We at AbleChildAfrica know the power that education has on the lives of children we work with, so we’re excited that today is International Literacy Day! The theme of this year’s anniversary celebration is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.” This seeks to increase literacy rates around the world and to promote literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning. Even better, we’ve got three fun facts to celebrate this year, listed below…
1) Celebrating 50 years!
On 8th September 1966, International Literacy Day was officially founded by UNESCO.
“The world has changed since 1966 – but our determination to provide every woman and man with the skills, capacities and opportunities to become everything they wish, in dignity and respect, remains as firm as ever. Literacy is a foundation to build a more sustainable future for all.”
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General
2) One of our first ever Junior Friends is releasing a book for AbleChildAfrica!
Sahara-Dune, a Junior Friend of AbleChildAfrica, is whole-heartedly ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ through ABLED, her very own book, which is dedicated to successful disabled people.
Upon finding a limited number of books about disabled people, Sahara-Dune decided to write her own! ABLED has the purpose of inspiring disabled children and young people, whilst raising funds for AbleChildAfrica! By reading and researching the past successes of disabled people, Sahara-Dune is helping to write a future where more disabled people are visible in the public forum.
We had a great meeting with Sahara-Dune at our Vauxhall office last month, and found her to be an inspiring young woman herself. Because of her cerebral palsy, Sahara-Dune has difficulty with her walking – though she’s not let that stop her! Despite only having been in mainstream secondary school for two years, she is already making waves. This includes her work as a mentor with younger disabled students from when they arrive at school for the first time, to ensuring they’re settling in throughout the year.
Since research for ABLED ensued earlier this year, Sahara-Dune keeps discovering more inspiring disabled people to feature in her book! This includes one of Sahara-Dune’s favourite celebrities: Kanya Sesser. Born without legs, Sesser was abandoned by her parents, an event not unfamiliar to many of the children we work with. Kanya has overcome the odds, now choosing a skateboard rather than a wheelchair as her preferred method of transport – and is even busy training for the 2018 Winter Paralympics!
We are also excited to know that the latest celebrity addition to ABLED includes our very own Paralympian Patron, Anne Wafula Strike MBE!
If you want to express an interest in ABLED, simply contact Evie today at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will keep you updated on when the book is available for purchase.
3) Your support means that we have educated 469 disabled children in Uganda alone!
As it remains true that 98% of disabled children in Africa remain out of school, work has been cut out for us. We have been able to make changes to the lives of many disabled children, thanks to our supporters. This year alone it has meant with USDC, our partner in Uganda, we have enabled 469 disabled children to access inclusive learning. These children were previously out of school and will now be given the opportunity to read for the first time!
This includes Isaac, aged nine. Both of Isaac’s legs are paralysed and, before his enrolment into school, he had no access to a wheelchair. After another child noticed Isaac wasn’t coming to school, a teacher visited him and his family at their home. Since then, USDC has been able to provide Isaac with his own wheelchair and his friends fight over who can push him to school every day! Lessons have been adapted to ensure he is included and his future is now looking bright.
We are proud that this is one of a number of our projects that has the sole aim of improving the life chances for out-of-school disabled children like Isaac. By getting them into inclusive schools that teach in accessible ways, not only will their literacy rates improve, but their life opportunities will too. We are also seeing big successes outside of Uganda, thanks to our partners in Kenya – Little Rock and ANDY – and in Tanzania – CST.
£20 could help a teacher visit out-of-school disabled children at their homes, helping the children access school for the very first time, whilst £50 could pay for a term’s school fees for a disabled child.
If you want to give in honour of International Literacy Day and help us continue to change lives, simply donate here today.
You can keep up to date with more news from home and in Africa by simply signing up to our newsletter below.