Marita reading his book
Anne said that she has been looking after Marita for over some years after her parents died. Anne said that Marita was born in good condition but after reaching 2 years old, this is when she started not walking well. Marita was enrolled in standard 2 for easy monitoring of the child by her teacher (Elina Suwedi). Elina is a standard 2 teacher at Bishop McKenzie primary school and a teacher of Marita who attended training under Tiwaphunzitse project on inclusive education and children with disabilities.
Elina said that Marita was enrolled in standard 2 for easy monitoring of her performance in class.
“We do teach Marita things from standard 1 while in standard 2 for the sake of ensuring that she learn things that she could have learned in standard 1,” said Elina.
“By the time she reached a point that she should be walking well with both of her feet, this is when the disability was realized. She was struggling to walk,” said Anne.
Anne sent Marita to school after attending a sensitization meeting under Tiwaphunzitse project on inclusive education and children with disability.
“We were encouraged to be sending children with disabilities whom we are living together within our homes since they also deserve the same education as those children without any disability,” said Anne
Anne said that by the beginning of the second term of 2022 academic year, she took Marita to St Pius Primary school and the headteacher for the school welcomed Marita. Marita started learning at school.
“The headteacher told me that I did a very good thing by sending Marita to school,” said Anne.
Since there was no wheelchair for Marita to use it when going to school, Anne said that she used to carry Marita on her back to school each and every day so that she gets to school early and do not miss her classes.
After some weeks of carrying her to school, Anne said that she asked some children who were also going to the same school to be assisting Marita to walk to school
Anne said that when her friends and even her young siblings do not go to school, Marita also does not go to school since she relies mostly on her fellow friends and young siblings to go to school.
As a way of empowering Marita to stay focused on her education, Anne said that she checks on her notebooks each and every day and see what she has written at school.
To financially support Marita, Anne said that she does piece works around her community so that she can get money to buy pens, notebooks, and even pocket money which Marita could use to buy things every day at school.
Marita is now able to read and write though she is still not that competent enough.
The headteacher for Bishop McKenzie, Mr Mike Ganawani said that he frequently visits Anne to encourage her to continue taking care of Marita’s welfare and education.
Anne said that though Marita does not speak very much, she has been saying that she wants to become a nurse when she finishes her education.