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Chronic wound prevents disabled girl from attending school

By: Ketemba Tjipepa

A 22-year-old disabled learner who lives at One Nation informal settlement in Windhoek has been home for a month from school to allow her chronic wound on her bottom to heal. However, Theresia Ndilimeke Kayinda , a grade 10 pupil at Hage Geingob school, finds it difficult to participate in online classes because she cannot afford data to connect to the internet.

It is past 10h00 in the morning and while fellow learners in the settlement are at school , Kayinda is nursing a wound that she has had for four year and it is refusing to heal. Kayinda suffers from spina bifida and as result she uses crutches to walk and wears nappies as she does not feel when her body wants to relieve itself. According to an online definition, spina bifida is a permanent birth defect which results in the spine and spinal cord not developing properly and causing a gap in the spine. In addition, Kayinda also suffers from hydrocephalus, which causes fluids to accumulate in her head, so a shunt was inserted in her brain to release the building up of fluids.

The young woman struggles to cover all her needs with the N$1200 disability grant she receives from the government. She carefully has to split the money monthly among three packs containing 30 nappies, which are not enough, as well as taxi fare to go school. With what little cash remains she needs to purchase food, as she has a strict diet, and toiletries. The monthly grant to Kayinda does not allow for her to buy data to access her study material online.

Despite her condition, Kayinda is full of life and dreams of becoming a social worker as she believes she can heal people who are going through emotional pain with her words.

Kayinda further shared with TodayonOne that she recently participated in the girl coding camp, where she won a tablet for her concept to create a smart cane that beeps when it detects objects in front of disabled people. The never healing wound however prolongs Kayinda from achieving her dreams. The young woman began school at the age of 13 because she only started walking by the age of seven. " I have been teaching myself while I am at home. So when I went to school , the principal suggested I start in grade 3.When I went to grade 3, the teacher said I am 'tough' and pushed me to grade 4," noted Kayinda.

Kayinda , who lives by the quote, "There is light at the end of the tunnel" , stated that if she was given 40 minutes to change anything in the world ,she would alter fellow disabled people's mentality so that they are more positive. Should anyone wish to assist Kayinda, she is reachable on 0814399403.



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