Iteko Special School marches to break stigma against disability

Pupils from Iteko Special School in Tlhabane near Rustenburg on Wednesday march to break the stigma against disability, 17 April 2019. Picture: ANA / Stringer

Pupils from Iteko Special School in Tlhabane near Rustenburg on Wednesday march to break the stigma against disability, 17 April 2019. Picture: ANA / Stringer

The school urged people to stop hiding family members who were disabled, to stop looking down on children with disabilities and to stop abusing them.

Pupils at Iteko Special School in Tlhabane near Rustenburg took to the streets on Wednesday, to break the stigma against disabled people.

Demonstrators marched from the school premises in Tlhabane through major streets in the town.

The school urged people to stop hiding family members who were disabled, to stop looking down on children with disabilities and to stop abusing them.

“We took the initiative today to do this awareness campaign because of many parents who hide their children,” said head of department at the school, Ikalafeng Leotwane.

He said parents would take their children to family events such as funerals, but not bring their disabled children along. He said they would present a family of four children, “only to find that there’s been a disabled child that was hidden there”, Leotwane said.

He said the school dealt daily with 540 children who had cerebral palsy, were wheelchair-bound, had severe intellectual disabilities and autism.

Leotwane said it was high time people understood that children with disabilities can also change the world.

He said people with cerebral palsy ran marathons, people with amputations and blind people were well involved in sport, and that this proved everyone had a purpose.

He said through the awareness campaign they were pleading with parents and the community not to harm children but to give them love.

African News Agency (ANA)

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