Improving Lives and Education for Visually Impaired Children

Read more
Improving Lives and Education for Visually Impaired Children
Hornby High School, Uganda

This project aims to improve the accommodation, sanitation, kitchen and dining facilities for the children with special needs studying at Hornby High School, Kabale, Uganda.

Hornby High School is one of only two secondary schools in all of Uganda that offers education to children who are blind. Children with disabilities, such as blindness, in Uganda are often stigmatised and shamed, sometimes resulting in isolation, abuse and severe neglect. Most of these children are not given the opportunity to go to school, making it difficult for them to ever get a job or sustain themselves. Access to education is the only way children with disabilities such as blindness can overcome social marginalisation and have a chance at improved lives and livelihood prospects.

Blind and visually impaired students at Hornby High School have overcome the first obstacle of their difficult lives by completing primary school. They are among a handful of blind and visually-impaired children across the country who have reached secondary school. The children at Hornby lack even the most basic necessities that most of us take for granted, but are completely committed to improving their lives through dedicated learning and hard work.

Our first visit to Hornby High School found that the physical environment for the blind students was notably unacceptable. The classrooms used by the blind learners were dilapidated and in an appalling state. The children were confined to cramped dormitories with leaking roofs, infested mattresses and threadbare bedding. The children lacked appropriate toilet and shower facilities, were missing life-saving mosquito nets and only had one uniform which they wore every day. The kitchen and dining facilities for the children were rustic and lacked proper ventilation.

Sustain for Life is now supporting the blind and visually-impaired children at Hornby High School, and also increasing the capacity of the school to offer learning opportunities to more blind children across Uganda. With improvements to the dormitories, bathrooms, compound and kitchen, the environment at Hornby will be more conducive to learning and accessible to more children.

Location: Kabale, southwest Uganda

Local Partner: Hornby High School

Co-funder: Masikini Foundation

Beneficiaries: 289 students; 22 special education learners in 2017

Before photos: