Anitha George from Tanzania wrote this blog after attending the RIATT-ESA sponsored Children and Youth conference at the 2017 Psychosocial Forum.
My name is Anitha George. I was born with a hearing disability. I got several treatments but unfortunately they were unsuccessful. My dad passed away shortly after I was born in car accident, and I was raised by mother, who was a business woman.
When I was 11years old, my mother made efforts for me to start school but it was a challenge to find one for children with special needs. She finally she succeeded to get into the Mgeza primary school in Kagera region, one of the few schools in Tanzania that caters for the deaf.
At the school, I quickly learned sign language that helped me understand the lessons. I graduated from primary school and based on my good results I continued to Rugambwa Secondary school in Kagera region. But due to many challenges, I did not do well.
Fortunately, again through my mother’s persistence, I was finally accepted at the Vocational Training Centre at Yombo in Dar es Salaam.
From my experience, I suggest the following to help others not to face the same challenges as I did:
- To educate more people on the use of sign language. It is important for the community to understand sign language so as to communicate better with deaf people. This will eradicate the loneliness of deaf people in society.
- Equal provision of education to ensure that everyone studies in a friendly environment.
- Society at large should be aware that the disabled can do big things and solve problems of the world just like any other person. Therefore, they should not be discriminated against but provided with services that they need to lead a normal life and reach their full potential.