Abdul is 13 years old and loves school. His teachers say he is very bright, disciplined and hardworking. He is also deaf.
In the UK, a deaf child can expect the teaching and attention he needs to be a successful student. Living in Afghanistan, it’s not something Abdul’s parents could take for granted...
When Abdul was three months old, he fell very ill with a high fever. His family lived in a small community, a village in rural Afghanistan. They couldn’t find treatment for their son. Their son eventually recovered, however the illness left Abdul deaf in both ears.
Abdul’s parents were devastated – afraid that Abdul wouldn’t grow up to do things like reading and writing. They imagined that their son might not be able to communicate with everyone and develop friendships with other children. ‘We didn’t think Abdul would be able to go to school, or have hopes and dreams like other children,’ Abdul’s mother explained ‘We felt helpless, unable to help him.’
However, everything changed when the family met Tearfund partner, Serve Afghanistan. The group is committed to inclusive education: integrating children with disabilities into the country’s mainstream education. They also offer specialist support for children with various disabilities.