Pathway to Education

Kyle is a typical 12-year-old boy who goes to elementary school in the Leyte region of the Philippines. He loves to do puzzles, dribble basketballs and when he can, play computer games during his free time. Kyle also lives with a disability which until recently prevented him from doing some of the things he loves.

His parents are coconut harvesters, and could not afford to replace the one he had since he was a child. It was difficult to sit in, and someone would need to push him. The CBM funded project provided Kyle with a new wheelchair that was fitted for his body type. Kyle saw the immediate results and was able to move independently.

Kyle has benefitted from physiotherapy sessions conducted by the project.  More recently, hydrotherapy was introduced as an effective option to relieve his tight muscles and help him walk with supports aids.  He says that he is happy that he can now visit the house of his grandparents nearby, using the leg braces and walker provided by the project with minimal assistance. His mother, Macil, has seen huge improvements in his confidence and outlook for the future.

Although it is now more convenient for Kyle to move around with the help of assistive devices, the school where he attends classes as a Grade 6 student is thirty (30) steps up a hilly area of the community. When he was young, his mother always needed to carry him up to his classroom, even in bad weather. There were times when his mother would get too tired and have difficulty in climbing up the steps and he would miss school. Now that he is older, his mother is no longer able to physically do the task and it was left to classmates.

The school noticed the situation as a barrier to his education. With assistance from the local disabled people’s organization, they together filed a petition requesting construction of a cement pathway to make the school accessible for children with disabilities. The local government acted on the request positively, and construction was soon underway. Now, Kyle can wheel himself to school each day up the completed ramp. If he gets tired, his many friends are happy to help push and get him to class on time.

Kyle dreams of finishing high school, working on computers and being fluent in English. He studies hard, working on the school computer and speaking in English whenever he can. It is by overcoming the barriers which affected his daily life, that Kyle can now reach his full potential.