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Meet Rita

Down syndrome got nothing on Rita’s education Rita is always ‘on the go’. She loves to explore and learn how things work. ZOCS met Rita Kaluwe at Kashembe Community School, reception class. She is 6 years old and has down syndrome. When she enrolled in school last year after being identified by a Community Action Group (CAG) member as ripe for school, she did not talk much and did not know any signs.


The class teacher Dorothy Chikongo started teaching her concepts and helped her develop her language skills. Today Rita can combine words to communicate more complex messages. She already knows preschool concepts such as colours, numbers, shapes, letters and sounds. She touches the appropriate symbol or object whenever the teacher requests her to. The staff is proud of Rita and ZOCS through the vibrant CAG members, for providing support resulting in such an incredible opportunity. According to her teacher, Rita did not interact with others and she was very slow at anything. Now she has blossomed and able to participate in all activities. Her concentration span has also improved tremendously. The fact is, children with down syndrome can be taught. The fact is, they all learn to take their first steps and if helped, they learn to kick a ball, they laugh, they cry and that to ZOCS, means they can and do reach the milestones enjoyed by other children. ZOCS vision remains, “A Zambia where all Community School Learners, especially Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), girls and Learners with special education needs, obtain quality and equitable education that enables them to realize their fullest potential.”

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