Africa

  • Sihle Batyia, at the Ikhaya Loxolo home in Hobeni in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province (VOA/Taylor)
  • Community elder and a caregiver at the home, Mama ka Blondie, often has the responsibility of supervising Sihle (VOA. D Taylor)
  • Sihle with his favorite toy – a battery operated toy space gun (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle fires his favorite toy constantly – much to the irritation of his fellow patients. (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle takes his parents, Jam-Jam [left] and Beauty, on a tour of the farm on which he works (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle is justifiably proud of his agricultural achievements (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle is justifiably proud of his agricultural achievements (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle says he “loves” being at Ikhaya Loxolo and never wants to leave the home (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • A caregiver helps Sihle to write during a morning school lesson at Ikhaya Loxolo (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • For the first time in his life, Sihle feels he has “real friends” at the home (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • For the first time in his life, Sihle feels he has “real friends” at the home (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle pages through a coloring-in book (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle is very fond of helping to feed the home’s animals (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Sihle plays a card game with other residents and as usual, he’s full of jokes (VOA/ D. Taylor)

South African Boy with Downs Syndrome Triumphs Over Prejudice

Darren Taylor

Published July 05, 2013

In the isolated rural areas of South Africa, there’s usually no special treatment for people with mental illnesses. They’re often neglected and labeled as cursed by witches, and possessed by evil spirits. That includes people with the condition called Down Syndrome. But one boy with the condition has risen above the social stigma of being disabled.


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