Arahama is the fourth child of her parents, and a twin. A complicated, delayed birth has caused her sadly to have severe learning difficulties with hearing and speech problems. She was rejected by her father for her disability. Her parents divorced when she was 7 years old and she moved with her mother to live in a room of her grandparents’ home. Life was a real struggle: Arahama’s grandparents are very elderly and unable to work, and looking after Arahama was a 24 hour job for her mother. If left alone Arahama would often become hurt.
‘sometimes Arahama gets lost in the community and I have to search for hours to find her. I have to guide her all the time. She is a burden to me and my family, but I have no choice – it is the will of God’. Arahama’s mother
Youth Alive became aware of Arahama’s situation through work with a government community representative. We were able to intervene and support Arahama to become enrolled in Yumba Special School, a local school especially for children with severe learning disabilities. The specialist support she receives has helped her family better understand her condition and has had a huge effect on her. Her psychomotor and cognitive skills are improving, and she is beginning to try to form words. As soon as Arahama was able to start school, her mother found employment selling yams in the market and has gained a new independence and pride in being able to provide for her family. It’s now brilliant to see Arahama laughing and smiling, able to learn and play with her new friends.
‘People who said Arahama is a write-off will now swallow their words. She can now brush her teeth, eat, bath and wash dishes. She can be heard reciting things she has learnt from school. In fact there is massive improvement in her life. It is a big relief for me. I am also now able to engage in petty trading. I no longer worry about her future’.