Manuel Rodrigues is nominated to become the WCP Decade Child Rights Hero 2020, for his 20-year fight for blind children and children with different abilities in Guinea-Bissau. Sadly, Manuel passed away in May 2020, but the memory of his efforts for the children lives on, as does his organization AGRICE.
Manuel Rodrigues was commended with the The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child in 2017.
Differently-abled children in GuineaBissau are very vulnerable. Often children who are deaf or blind don’t get to go to school, and are treated as though they have less worth. Sometimes, particularly in rural areas, they are hidden away or abandoned due to poverty and prejudice.
Manuel and his organisation AGRICE give differently-abled children the chance to live life with dignity. They get access to health care and medical treatment, food, and a home, and they get to go to school and are given love and a secure environment. Manuel rescues children who have been abandoned or hidden, but also educates their families so it doesn’t happen again.
RESULTS & VISION
Manuel and AGRICE have helped thousands of children to have a better life since 1996. Over 300 blind children have received help at Manuel’s centre and gone to his pre school and school especially for the visually impaired. After receiving education and train ing for a while, most can be reunited with their families and attend a regular school. He fights tirelessly to make sure all differently-abled children are granted the same rights as other children.
MANUEL CONTRIBUTES TOWARDS FULFILLING THE GLOBAL GOALS, INCLUDING:
Goal 1: No poverty. Goal 3: Good health and well-being. Goal 4: Every child’s right to a quality education. Goal 10: Reduced inequalities. Goal 11: Differently abled people share the same rights as everyone else.
The children are older now!
The texts are taken from when the Child Rights Hero was an award recipient. The children featured in the texts are therefore older today.