Rojina is 15 and lives in a Moira, a village in northern Bangladesh. The nearest town with medical facilities and schools is in Bogra which is 12 km from her village. Rojina lives with her father, a truck driver who is often away for long stretches of time and her mother. She also has a younger brother and sister. The family survive on a small income and food is often scarce. Noorjahan, Rojina’s mother, experienced a long and complicated labour. No midwife was present at the birth.
Rojina has some residual sight and hearing but she didn’t receive any medical or rehabilitation support until she was seven years old. She was identified as deafblind as part of a survey of local children and referred to Sense International. Rojina was provided with weekly support by an educator who taught her new skills including eating, washing and getting dressed independently. The educator has also helped Noorjahan learn to communicate with her daughter better.
As Rojina became more independent she was able to secure a place at a school for disabled children. She is now learning Braille and has for the first time been able to make friends. Many of the other girls in Rojina’s village do not attend school as it isn’t seen as a priority for them. Rojina’s place at school was being put in jeopardy as the family could not afford the transport costs. Last year, Noorjahan was provided with a grant to start a tea stall in front of the family home which has enabled her to generate extra income for the family.
First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017