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Focusing on ability not in disability

By John Agok

General principle for people living with disability stressed out that, focus on ability and not disability to all intellectual impaired, physical challenge and visually impaired persons who were on Thursday participating in Blind Sports organized by Light the World at Buluk B. Primary School.

This was in a bid to bring to the attention the plights and aspirations of people with special needs.Especially, children living with disabilities and revealed their inspirations of wanting careers and professionals at the yardstick of education’s journey.

Juba Monitor Newspaper caught up with two girls at Buluk B. Primary school during an activitybranded ‘Blind Sports’ under the theme “People Inclusions Sports”. The sports activity was actually rare in various schools due to lack of Physical education and materials required for it.

However, these two girls were coping with the situation in the school and continued to share their ambition despite challenges.

Beyoncé Samuel Yel,a visually impaired pupil of primary eight at Buluk B. Primary School told media that, she wanted to become a journalist in the future. She called on Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) to provide her with learning materials and accompany with mentorship in journalism.

“I am aspiring to be a journalist as I continue with my academic journey. I am appealing to UJOSS to provide me with learning materials, especially in mentoring me through journalism club here in the school”, she said.

Yel also called on relevant organization that assist or help people with disabilities to provide her with pamphlets for summary book writing for blind in order to catch up pupils in class when copying notes.

“I am asking Organizations to really assist me with learning materials.Especially, pamphlets for summary book for brain. I have challenge of not catching up my colleagues when copying notes on the blackboard”, she added.

She revealed that she was delightful to participate in the Blind Sports activity and continued to call for consistency of such games. Sheadded that the activity should continue always since it relieves the stress they were going thorough and also, they felt the sense of inclusion than being isolated due to their disabilities.

“I am very happy to participate in the Blind Sports activity and I wish this should always continue to beat the stress we people with disability go through, as we are sometimes isolated for such sports”, she concluded.

Meanwhile, Pasca Jada who was in Primary three said that she was aspired to be a nurse working in Juba Teaching Hospital and continue to give services to people with special needs. She also noted that she wanted go there and bridge the gap in reducing the stereotyping and discrimination syndrome of people with disability from health sector.

“I am aspiring to be a nurse so that, I can start working in Juba Teaching Hospital. I want to give service to every people living with disabilities and this will reduce discrimination and isolation of disables”, she said.

Jada felt good as she participated in Blind Sports saying that she wanted such game to continue including everybody even without disability.

“I feel good because I am included to play in this Blind Sport activity and I wish it should continue like this. This will make us feel included and become happy as well”, she added.

Yakani Stephen the Project Officer for Light the World Organization decried the lack of both physical education and people inclusion sport in schools.  He emphasized on limitations of physical education as per his supervision in schools to include space for sport games, equipment or materials and avoid reluctancy in physical education to concentrate only on academic activities.

“Based on our assessment of schools, we found out that there are conditions limiting space for sports and physical education generally. It is frustrating indeed, since physical education is part of the curriculum and it is rarely practice in schools”, he said.

Stephen urged school managers to redouble their efforts to practice physical education and inclusive sports for children with disability.

“I urge all the school managers to exert efforts in practicing physical education despite challenges. I know physical education requires nothing in term of materials but to provide space for it and inclusive sports. This has to include all children with disability to also participate in it”, he added.

South Sudan would soon witness another ‘Blind Sports’event in Wau and expected to bring people living with disability to participate underauspices of International Organization (IOM).

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