Muzna
A bright little girl

“I want to learn how to write with a pen”

Muzna is ten years old. She is the youngest of a family of seven.
She lives with her mother and siblings in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Maputo, where roads are made of sand. She goes to school in the morning. In the afternoon, she helps her mother around the house and goes outside to play with her girlfriends.
Muzna is blind and things have changed a lot during these past two years.

Muzna, her mother, her niece and our outreach worker
Muzna, her mother, her niece and our outreach worker

Muzna was born with no health problems. When she turned four, she started vomiting a lot and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She underwent surgery and the vomiting stopped. But a year later, she could not see anymore. As her mother, Saugina, was too scared to let her go out, Muzna spent all day long in her house, doing nothing. On Sunday, she stayed alone at home while the family went to church.

Muzna and her mother at home
Muzna and her mother at home

Percina, one of our outreach workers, came in one day to talk to the family. She told Saugina that Muzna needed to be around people. Percina, who also has a child with specific needs, explained to them the importance of bringing Muzna outside the home to be with other children. She told them it was possible for her to go to school. Saugina first thought it was too dangerous, but Percina showed them a specialised school where teachers and staff are trained to care for children with deficiencies.

Muzna and Percina
Muzna and Percina

Although she was already eight, within a year, Muzna learned Braille and more, or as she put it: “I learn my “abecedario”, with vowels and consonances. Also mathematics, a little… And I met my two girlfriends, Joceline and Denia, we are in the same class.” For her second year in school, Muzna is learning so fast that the teacher advised her to start looking for a public school, as she is now able to follow in an ordinary classroom.

Muzna writing braille
Muzna writing braille

After her socialisation with other children, Muzna now speaks Portuguese. She used to only speak Changana, one of Mozambique’s many languages, refusing to speak Portuguese. But school unlocked many abilities. Like singing! Muzna has a lovely voice and loves singing in church, for her family or on her way to school.

Muzna singing with her mother in the background
Muzna singing with her mother in the background

Her mother started looking for a public school in her bairro, but got turned down. Percina, and our outreach workers are confident they can find a nearby public school for Muzna to start in January 2017. They will prepare the director, teachers and other pupils to welcome her and give her a chance to “learn how to write with a pen and notebook.” Meanwhile, Muzna continues to train in Braille and on a black board at home.

Muzna writing on a blackboard
Muzna writing on a blackboard

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