Last year, we told you about a new project we launched with Comic Relief called Natwe Turashoboye (We can also), helping to protect and empower deaf girls against sexual abuse in Rwanda. One year on, we are excited to share the incredible impact this programme is having for girls.
It is a shocking reality that 92% of victims of sexual violence in Northern Rwanda are girls experiencing communication disabilities. Unable to tell anyone what has happened to them, these children are left to suffer in silence.
But your generous support is changing this. As part of our project working with our partners EmCD and Mindleaps, 126 deaf girls and boys are being taught about their rights through dance classes at the Nyabihu deaf school. Educating children about how to report a crime will mean that deaf children feel safer, respected and equal to their hearing peers. “I want deaf girls to have access to justice if they have had their rights abused so that we can all live a protected and safer life,” 12-year-old pupil Aime told us.
“Before coming here, I did not know that I, or other children have the right to education. So far, I have learnt to become resilient. I have also learnt the importance of supporting one another. I think this is heightened because this is an inclusive school.”
“I feel safe here because I have found education. I really want to continue with this and progress towards secondary school.”
Alongside learning about their rights, children at the school have a real sense of community, “learning with deaf peers here helps me a lot. I feel happier and included. It is easy to communicate, play, dance and interact together. I want to continue my education and eventually become an entrepreneur in construction”.
Your donations are giving children a safe space and support to express themselves in building self-belief and confidence and resilience. By dancing together, they are breaking down the barriers and stigma that experiencing a disability can bring and they can look forward to a safer, more equal future.
Help us today to ensure that more children are able to access safety and realise their rights. Your donation could help more children like Aimee.