Gaining an education and new friends


18-year-old Rahel, from Kikombo in Tanzania, is now doing very well at secondary school and hopes to become a teacher. But her journey to becoming a happy student has not been straightforward.

Young girl sitting outside a building

Rahel was born with a physical disability. Since her father passed away, she was brought up by her mother who also has a disability. The community where Rahel lives was not very supportive towards children with disabilities. It is common for children with disabilities to be ‘hidden away’ and they discouraged Rahel’s mother from taking her to school.

How our Inclusive Education programme helped Rahel

However, when Rahel was 10 she was given a wheelchair as a gift. A couple of years later Rahel was able to start school. The Inclusive Education team helped Rahel get her wheelchair adapted so it was easier to use in a classroom. They also trained teachers in inclusive teaching practices to adapt classroom arrangements and teaching methodologies to accommodate children with disabilities.

They funded the building of ramps and an accessible toilet at the school. They also started a parent support group which meant that parents of children with disabilities could share experiences and encourage one another.

The team created child-to-child clubs to educate Rahel's classmates about disability and reduce stigma. These clubs had a huge impact on Rahel’s social life. Other children’s attitudes to Rahel and her disability changed completely. They became very supportive, and Rahel now has a large group of friends. She has even become a prefect at the school. Today, Rahel's life has changed and she is now bright and optimistic about the future.

Every Girl's Right

Our Every Girl's Right report draws upon the lived experiences of people with disabilities, their family members, and teachers participating in our Inclusive Education projects.

It demonstrates the potential of the model to reach the most marginalised girls, and tackle additional barriers created by the intersection of gender, disability, and poverty.

Read our Every Girl's Right report (PDF - 1.45MB)