The Grade 2 pupil at Joyland Special School for Persons Living with Disabilities in Kisumu County has every reason to be grateful to God.
Born without hands 10 years ago at Lotego in Vihiga County, the unique girl has gone against all odds to prove that “when life gives you lemon, make lemonade,” contrary to those who often lament over their state of disability.
When the writer visited Joyland Special School this morning the girl, Charity Kibisu, was bent over her books scribbling neatly during the literacy lessons under the watchful eyes of her teacher, Hussein Hamisi. She uses her toes to write.
Moving closer to where she was seated, Kibisu was not distracted by our presence but stayed focused on her assignment. Teacher Hamisi confirmed that she usually keeps her eyes on the ball aware that education was the sure way to a successful life.
Hamisi confided that the girl is well known across the institution and unlike most of her contemporaries, she exudes confidence in all that she does.
“If you meet her in the school compound, you will be tempted to think that everything about her was normal. Despite her tender age, Kibisu has demonstrated some unique abilities such as calmness in and outside classroom,” he revealed.
Hamisi and the Deputy Head teacher Antony Opari disclosed that one of the challenges they always encountered is the difficulty in movement (mobility) by children with special needs especially when schools reopened.
This means that some learners reported late from home for as long as three weeks and in the process lost out on some of the key lessons.
“This is why we call upon parents with such children to have a change in mindset by prioritizing the needs of these special groups. It has always been the norm that normal children in the families have their issues addressed first before considering this group,” he explained.
By the time of going to the press, about 100 learners had reported back out of the total population of 255. This is less than half of the school population.
By Joseph Ouma