Becoming an aspiring young leader

Harriet Munkombwe

Harriet Munkombwe is a 9-year-old disabled school girl from Zambia. Thanks to support from our inclusive education project, she is now aspiring to become a young leader.

A young girl wearing glasses packing her school bag

Harriet Munkombwe is a student in Zambia. She’s part of Leonard Cheshire’s inclusive education project. This project aims to enrol 750 children with disabilities in 30 mainstream schools by 2021.

Harriet is nine years old and has a visual impairment. Before the project, Harriet had stopped going to school. Her sight was so poor that she could not read books or read the work on the blackboard. When she went into school, her classmates would laugh at her and call her names because of her disability. So she stopped going. Her parents could not afford to take her to eye specialists or buy her spectacles.

How our inclusive education project has supported Harriet

The inclusive education project team found out about Harriet’s case and arranged for an assessment. The assessment showed that Harriet was short-sighted. 


With support from the project, Harriet was able to go to the nearest eye clinic. She got a prescription for some new glasses. Harriet then felt confident enough to return to school. Her performance has improved because her teachers now understand what she needs. They made adjustments like making sure Harriet sits at the front of the class to be closer to the blackboard.


Discussing her progress, her teacher said: “She can take part in activities with her friends now. She is coming to school more often than before.”


Harriet is an aspiring young leader. She has represented the needs of learners with disabilities at various events. She has even presented to figures from her community and the government.