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Faïmoguibé has become a garment maker thanks to HI’s Inclusion project

Inclusion
Togo

Faïmoguibé, 22, is deaf and non-verbal. Thanks to her enrolment in school and HI Togo's inclusive education and vocational training project, she is now a garment maker.

Portrait of a young woman seated on a blue plastic chair, in front of a red earthen hut. The young woman smiles at the camera.

Faïmoguibé, 22, was helped by HI’s Inclusive education and vocational training project. | © S. D. Songoi / HI

Faïmoguibé, 22, lost her hearing and speech due to a chronic form of malaria. Thanks to HI’s inclusive education and vocational training project, she was able to access education and help break down the stereotypes associated with people with disabilities. Today, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a garment maker.

Breaking down prejudices in the community

Faïmoguibé's parents were keen to enrol her in school; they wanted her to receive a proper education. At first, she found it difficult to follow the lessons, as her teachers weren’t trained in inclusive education and didn't know how to provide the kind of support she needed.

Thanks to the inclusive education and vocational training project set up by HI in Togo, Faïmoguibé stayed in school until Year 6 and learned sign language and how to read. This experience enabled her to find her place among her peers and show the community that children with disabilities can also attend school.

Indeed, after starting school, Faïmoguibé noticed a change in the way members of the community treated her. Previously seen as dependent on others, people with disabilities were gradually seen in a new light. Faïmoguibé's enrolment in school helped to change perceptions and showed the parents of other children with disabilities that their child also has the right to a quality education.

"Like everyone else, children with disabilities have the right to a life, an education and to vocational training - take me, for example! I hope that other parents will follow in my parents' footsteps and ensure that their disabled children go to school and learn a trade, so that tomorrow we can all be fulfilled and independent," declares Faïmoguibé.

A dream come true

Faïmoguibé has not let the obstacles she encountered hold her back. After benefiting from the inclusive education component of the project, she took a vocational training course to become a garment maker. She was helped and guided throughout her training by APHMOTO (Association des personnes handicapées motivées de Tône), one of HI’s partners.

APHMOTO runs workshops to raise awareness among employers of the importance of taking account of the specific needs of people with disabilities, in particular by training them in sign language.

Today, Faïmoguibé has completed her training. Her dream of becoming a garment maker has come true, and she's very proud of her achievement. Although she doesn't yet have a permanent workshop or an established clientele, she remains hopeful. In five years' time, she hopes to open her own workshop and train apprentices to pass on her skills.

HI's inclusive education and vocational training project in Togo will run until 2025. In 2023, the organisation supported more than 2 000 children with disabilities in primary and secondary education, trained 116 teachers in inclusive teaching methods, raised awareness of disability issues among nearly 17 600 parents and community members and supported more than 100 young people in their professional training and integration.

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