Bright eyed, eight-year-old Emmanuel was first identified by his teacher, Madam Comfort, who took an interest in him because of his disability. He has no fingers on his right hand, and as a result of this challenge, Emmanuel disliked school and struggled to develop an interest in learning. A further challenge faced by Emmanuel was to do with his reading skills which were limited to the identification of just a few letters, names and sounds but not blending of sounds. Inspired by his challenge, Madam Comfort gave Emmanuel special attention by encouraging him to attend school and join the Unlock Literacy programme.
“I am thankful to World Vision for bringing the Unlock Literacy programme to Krachi West District. I am happy that I can now read fluently and pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer in the future” remarks Emmanuel, who is currently a grade three student in the Oti Region of Ghana.
One of World Vision's objectives is for children to be educated for life. This is possible through various programmes offered from birth and beyond adolescence. The Unlock Literacy programme incorporates an integrated approach to physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. For school-going children like Emmanuel, the earliest years are a window of opportunity to support the emergence of literacy, numeracy and life skills that will form the foundation for a lifetime of learning and fulfilment. Another programme model, the Learning Roots model, also includes an approach to developing strong social skill-sets, with activities which include pretend play corners, blocks and construction, puzzles and games, books and pictures, and outside/indoor play along with other science activities.
In addition, World Vision introduced Emmanuel to an after-school reading camp in his community, where he has the opportunity to further his reading skills after school. These camps provide a place where children go after school and on weekends to build on their literacy skills, which will improve their already existing knowledge base. Reading camps are facilitated by trained community volunteers who lead children to build their literacy skills through songs, storytelling and reading.
Emmanuel’s father, Mr. Anane, was disturbed by his son's condition and his dislike for school. He comments that “thanks to World Vision and teacher Comfort, the Learning Roots programme has brought changes to my son’s life. I always feel happy when I visit the reading camp and see him reading to his peers.”
Emmanuel’s love for reading has led him to join the Child Parliament in his community, where he serves as a clerk in pursuance of his dream of becoming a lawyer.