Ebo lives with his parents in rural Rwanda and for the first years of his life, his family were looking forward to him progressing through his education and building a bright future.
But things changed drastically when Ebo became ill and lost his ability to walk. Suddenly his environment became almost impossible to navigate, and daily tasks which were once second nature became a barrier to his inclusion. Ebo’s father tried everything to make things easier for his son to attend school:
We tried all means, I used to carry him to school every day, but it was so hard, and I had to stop. It drained all my energy.– Ebo’s father
The family found themselves having to choose between earning a living, and their son’s education. Ebo began to fall behind, while the other children he was once learning alongside progressed without him.
Even when my dad could take me to school, I would be late, and we didn’t have money for books or pens. Things were bad.– Ebo
Ebo knew it didn’t have to be this way, and eventually, it was through our programme with UWEZO that Ebo met Africa. Africa had been trained to be an advocate for the inclusion of children with disabilities through our mentoring project, and he used his voice and experience to carve out a solution for Ebo. He met with local officials and demanded that Ebo, and others like him, were not forgotten or left behind.
Soon enough, Ebo was given a wheelchair and was able to regain the crucial independence he had lost. Africa helped him make friends locally, who now wheel him to school and back home again, taking the burden off his parents. A simple solution, that has completely changed his future prospects.