Amie is now feeling more supported in school
Amie was born with a physical disability. She is now learning to read and write, with some modifications and adaptations.
Amie was born with a physical disability. | © J. McGeown / HI
Amie is an engaging and lively 7 year old girl who is keen to go to school and join her friends in the classroom. She lives in a rural area in Sierra Leone, where she lives in a small hut with no running water. She attends SLMB Primary school in Mano Junction, Kenema. This is one of the model schools that has been developed as part of the Girls Education Challenge Transition project. The school has been renovated with accessibility modifications including ramps, accessible toilets, wider doorways, larger windows to improve the light source in the classrooms, and painted brightly to make it easier to see for students with low vision.
Amie was born with a physical disability, and she has weakness and coordination difficulties affecting all her limbs, specifically her right hand and arm and left leg. This means that she finds walking difficult and finds it difficult to use her hands. Her left hand is more affected than her right, but she still has trouble gripping a pen in either hand for example. Humanity & Inclusion run a number of education projects in Sierra Leone including one as part of the girls’ education challenge fund. As part of this project, Amie has been allocated an itinerant teacher called Abdul. Itinerant teachers have been trained to work with different children with disabilities who have been identified as needing support in the classroom. Abdul visits Amie at school twice a month and pays weekly home visits to check how she is getting on at home. He also organises a community meeting once a month to make sure Amie’s parents are on board. He worked with both Amie’s teacher and parents to develop an individual education plan, and during the monthly meeting they discuss how that is going and what needs to be updated and changed, in order to support her progress.
Amie is now feeling more supported in school, and is learning to read and write, with some modifications and adaptations, thanks to the help offered by her itinerant teacher. She is also feeling more encouraged that she will be able to succeed which is increasing her confidence. The community meetings have helped her parents and teacher to understand why she has the difficulties that she has, and how they can support her. Her parents are very pleased with her progress and now are more committed to supporting her to stay in school.