8. Phillip

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How I used to buy my books was I would hunt snails, and I used to crawl as I hunted. I crawled to school for six years for primary school. It was one mile. I crawled every day. Sometimes, the sun would scorch, and the ground would become hot, and so my knees became hard. I found it difficult to attend the school, but I tried to complete the primary.


According to my parents, I was two years when I got sick. When I reached ten years, one of my family members, who is a headmaster, told me I should come to school, so I went and started school. He had paid my school fees, but the books and those things I had to buy myself. How I used to buy my books was I would hunt snails, and I used to crawl as I hunted.

I crawled to school for six years for primary school. It was one mile. I crawled every day. Sometimes, the sun would scorch, and the ground would become hot, and so my knees became hard. I found it difficult to attend the school, but I tried to complete the primary.

There was no junior high school in the town, so I had to find a means to attend. One of the NGOs saw me, and they took me to a hospital, and they arranged a surgery. They did everything and gave me crutches and calipers.

I had to board a car every day to go to the junior high school. I found it hard to get transportation funds, so I used to prepare local calabash to sell. The school was collecting school fees, and I didn’t have anyone to take care of me, so I used to prepare the calabash to pay them.

When I completed junior high school, it was left for me to go to secondary school. My brothers realized I was improving in the school, so they helped me in. Even though my brothers were helping me, they all had wives and children to take care of, so I bred and sold goats to support myself, and I completed secondary school in 2009.

In school, there was no discrimination. In the house, there was some discrimination. They used to tease me about how I crawled. Some of the children even today call me a cow because of the way I crawl.

At a point in time, I joined the other children playing football on my hands. I don’t care if you are an able-person or are stronger than me; whatever you do, I want to do. I played football with my hands. They came to like me because I was good. I used to organize them to play football in other communities too. Through football, they came to like me.

My favorite thing was football. I like the game. My most difficult thing was if I wanted to do something but I didn’t have the strength to do it physically.

What barriers have you faced in finding work?

I’ve been writing applications, but they are not replying. I know how to type. I want a job at a business center. I want to be an entrepreneur. I like business.

What are your strengths and abilities?

I’ve been selling. I can keep animals, and I can play football. I’m a secretary too. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to be a business man.

If you see a person with a disability, what is your advice to them?

I call out to them and encourage them about how it is. They shouldn’t be worrying or feeling like they are not like a human being.

How would you like people to describe your disability?

I don’t like people to discuss me as a disability. Everything people do, I can do it better. Don’t consider me as a disabled.

How can Ghana move forward to make conditions better for people with disabilities?

They need to send us through school and improve accessibility to schools.


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