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I believe: ‘Disability is not an inability!’

Donathe, ECE teacher at GS Buhokoro, is a motivated, creative and confident ECE teacher. Most of the ECE teachers strive to have a big class to earn more money, but Donathe prefers to have a small class, which is easier to manage, so she can have a bigger positive impact on the children.

Nyabitekeri sector, where GS Buhokoro is located, is a sector with a large number of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Many children with different severe disabilities attend the ECE class. This is challenging for Donathe, but it is not a reason for her to give up.

One day in 2017, there was a VSO training delivered by HVP Gatagara, who have expertise in Special Needs Education (SNE). Donathe attended this training.

One of the facilitators was a blind man. He was a good trainer and convinced the trainees of the importance of SNE. Donathe was impressed and triggered by this man’s message. She started to believe that ‘Disability is not an inability’. This is where Donathe found her inspiration to help SEN children.

In the holidays before the opening of the 2019 academic year, Donathe was visiting her students in their family’s homes. She calls it chance that she met with a mother and her son, a (totally) blind young boy. Donathe started to encourage the mother to enrol her son in the ECE class.

It wasn’t easy for her to create new hope into the mother’s heart. She explained that the boy might become a very important man like a doctor or a trainer. She gave the example of her own experience during the training. This is how the mother started to believe that her son could attend school.

That is how the boy became a student in Donathe’s ECE class. Due to the long distance from home to school and the challenges the family has to deal with, he isn’t able to attend school every day. The mother tries to bring him to school twice a week.

Where at first he was shy and cried a lot he now feels more confident. When the children are counting or writing numbers, he is counting with stones. Other children were first staying and observing him from a distance, but nowadays they help him find his way around the classroom.

Donathe is proud of the VSO volunteers in Zone 5, both national and international (Liome and Gerjanne), who have continued to be with her and help her during trainings, coaching and mentoring.

Liome Kwihangana, Education Advisor in Nyamasheke for Itegure Kwiga (SSRR project).

Gerjanne van Ravenhorst, international Education Advisor for Itegure Kwiga (SSRR project) and Itegure Gusoma,

11th July 2019

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Comments (2)

  • Throught play little minds grow faster faster than ever.
    Great appreciation to Donatha and VSO Volunteers Liome Kwihanga my 📖 mates and Gerjanne van ravenhorst, Keep up only sky is a limit.

  • Gerjanne van Ravenhorst

    Thank you so much for the encouragement. Yes you are right: through play little minds grow faster than ever!

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Contact

Gerjanne van Ravenhorst
MEd Learning & Innovation

Managing Director
Advisor – Trainer – Coach

Early childhood & Primary education
Expert in play-based learning

Nyamasheke district, Rwanda
+ 250 781447354
gerjanne@twigadukina.com

TIN number: 108991740

In the past I have worked as an ECE advisor for two VSO projects in Rwanda:
Itegure Kwiga & Itegure Gusoma

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