Sight and Stigma: Educating the Blind

Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign is calling on the UK government to ensure that people with disabilities are included in international development plans. Now Sightsavers need your help to make as much noise as possible and make sure decision-makers take notice. Find out how access to education transforms these young people's lives, as well as how inclusive education helps change perceptions of people with disabilities. (Then don't forget to sign their petition!)

Nabirye: Excluded and isolated

Nabirye: Sightsavers, put us in the picture

Where Jenneh has had opportunity, Nabirye’s only experienced exclusion. When she lost her sight aged nine, following an infection, she had to drop out immediately as her school didn’t have the equipment or teachers to support students with disabilities. “It was the only school I could afford. My parents had no money to take me to other schools, because they were using all the money to take me to the hospitals.”

For Jenneh, an education means her future’s wide open. She’ll have the chance to train for a career, earn an income and support herself and thanks to her teachers, she’ll have the self-belief to set goals and achieve them.

For Nabirye it’s a very different story. As things stand, her education isn’t likely to resume and she’ll probably waste the next few years isolated at home while her peers continue to learn. Her already low self-confidence could plummet further, it’ll be hard for her to make friends and she might come to believe, as her community does, that she has nothing of worth to offer and no hope of earning an income. At 15 years old, she still has enormous potential, but with every day out of education a bit more of it is lost.

Making the change...

Image: Graeme Robertson