Rabina Tharu (20) is from Nepal (Baijanath-7, Pedari, Banke) she is born with a physical disability. Due to several factors Rabina had never gone to school. Through the ENGAGE project (Empowering New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education) Rabina got her chance to an education. Read about Rabina’s story here.
Rabina could never attend school because of her family’s poor economic conditions and the reluctance of her parent to send her to school. They were reluctant due to stigmatization by their neighbours and relatives. To add salt to the wound, there was no disability friendly school in the area anyway. Along side a lacking of a basic education Rabina also knew close to nothing about hygiene and sanitation. All this devastated her confidence for years.
Through a medical control organized by ENGAGE, Rabina was assessed. They provided a wheelchair for them and a toilet chair including a training on how to use it. The project’s Community Mobilizer visited her home numerous times, after a lot of discussions and counseling sessions, the mobilizer convinced her parents to let Rabina join a bridge class. The project also supported her with learning materials. Her parents also participated in a training ‘support skills’ provided by ENGAGE which helped them develop an plan of action on daily living skills for Rabina.
‘I believe that most of the people with a disability are still deprived of their fundamental rights. Therefore they should be seek or bring into contact with projects like ENGAGE. Those projects can be life changing for them.’ – Rabina Tharu
Having an education
Despite the fact that she had never been to school, Rabina successfully completed her bridge class and is now enrolled in grade 3 of a government school. She has started building up her self-confidence and has become an example in her community. She showed them wrong and is living proof that : ‘Having a disability is part of the human condition and that a person’s environment has a huge impact on the experience and extent of disability.’.
How does ENGAGE work?
ENGAGE is supporting girls like Rabina through a multi-sector approach. The project aims to bring primary actors and beneficiaries in the field of schooling. First Rabina was supported in her rehabilitation through provision of a wheelchair and toilet chair and how to use those. This enabled her to get enrolled in the bridge class from where she gained basic skills like reading, writing and math. Rabina was also supported on a financial level, school costs like: the school fee, stationeries and a school uniform were paid for. Eventually, she choose the education offered by ENGAGE and eventually enrolled in a government school.
Rabina tells us that she is focusing on the thing she learned from ENGAGE, she goes on to say : ‘I believe that most of the people with a disability are still deprived of their fundamental rights. Therefore they should be seek or bring into contact with projects like ENGAGE. Those projects can be life changing for them.’.
Revised by : VSO NL