed and his specialist needs in the long term. The future is looking promising.