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Thanks to his new glasses, Egide is back at school


Inclusion | Rwanda | PUBLISHED ON August 25th 2023
Egide stands in front of a blackboard in a classroom. With his finger, he points to the text written on the blackboard. Two other students are sitting to his left, watching.

Since getting his new glasses; Egide hasn’t missed a day’s school. | © N. Nyirabageni / HI

Egide is 7 years old and lives in Rwanda. Born with a visual disability, HI has helped him receive the eye surgery he needed. Today, with his new glasses, he can see the bright side of life.

Egide Inezayimana is 7 years old and lives in the Huye district of southern Rwanda. He is in year three of his local primary school. Egide was born with a visual disability. He has vision loss in his right eye and is totally blind in his left eye as a result of a congenital lesion. In March 2023, HI came to his aid. He now has new glasses and can follow in class.

A painful situation for the little boy

Egide and his family in their house. © N. Nyirabageni / HIAs Egide is from a very modest family, his parents couldn’t afford the medical treatment he needed.The first six years of his life was a series of obstacles. His mother explains:

“In the day, the sunlight hurt Egide’s eyes and at night, he couldn't see objects or distances and couldn't move from one place to another. He regularly suffered from sudden violent, headaches. His right eye also developed a serious eye infection, which was very painful. In class, he couldn't follow or learn properly because he couldn't see what was written on the blackboard or in the books. Most of the time, he missed class... He was in danger of dropping out.”

Personalised support that changed everything

Egide at school. © N. Nyirabageni / HILike other children with disabilities, Egide was identified in March 2023 by one of the local education mobilisers recruited and trained by HI.

"After the assessment carried out by the specialists with HI's support, my son was admitted to Kabgayi Eye Hospital, much to our delight. He was diagnosed, operated on and given glasses that now help him get around and go to school," says his mother, happily.

Egide can now see well out of his right eye. His left eye is still not very strong, but he no longer has fluid in his eye or headaches. Since he returned to school, he has never missed a day. Egide is a very regular pupil and gets goods marks. His classmates no longer make fun of him, and he is fully integrated into all the school’s activities.

The EXACTE project began in 2018 and has since been renewed every year. It is funded by UNICEF and its aim is to make education inclusive and accessible to all, notably through teacher training or adapting the school environment to make it more physically accessible. Nearly 15,000 teachers have been trained, more than 1,200 schools supported and 416 regional education managers have benefited from awareness raising.

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