In much of our work, we talk about the need for examples: of good development, of good educators, of good philanthropists. Having good models help to encourage us to do better at what we do, as well as to lead others towards better work, better giving, or better sharing.
At the Tabitha Enabling Academy in Nagaland, India, there is a different and even more compelling kind of example. The TEA serves disabled children, including those with Down Syndrome, autism, and those who are deaf and unable to speak. In a culture where disabilities are deeply stigmatized, life for these children and their families might be exceptionally difficult. But the TEA provides them with a chance to change their futures, by teaching the students traditional educational subjects as well as occupational therapy and life skills. Further, the organization works in the local community to do outreach around disabilities, helping to remove the difficult and even dangerous stigma.
The TEA is an organization we like to hold up as an example of truly good work. But beyond the broad scale, we want to specifically highlight the model presented by two of the teachers. Mr. Kilumo and Ms. Chambeni are both deaf and unable to speak, yet they have both received university educations and built meaningful careers for themselves. For the students struggling with their own disabilities and wondering what their futures might hold, they can look to the front of the room and know that their own physical limitation do not hold them back.
The TEA is a small organization with limited funds, and they need your help to maintain these great teachers and powerful role models for the students. A monthly salary for one teacher is only $75 USD. The TEA needs help to pay the salaries of three of their teachers. Will you set an example for those around you?