Yentougle being supported by the itinerant teacher (right) and the class teacher (left). | © HI
Yentougle and Yenhame are 13 year-old twins. They both have vision impairments. Through HI's inclusive education project, they are receiving personalised support to help them continue their schooling.
Yentougle and her twin brother Yenhame come from a family of seven children, five boys and two girls. They both have vision impairments, as do their older sister Larba and younger brother Tampo. Thanks to the inclusive education scheme for blind pupils set up by HI and its partners in Togo, the twins are receiving an adapted education.
Yentougle and Yenhame live in Sibortoti, a village on the outskirts of Dapaong in northern Togo. Their family is living in considerable precarity and cannot afford specialised care and education for all four of their visually impaired children.
Because of their disability, Yentougle and Yenhame had difficulty moving around and finding their way on their own. They couldn’t join in the other children’s games and were sometimes stigmatised.
"We couldn't send them on errands," says Tchable Lyabine, the twins' father. "They couldn't help us with the daily chores, like cleaning, or with the market gardening. Their mother had to be with them all the time, to take them to school and pick them up afterwards."
The twins’ lives took a new turn in 2012, when they were identified by the teams of the Association des Personnes Handicapées Motivées de Tône (APHMOTO), one of HI’s partners. The organisation began supporting the twins.
Yentougle and Yenhame have since benefited from medical support, with consultations and eye care planned and financed by the organisation. HI and its partner have also provided them with white canes to help with their mobility and autonomy.
Both associations also distribute food kits to the twins' family to help them overcome their financial difficulties.
Yentougle and Yenhame are enrolled in the local primary school. To help them study in the right conditions, HI has provided them with school kits containing clothes, bags, shoes and school supplies adapted to their specific needs.
At the school, Yentougle and Yenhame’s teacher receives technical support from HI. He has been trained in inclusive teaching techniques and methods to help him support the twins with their learning.
Yentougle and Yenhame are also benefitting from personalised educational support from an itinerant teacher specialised in vision impairment and Braille. The teacher comes to their home several times a week to provide tutoring, transcribe lessons and help them do exercises in Braille.
Thanks to this support, the twins are making real progress at school. In June 2022, Yentougle and Yenhame successfully completed the first cycle and obtained their Certificat d'Etude de Premier Degré (First Degree School Certificate).
Awareness-raising activities have been organised within the community to combat the stigmatisation of the twins. As a result, the discrimination experienced by Yentougle and Yenhame has lessened. Today, the twins have made friends in their village and take part in the other children's games. Their friends often accompany them home from school.