Lina, Thika Primary school for the blind | Head On Photo Festival

Lina, Thika Primary school for the blind

Photographer's Name: 
Jonathan May

Hot, bothered and watching a tiny television while waiting for a plane at Mombassa airport, I was fascinated to discover blind and visually impaired children playing soccer in Thika, I knew I had to visit their school. 

While the deputy principal was gathering some children to photograph, I noticed this young girl (Teresa) who was blindly fumbling her way from one side of the school yard to the other. I asked the deputy if Teresa could join us and I was told it wasn't possible. Her family couldn't afford the school fees and her mother was currently being told by the principle to take her home today. The deputy went on and said that without continued education at her age, Teresa would get left behind and struggle to integrate and engage with society.

I thought back to my own childhood and how at Teresa's age I didn't have a care in the world. I couldn't let Teresa go home that day so I paid for her tuition for the rest of the year. It wasn't a lot of money and that small gesture will give young Teresa some hope to live a more normal independent life. I now have myself an unexpected sponsor child and will continue to pay for her education.

Lina (pictured) is fortunate enough to have better vision than most of her peers at the school, and I noticed her proudly guiding other children to their classrooms. The "Thika" series aims at brining awareness to the struggles some children endure on a daily basis.

Festival Year: 
2012