UNICEF, AIFO and Norway help children with disabilities resume their studies in Mozambique
“I dream of becoming a tailor or a fashion designer as soon as I finish secondary school, because I like to be independent at work and because I see my neighbour who is a tailor."
Sussundenga, Manica – “I dream of becoming a tailor or a fashion designer as soon as I finish secondary school, because I like to be independent at work and because I see my neighbour who is a tailor," said 14-year-old Lucas Manuel Armando, in the Munhinga Sede neighbourhood. Lucas is attending grade 6 at the Munhinga Primary school, in Sussundenga district, Manica province.
Despite living 500 metres from his school, Lucas used to find it very difficult to get around. Now that he has received new crutches, he gets around very easily and makes it to school on time. Lucas loves playing at school with his friends, "my friends play well with me, I have never been discriminated against because of my disability," Lucas said.
In 2019, Lucas and his family were affected by Cyclone Idai, seeing their precarious home and corn crop destroyed. The Italian Association – Friends of Raoul Follereau (AIFO), through funding from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Norway, provided psycho-social support that encouraged Lucas to continue with his studies. Also, as part of the prevention against the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucas and his family received prevention kits consisting of masks and soap bars. Lucas was part of forty (40) children with disabilities who were supported by means of assistance for locomotion (crutches).
"Lucas is an intelligent and dedicated student, he never misses school and participates actively in class," said Lucas' teacher.