World Vision Supports Handicapped Children in Niger - "through World Vision, I finally feel valued"

Mourtala is a 9 year old registered child from the village of Fissataou, who was victim of polio, a highly infectious disease caused by a virus (poliovirus) that invades the nervous system resulting in permanent paralysis in a few hours. Mourtala is currently in CE1 class in a village where there is only one primary school for 410 children, 262 boys and 168 girls.                

According to Harouna Nana Fassuma Maazou, Mourtala's teacher, at first she was very worried that he would not integrate but to her surprise, despite the many wounds that he gets when going to school, he is always the first to arrive at the school. Mourtala is also one of the smartest students in his class and is involved in all class activities.

A few days after the start of school, World Vision provided him with a set of school supplies including: 1 school bag, 1 reading book, 1 math book, 8 books, 1 slate protects, 5 copy book covers, 1 packet of crayons, 2 blue pens, two pencils, 3 erasers, 2 pairs of knee pads and 2 pairs of gloves.

Excited and proud, Mourtala tells us the excitement he and his parents felt after the donation. "At the midday break, when I carried my bag, my knee pads and gloves, the whole school was watching me; my friends envied me. My parents came out to greet me, my mom had tears streaming down her cheeks and she said, 'my son, now your handicap became an advantage for you, and I am the happiest mother in the village.' The next morning several students came and waited at our door in order to accompany me to school. I became like Mahamadou Issoufou, the President of Niger, who always has people behind him and frankly since that day, my love for the school grew and at the end of my studies I would like to be a teacher. Now the constant injuries to knees and hands are over, my disability is not a fatality. I said to myself: 'Ah! So God has not forgotten me! So despite my disability, through World Vision, I finally feel valued. My mother told me to always pray for World Vision, God bless all of its agents.”

Mourtala's director and teacher also thanked World Vision for their support and the contribution it has made and continues to make in the lives of their student. Other students with handicaps will soon receive a wheelchairs and other equipment to ensure their opportunity to study and live a normal life.

More than an end in itself, education is essential to the economic, social and political. Education is a right that should be granted to all children, which corresponds perfectly to the World Vision values and beliefs. Mourtala, part of one of the most vulnerable segments of society, now feels important and valued. He aspires to help others in the future by becoming a teacher.