Hester is an 11 year old British school girl who was diagnosed blind as a baby. Yet she has embraced every opportunity to live life to the full and has never let her visual impairment hold her back!


Hester went to Ethiopia to visit Mekelle School for the Blind to find out for herself what it is like to be a blind student growing up in Ethiopia. lShe also presented the school with lots of useful specialist equipment like Braille and audio books, jingly balls, tactile maths and science kits.  Hester also took part in the Women First Race, a 5k race through central Addis Ababa alongside 13,000 runners to mark #IntentionalWomensDay!


Having benefitted herself from specialist support, Hester hopes that she can ‘pass it on’ by raising funds to help improve the educational life of the children at the school. Hester is one of many hundreds of inspirational women who took part in this race. She met with Yetnebersh Negussie, a blind female Ethiopian lawyer who recently won a global award for promoting disability rights! “We did it – we ran in the heat and the dust and the altitude amongst 14000 women and girls of Ethiopia. We sang and danced and showed the country that women are ready to lead – Ethiopia has a hopeful future if these wonderful people are anything to go by. All power to them. We met Haile Gebrselassi and the wonderful Yetnebersh Nigussie ( who invited us to her lovely home for dinner with her family – we were so honoured!)

We have also smashed both our original £5,000 target and subsequent £10,000 target thanks to your kind support. Huge thank you!” Hester


“Mekele School for Blind Children is one of the only schools for the blind in Ethiopia. Children from 6-16 are educated and looked after in this boarding school. Without education the lives of the blind are extremely limited across the world. A good education is the only way a blind child can hope to access an independent adult life either financially or socially. I have the ambition to go to university and lead a successful and independent life. This is also the ambition of the blind children of Mekele School.


I love school and I want other blind children to have the same opportunity to learn and play that I have had. I am very lucky and have had some wonderful teaching in school and in sport. I feel that, if I put the effort in, I can do anything that I want to do. I hope that by bringing specialist equipment and supporting this school in Ethiopia more blind children will be able to fulfil their hopes and dreams too”.


Hester’s visit to the Mekelle School for the Blind was overwhelming in places. After receiving a wonderful warm welcome Hester enjoyed an afternoon of singing, dancing and chatting with the students. The children were blown away with the story boxes Hester donated (they were pronounced ‘wonderful’). The jingly footballs, dancing bell bracelets, and craft materials were also met with huge enthusiasm and Hester was able to have her hair braided. Hester sang and danced with the children, made many new friends and was able to share and exchange experiences.


Source: www.ethiopiaid.org.uk/blog/hester-returns