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teboho 1

19 year old Teboho Senamolele was born with Cerebal Palsy (CP), in Maputsoe, Lesotho. Due to his disability and the lack of facilities for the disabled in his community, he went to school for the first time in his life in 2013 (after undergoing an in-depth assessment at the Ferrando Resource Center (Catholic School for Differently Abled Children, where I met him) Teboho was declared fit to sit the Primary School Leaving Certificate examination.


In 2014 Tebogo was assessed by officials from the Department of Special Education in Leribe. "He passed the assessment and was declared fit to write the Standard 7 final examinations which he passed with flying colours", said his Standard 7 teacher. He came 6th in Lesotho - despite having to use a specially adapted computer.

Teboho said, "I am looking forward to pursuing further education in high school. I hope that one day I will become a lawyer so that I can fight for the rights of children with disabilities."

Yet Teboho's dream of going into high school could go up in smoke... , his mother, who is the only breadwinner in the family has failed to raise the required tuition fees. "I would love to see my son proceed to high school, but my wage, from the factory, is not enough to pay the fees, and also cover our living expenses."

 

Meanwhile, while he anxiously awaits his high school debut, all Teboho can do for now is while-away time reading novels and newspapers.
 
He is just one of the mateboho 2ny young people that the Salesians are trying to assist through our projects.
 
I am so honoured to have met him and other young people that are doing wonders despite their difficult circumstances.
 
You, dear reader, can help Tebogo help himself.  Click on the DONATE button on the top right of the screen and choose to donate to the Salesian project in Lesotho.

Tebogo wrote a letter (see below) asking for assistance.

 

A LETTER FROM AN ADVOCATE  
My name is Teboho Senamolele. I live in Maputsoe Lesotho. I am nineteen years old. I like using my mind very much and my favourite subjects are mathematics and science. I have two siblings a brother and a sister. I live in a one bedroom house with my mother, sister and two nephews. I was born in Maputsoe and have spent all my life here. This is my first letter as an advocate.


I am a person with a kind of disability called cerebral palsy (CP). It was very confusing for me when I was still a young boy. Because I could not move well around my environment, other children of my age would laugh at me. I looked so funny in front of their eyes. Another problem was that I did not have any wheelchair.  That meant if I had to go somewhere someone had to carry me either by hands or on their back. Children would laugh at me or talk about me and they would say “see him at the back, he is grown up but still being carried just like a baby” and those words now are making sense to me.  At the time I was grown up enough to walk by myself independently. The challenges which I just mentioned and many others which I didn’t made my environment very uncomfortable for me as a young boy.


When I was young, I used to play every day with my sister (not biological). As we got older her time eventually came for her to be in school. Many questions came in my head: What is happening in school? Why must children wake up in the morning and go to school? What‘s really going on in the school?


Because of these questions when I was alone I started asking questions. They would tell me very little about the school. I was still interested in school so I asked my mother why I am not going to the school like other children. I think that question hurt my mother because there was nothing she could do. The reason for this problem was that schools for children with disabilities were not around. My mother didn’t have enough money for me to be in boarding school. She was also complaining about the care, ‘’she was saying that boarding schools have little care’’.


After school we used to draw together outside on the ground with a tree-stick. That’s how I started learning. We were drawing pictures of people, cars, houses and so on. My mother and sister started teaching me vowels, also they taught me to count. My mother was busy all week and my sister had to prepare dinner and do some homework. Therefore I had very little time for my learning. On weekdays my grandmother was the one who would take care of me. The problem was that she was so busy with her work and no one could help me practice what I learned.


 Then came an organization called Action Lesotho, Action Lesotho is an Irish based NGO.  In collaboration with the government of Lesotho it initiated many projects in the country to help the poor especially to alleviate hunger and orphans. In 2010 they took some children with disabilities from Maputsoe to the doctor in Maseru.  The doctor was assessing children to see what the problem was with each child was. I was one of those children. From here Action Lesotho took us to a physiotherapist and we got treatment weekly. They recognised I was doing well and how I was quickly speaking English. They got me a teacher who taught me mathematics, English and Sesotho. As time passed I got a great opportunity which I was wishing to have one day. The opportunity was to write my state primary examination, I was very excited to get such opportunity,I worked hard and I got best results: I received a top six reward in the whole country. As far as we know I am the first person with a disability to sit a state exam in Lesotho. The plan was to help me to be in normal primary school but unfortunately it didn’t work.


I was the first student in Ferrando resource centre it’s has been very exciting to be here and see how much it has grown. This centre is very important because it means children have enough time for learning. Unlike when I was younger they have teachers who teach them patiently Monday to Friday. I think that really charges their lives. As I described there was a desire in my mind to have been in school throughout my childhood. I understand how important it is to be in school especially to children with disabilities.I have experienced many things.I see how other children are learning and how other children can understand. Most of us need to be taught in special way.


We study in a temporary school Monday to Friday. We do not have disabled toilets and every doorway has a step. Every Friday we have to put the class room away as our room belongs to the local church. It is now our dream to have a proper school with permanent classrooms. It’ll be very important to have new school because all children should have the right to have a proper education; we need capable classrooms for children with disabilities, chairs, desks, toilets and other equipments. All things I mentioned need a special building. This is why I ask you for your help.
I now have a family of 23 brothers and sisters who I learn with every day. We love our school and our teachers. Please see it in your heart to help us with a donation. We need your assistance!
Thank You for taking the time to read this letter.

 

Teboho Senamolele

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