7 Nov 2011

Change of Fortune for Many Children at Sebeta

Today is the third day that our Ophalmic team has reviewed the children of the Sebeta School for the Blind.  We are delighted to confirm that our two professionals (Opthalmic doctor and nurse) who are seeing approx 60 children a day, are going to change the lives of many of these children.  So far they have established 20 children who have PERFECT eyesight, half of whom can read and write (remember, at this school they only get taught in Braille).  Many of the other children will recover their eyesight using glasses (the team have distributed many pairs of glasses already and we shall take more from here) or through operation.  Hearing this news has been wonderful for us, imagine what it must be like for them.
Since we have been offered the free classroom next door to the Messi room, we are now thinking that it will be best put to use as a classroom for the children who can or will shortly be able to see, so that they can learn to read and write Oromiya, their mother tongue.  Incredible as it is to believe there are children here aged 13 who have been here since they were 7 and can only read Braille.  We shall also try to provide classes in other subjects.  We hope that during the next year we shall be able to offer these children ´bridging classes´ to bring their level of education up to a level where they can join back in with the normal school school system.  This whole thing seems so surreal as these children were never subjected to an eye test before entering the school for the first time.
This reaffirms our theory that one day, someone, probably the local healer, has told their parents, perhaps because of some sort of conjunctivitis, that their children are going blind and so...

Opthalmic Team in Action

We´d like to share with you these photos of our Opthalmic team working with children in Sebeta.

Expanding in Sebeta School for the Blind

The first day of work for our Opthalmic team has been a success.  Some of the children will be able to improve their vision with glasses or with an operation.

There is a new director of the school who is much more caring than the last one, she genuinely seems concerned for the children and is collaborating with us.

So far we have received 45 applications from women for the 5 washing positions that we have decided to create.  With those 5 we shall have 8 at Sebeta, 4 cooks in Fita, 2 cooks in Biru, 34 employees at Abugida, our representative in Ethiopia and an accountant, a total of 50.  In addition we have 50 sponsored families, many of whom are hoping that one day we´ll be able to include them into a working cooperative.

The director of Sebeta has offered us the room next door to the Messi room, so we shall be able to double our space.  This in turn will allow us to contract some more monitors, after all part of the Sebeta campus is a teacher training college for special education teachers.  It is wonderful to be able to offer some employment opportunities to the local population, hopefully we´ll be able to offer more in the future.