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HUMANITY & INCLUSION: Twins with visual disabilities learn at inclusive school

Yentougle and Yenhame are 13-year-old twins who both have visual disabilities. Through Humanity & Inclusion’s inclusive education project in Togo, they are receiving personalized support to excel at school. Yentougle and her brother Yenhame are two of seven siblings, four of whom have some level of visual disability. Their family lives in Sibortoti, a village in northern Togo. With a limited income, their parents cannot afford specialized care and schooling. Through an inclusive education project tailored to support students who are blind or living with low vision, the twins are receiving an education adapted to their needs. Because of their disabilities, Yentougle and Yenhame had difficulty moving around and finding their way on their own. They couldn’t play games with other children and experienced discrimination. “We couldn’t send them on errands,” says Tchable Lyabine, the twins’ father. “They couldn’t help us with the daily chores, like cleaning, or with the gardening. Their mother had to be with them all the time, to take them to school and pick them up afterwards.” In 2012, the siblings were identified by the Association des Personnes Handicapées Motivées de Tône, one of Humanity & Inclusion’s partner organizations. For the past 10 years, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams have provided support to the twins. Inclusive education and other assistance Yentougle and Yenhame are enrolled in the local primary school. Humanity & Inclusion has provided them with clothes, backpacks, shoes and other school supplies adapted to their specific needs. Their teacher receives technical support from Humanity & Inclusion and has been trained in inclusive teaching techniques and methods to help him support the twins with their learning. Yentougle and Yenhame receive personalized educational support from an itinerant teacher specialized in assisting students with visual disabilities. The teacher visits their home several times a week to provide tutoring, transcribe lessons and help them do exercises in Braille. Yentougle and Yenhame have received medical support, including consultations and eye care financed by the organization. Humanity & Inclusion and its partner have also provided them with canes to help with their mobility and autonomy. The organizations also distribute food kits to the twins’ family. Awareness-raising activities have been organized within the community to combat the stigmatization of the twins. As a result, Yentougle and Yenhame experience less discrimination. Today, the twins have made friends in their village and play games with other children. Their friends often accompany them home from school.

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Humanity & Inclusion

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