Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame

The blind campaigner who is fighting to empower women with disabilities

The World Today Updated 10 November 2020 Published 8 June 2018 2 minute READ

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame

Board member of Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations and is a global advocacy adviser for social inclusion at Sightsavers

One day, at the age of 10, I found that I could no longer read the blackboard in school. My parents took me to the local hospital in Mampong Akuapem in eastern Ghana, and then to a teaching hospital in the capital, Accra. Over the next three years they gave me glasses that I had to change every three months. Eventually, they said they had no more lenses that could help me.

By that time I was at secondary school and dependent on friends and teachers who were ready to help me with my schoolwork. I could just read my own very bold handwriting but not much else. A few teachers did not want me in their classes, and some pupils would shun me, so it was with great difficulty that I managed to take my O levels. Then, at 17, I was told I should go to the blind school to learn braille.

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