It is pervasive in schools across many countries in which we work. Because of this, and because change often starts with the young, the ROW Foundation believes children are uniquely positioned to help defeat this longstanding stigma. The belief by many that seizures are contagious or are a result of evil spirits leads to devastating economic, social and physical consequences for families affected by the disease.
This past month, ROW expanded our partnership with Medical Assistance Sierra Leone (MASL) to deliver thousands of copies of a new children’s book, Jariatu Has Epilepsy. We saw the tremendous potential of this beautifully illustrated story to help children become change agents. With a shortage of textbooks across Africa, it will have a big impact on students while teaching them that those with epilepsy are not to be feared.
We are also excited about what MASL has planned for distribution. MASL will send a representative to each school to talk to students about epilepsy before handing out the books. Participating schools can sign the Epilepsy Association of Sierra Leone’s ‘Yes to Epilepsy’ Code of Practice and receive a poster indicating “Our School Welcomes Pupils with Epilepsy.” This will go a long way to promoting a greater understanding of epilepsy in Sierra Leone and lead to a lasting reduction in stigma.
ROW is very proud to be co-sponsoring an online epilepsy course for doctors and nurses in Africa. More on this in a future update.
If you would like to help ROW establish and extend our partnerships with epilepsy-related organizations you can get in touch with us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.