Kule Godfrey was born blind, just like his two siblings. He was obviously a bright boy, but village schools are not equipped to cope with blind children. In fact, there were no schools in the Rwenzori region able to teach blind or deaf children. Communication is virtually impossible so these children receive no education and are often isolated. Poor behaviour due to frustration and boredom is a common and misunderstood problem.
In 2005 the Rwenzori Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities (RAPCD) was formed as a support group by a handful of parents. In 2010, this group opened a primary school for deaf or blind children with support from Accomplish. There was one basic room which served as a classroom, kitchen, dormitory and bathroom. There was no water or electricity. An initial group of 15 pioneer pupils enrolled, including Godfrey.
Fast forward 12 years and today, RAPCD's school has a complex of buildings and teaches nearly 200 disabled pupils. Godfrey flourished at the school and became its head boy.
RAPCD began building a secondary school nearby in 2016, supported by Accomplish. Godfrey once more became a pioneer pupil at this school, which is called St Agnes, when it opened in 2017.
Braille is taught at both of RAPCD's schools. A grant from Medical Missionary News bought many Braille text books for the blind students, particularly for the different subjects taught at the secondary school. Equipment was also bought so pupils can write Braille transcripts.
Godfrey has been extremely happy at RAPCD's schools. He has learnt so much more than just academic subjects, including how to look after all his daily needs. Blind teachers at the schools have been wonderful role models.
Godfrey’s sister Solanje, who is also blind, followed Godfrey into the RAPCD primary school and is doing well there. She hopes to progress to St Agnes Secondary School at the beginning of 2024.
Sadly, Godfrey’s older brother has become very poorly. As well as coping with blindness, he is now confined to a wheelchair and has not been able to receive an education.
Godfrey has now moved onto another secondary school which teaches blind children to a more advanced level than St Agnes School. He is studying literature, history and religious education. His dream is to become a teacher.
Support our schools
Could you help more blind children like Godfrey and Solanje receive an education by donating today to support our schools?
Gorret, who is partially blind, runs a tailoring business. She learned her craft at our vocational training centre and was given a sewing machine when she graduated to enable her to start work.