Disability ≠ Inability: Scholarships for Special Students
In March 2019, the African Education Program (AEP) officially opened the doors of the Read for Rose Special Education Program for children with disabilities and special needs who live in AEP’s local community in Kafue, Zambia. Due to high levels of stigma, these children are too often overlooked and marginalized.
AEP alumni Febby Choombe is the visionary behind Read for Rose. Febby knows that less than half of special needs children will ever enter a classroom, so she has always had the dream to change the education landscape for these marginalized girls and boys. Through AEP’s Scholarship Program, Febby graduated from the University of Zambia with a degree in Special Education. In March of 2019, in partnership with AEP’s after-school learning and leadership center, Febby launched Read for Rose as a free special education center where students can acquire language and occupational skills.
Impact of the Program
The Read for Rose Special Education Program now includes 21 young people with varying degrees of impairment: hearing impaired, visually impaired, cerebral palsy, spina bifida/hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and intellectually challenged. Febby works closely with each student, preferring quality education over quantity. One of the recent Read for Rose success stories includes teaching braille to a young woman who is visually impaired who has been in the program since its inception. After many hours of braille lessons and academic tutoring, this young woman passed the national exams and qualified to enter a specialized school for the blind. She now attends a boarding school and returns to Read for Rose on her school breaks for AEP’s programs. It is AEP’s hope that we can provide this type of transition to many more Read for Rose children.
Read for Rose Program Goal
The cost for AEP’s Read for Rose Special Education Program and the continuing education at a specialized school for one student is $1500. The services provided at Read for Rose include academic tutoring, basic life skills training, and counseling for both the children and their parents. For the visually impaired students, braille lessons for both the child and the parents are included to open up a pathway for communication. A full, hearty meal is served each day as part of the Nutrition Program. And, each young woman and girl is also provided with menstrual health training and access to reusable pads and menstrual cups. A new initiative this past year allowed each Read for Rose student to have access to a tablet to learn ICT skills and specialized instruction.
Get Involved Now!
Make a donation to the Read for Rose Project and support children with special needs receive high quality education.