When the father of one or her students got up to help the student to the bathroom, Sister Haregewein Kiflemariam told him to let her go. She can to manage on her own, she told him.
“She will be fine,” she said.
With those words, the father began to cry. He realized that he had been diminishing his daughter’s abilities, holding her back from developing her independence. He had pitied her and had written her off as useless.
This father’s initial perception of his daughter is commonly held about the blind in Ethiopian culture.
Slowly, however, St. Raphael Boarding School for the Blind in Azezo, northern Ethiopia, which Sister Haregewein supervises, and a handful of other organizations that educate and teach life skills to the blind are changing the perception in Ethiopian culture.
See how Sister Haregewein’s students learn, dance, play, care for themselves and become contributing members of society in the video below.