Lina, from the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, was born with both visual and hearing impairments.
Unable to diagnose the condition of Lina’s eyes, Lina was referred to the regional hospital where her parents were told shortly after that she was blind.
“I was in shock when I visited my newborn daughter at the hospital. I found her with yellow eyes. My wife could not stop crying and the doctor said that Lina would never see again”, says Lina’s father.
Lina’s life changed, when aged two, her parents were introduced to a teacher from Mwanga School for the Deaf and the Mbuyuni Primary School. The teachers here provided specialized training to support children like Lina to develop the skills to enable her to be independent, to read, write and play with other children.
“The teachers have done wonders to Lina’s life. Now my daughter can play with other children despite her hearing and vision challenges” says Lina’s father, on the difference the teachers, trained by Sense International (Tanzania)*, has made to their lives.
Images 1 and 2: Lina, a child with deafblindness - happy to show the SEN teacher from Mwanga school for the Deaf that she can now hold a pen and write
Lina is now five years old. She is able to express herself through signing, has mastered toilet training and she can speak a few words like ‘ma’. With the support of the Special Education Needs (SEN) teacher from Mwanga School for the Deaf and the mainstream teacher from Mbuyuni primary school, Lina is now attending a pre-school class in the nearby nursery schools.
*The programme is funded by the Big Lottery Fund
First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017