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Aicha and Friends Show us the Joy of Inclusion.


Aicha, 10, lives in Guinea Bissau. Since HI has helped her to attend school, she has become a lively and joyful member of her local community. HI ensures that over 70,000 vulnerable children and children with disabilities can access their right to an education.

Aicha is playing with her friends in the playground of her school. Aicha is albino, she’s 10 years old and she lives in Bissau.

Aicha is playing with her friends in the playground of her school. Aicha is albino, she’s 10 years old and she lives in Bissau. | © M.Moreiras / HI

Aicha is loud, energetic and fearless!  She’s always on the move; running, playing, climbing … as though life has no barriers. She’s popular too, her school friends know that where there’s fun, there’s Aicha.

It’s hard to believe that two years ago she was not at school at all. Difficulties with her vision and sensitive skin as a result of albinism meant that her parents felt it was best for her to stay at home. She interacted mainly with her family and lacked the confidence to make friends.

HI runs a multi-national project across West Africa to make sure that children like Aicha can attend school and build relationships with other children. We provide support to schools and teachers so that they can adapt their facilities and teaching methods and we help families to see the benefits of education for children with disabilities.

Thanks to these interventions, Aicha is now completing her second year of primary school and is thriving. She loves maths and learning to write, but most of all she loves to sing and to play!

The inspiring image of Aicha and her friends has been awarded first prize in the IDDC (International Disability and Development Consortium) photo contest and will be exhibited in Brussels from the 12th of February as part of European Disability and Development Week, 2017. For details about the event click here.

The #school4all campaign

More than 32 million children with disabilities from low- and middle-income countries do not get an education. They are excluded from games, schools and all kinds of learning experiences.

Accessing education is their only chance to build a future for themselves. To raise public awareness of this major problem, HI has launched #school4all, a summer call for donations campaign.

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