Linet: Advocating for Children with Disabilities

“I come from a family of five and I am the second last born. 

 

I am a total orphan at 14, meaning I lost both my parents at a young age. My mother suffered pregnancy-related complications and the doctors could not treat her because we did not have money to take her to a good hospital. She died as a result. Two years after my mother passed, my father also became sick. We did not have money to take him to the hospital and so we watched him die in pain from a disease that could be cured. If only we could afford the hospital, my father could still be alive. My elder brother is paralyzed, he cannot stand by himself without someone’s help. This is why I have a passion for people with disabilities.”

“Poverty was the main issue that made me vulnerable to sexual violence—I come from a community where girls marry as young as 12. Prostitution and HIV is also very common in my community. Because I didn’t have school fees, I almost dropped out of school and not having an education would have increased my vulnerability as a girl child. When Freely in Hope came to my life, my life gradually changed because they supported me in my education. They also went the extra mile of caring for my emotional and psychological well being.”
“Freely in Hope’s scholarship program has also given me a chance to be exposed to issues of sexual violence. We don’t talk about these issues in my community which is why so many girls are forced into early marriage, prostitution, and domestic work. But I was saved from that. Freely in Hope has helped me achieve my dreams by empowering me through education and mentorship. They have given me the tools that I can use to be successful in life. As I am learning to become a leader, I am developing into a woman with strong leadership skills that I will carry back to my community. They brought a smile to my face when I thought I had nothing to be proud of.”

“My dream is to be an advocate for children with disabilities because they are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse.

 

I want to open an organization that deals with creating awareness about the unique nature of learners with disabilities. My hope is to see that every learner in school is supported, included in all activities, and fully accepted within their community. I also hope to educate families of children with disabilities on the importance of educating their children just as they do with other children.”

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