Benin City is the capital of Edo State in Nigeria
Of the three public primary schools and four secondary schools in the area, none has an inclusive classroom for children with disabilities.
"Traditional African religion sees disability as a punishment for the bad deeds or sins that parents have committed in their lives. In our country, the majority of the population considers that providing for their education is unnecessary." Sr Martha, administrator of Lindalva Inclusive school
« Many children with disabilities are therefore sent to work on the farm or to beg on the streets of Benin and around the churches at all hours of the day, rather than going to school » Sr Martha Ali
« Although the state government has developed a child protection policy, abuses such as torture and cruel and degrading treatment are still common. Cases of child trafficking are also on the rise ». Sr Martha
Concerned about the stigma and suffering experienced by these children, the Archbishop of Benin City, Reverend Dr Akubeze, invited the Daughters of Charity to come to Edo State to set up an inclusive school for both children from low-income families and school-age disabled children.
Arriving in 2019, the sisters experience the same daily life as the people in the local communities and face the same dangers (attacks, kidnapping). However, this has not prevented them from opening and running the Lindalva Inclusive School.
The school currently runs both Nursery and Primary classes. The students (45 boys and 55 girls) range in age from 3 to 10 and interact as in a normal school, whether they are disabled or not. Sisters and lay people work in a very collaborative spirit for the education and development of all.
« No child is discriminated against on the basis of gender, tribe, colour, religion or status, or is excluded from education because of poverty or disability. Instead, the service is provided to all children who need it, without distinction » Sr Martha
« Since the establishment of the inclusive education school in the region, there has been a great change in attitude towards people with disabilities, which has removed some barriers and improved the social inclusion of all children » Sr Martha
Since their arrival, the Daughters of Charity have tried to provide for the basic needs of the many students from poor homes
Sister Ali Martha had already asked the Rosalie Projects in January 2022 to provide the children with at least one daily meal (Projet « Pour ne pas vivre seul »)
In this school, three out of five students arrive with virtually no school supplies or writing materials to help them learn.
« It is very difficult for us educators to teach students in these poverty-stricken areas. With inflation and the cost of food on the local market rising, some students drop out of school because their parents cannot afford to buy school materials »
« Our goal is to provide 100 students with supplies for the year and equip the school with 12 computers to help them learn and acquire basic computer skills »
With this project, the Daughters of Charity aim to:
- Improve children's participation and decrease their absenteism from school
- Contribute to the social interaction between the children
- Get stakeholders to interact and change attitudes towards children's disabilities
- Increase children's reading skills and school performance, especially for those with special needs.
Your support will make it possible to work with these children and provide them with an environment conducive to learning
Once again, we thank tall of you who have supported our projects. Sr Martha Ali
Je suis Sœur Martha Ali, Fille de la Charité de la Province du Nigeria. Enseignante pour les sourds, j'ai travaillé dans une école inclusive pendant neuf ans. J'ai ensuite été transférée à la maison provinciale de Porthacourt où j'ai occupé le poste d'économe provinciale pendant neuf autres années. Je suis allée à Rome pour suivre un cours diplômant sur la protection des mineurs et des adultes vulnérables. Actuellement, je suis administratrice d'une école créée en 2019 par la province nigériane des Filles de la Charité pour accueillir les enfants issus de milieux défavorisés et les enfants handicapés. Je suis la sœur servante de la communauté de Blessed Lindalva où se trouve l'école. Je plaide et sensibilise également les écoles, les églises et les villages à la protection des enfants et des adultes vulnérables, en particulier les personnes handicapées.