As the birthday of our founder, Helen Keller, approaches on June 27, it’s important to remember the millions of children around the world today who share Helen’s strength and courage. Like Helen, many children face seemingly insurmountable odds. By empowering them with the proper tools and access to help we can give these children the opportunity to let their intelligence and ambition shine, and the chance to reach their full potential in the classroom and beyond.
One of these children is Andhika, an 11-year-old boy from East Java, Indonesia, who was born visually-impaired. Andhika lives with his family in an area typically reserved for refugees and disaster survivors. His school did not previously integrate students with special needs into the mainstream classrooms. Andhika’s challenges sometimes prevented him from attending school at all. With the help of Helen Keller International’s Opportunities for Vulnerable Children (OVC) program, the teachers and administration at Andhika’s school received special training to help kids like Andhika make the most of their education and allow them to learn and grow alongside their peers without disabilities.
Now, teachers and fellow students in Andhika’s community are eager to support their schoolmates by making extra efforts wherever they can. For instance, Andhika’s principal used funds from the school’s operational budget to provide for Andhika’s transportation to and from school- due to the far distance between school and his home. During breaks, some students voluntarily take turns accompanying Andhika to the common area and around school. Andhika’s aunt expressed joy in seeing her nephew be able to go to school, and to finally be able to go every day.
The spirit of Andhika’s community echoes the famous words of Helen Keller: “The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.”
Help children like Andhika reach their full potential with your donation to Helen Keller International.