December 20, 2018

Boy who crawls two miles to school every day in Indonesia

One of Mukhlis's dreams came true when he met Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Photo credit: Joko Widodo / Twitter

A condition that means he cannot walk won't put off the inspiring eight-year-old from getting to his classes.

Mukhlis Abdul Holik is a remarkable eight-year-old boy. He has a condition which means he cannot walk or stand up.

There is no bus service to his school and the hilly terrain where he lives means he cannot use a wheelchair.

But Mukhlis doesn't let that stop him from getting to school at Cibadak village in the West Java province of Indonesia.

Every day, he crawls two miles on his hands.

“My fear was that the school will not accept my child due to his disability," said his mother Pipin. “But the school happily gave admission to Mukhlis. His hands became his feet."

The eight-year-old lives in a rural area of Indonesia and has no access to a school bus

His teacher Euis Khodijah said: “He is very enthusiastic and actively participates in school activities. We all are proud of him.”

More than half of all children with disabilities in the world's poorest countries do not go to school. And those who are in the classroom often learn less than the other students because they are treated unfairly.

The United Nations children's agency UNICEF is planning to help 30 million children with disabilities get quality education by 2030. It is working in 142 countries to build more inclusive and accessible education systems.

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities last week, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) revealed a five-year strategy to help children and others with disabilities in developing countries to fulfil their potential.

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