In Ivory Coast, children with disabilities are seen as sorcerers, snakes, bearers of bad luck, etc. In such a context, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart have opened a house called “Maison Arc-en-Ciel for disabled children” in Gagnoa (Province of West Africa). Its objectives are:
- Reducing or eliminating children’s disabilities;
- teaching them basic skills taking into account all the necessary care to improve their psychical and physical care.
There are specialists working with the children for an accurate diagnosis and care. In this house, children learn to read, count and write. Some of them learn sewing and some are taught computer science. These activities help in their insertion into society and school. We receive children with sequelae of polio, language disorder, behaviour problems, epilepsy, trisomy, etc.
The Maison Arc-en-Ciel begins its activities on the first Monday of October. The school year ends the first half of June. Children attend the house four days a week. They all live with their parents or with a tutor who resides in Gagnoa. There is a transport every day that collects children from all the neighborhoods. Some of them walk to the house.
They have to pay 30,000 F per year, which includes transportation. They also contribute with 2,000 F per month for eight months for the maintenance of the canteen. This covers only between 13% and 14% of the house expenses.
Br. Jean Baptiste Ouedraogo.