Using a specially adapted typewriter, Horacio is able to type in Braille. He used to be a journalist based in Mozambique’s Niassa Province, until he lost his sight in 2011. He dreams of going back to work, and he believes that mastering Braille typing could help him do this. Until recently, where he lives in the town of Lichinga, opportunities for visually impaired people to learn such skills have been scarce. What’s more, children with sight problems can currently only access formal education by going to a boarding school 700 km away.

The Association of the Blind and Partially sighted of Mozambique, known as ACAMO, is working to change this. Its members aspire to create a society in which Braille is integrated into mainstream education. Horacio is benefiting from ACAMO’s Braille tuition sessions in Lichinga, as well as instruction classes on how to use a special ‘white cane’ to aid his mobility. Thanks to support from United Purpose (formerly Concern Universal), ACAMO now has an office and workshop space here, as well as greater capacity in financial decision-making and stronger links with local media and advocacy groups. United Purpose has also helped 15 state school teachers become trained in Braille instruction, enabling them to implement the provincial government’s plans for a more inclusive curriculum.

While upskilling tutors to support differently abled students is essential, changing the public perception of disabled people is also very important in creating a more inclusive society in Mozambique. Discrimination has been widely reported among ACAMO’s members, most of whom previously lived as beggars before the organisation was formed. Positive images of transformation like this one demonstrate the possibilities and potential that arise when differently abled people have access to learning opportunities. For United Purpose, it was also important to illustrate the impact of its work visually to donors and supporters alike.


Mainstreaming disability rights

Disability, education, inclusivity

United Purpose (formerly Concern Universal)

Lichinga, Niassa Province, Mozambique

Camera settings
35mm, ISO 1000, 1/100, f/5.0


Robin Wyatt