Excitement was evident on the faces of the Ntikinca family as they welcomed Sesethu back at the Cape Town International Airport on Monday.
Ntikinca ,14, who is deaf and mute, was among 10 learners age between 13 and 18 years old from South Africa who attended The World’s Children’s Prize Conference in Sweden last week.
The World’s Children’s Prize Foundation is an organisation that fights for the rights of children with physical challenges.
Sesethu, from the Noluthando School for the Deaf in Site B, was selected by the organisation to represents the school at the conference.
They had a weeklong conference in Sweden.
Educator Nthabiseng Danie said: “She was among other children globally sharing their experiences and challenges and how they were treated in their communities.”
Danie said the school was represent at the conference for the first time.
“Although this is an annual event, a chosen learner takes about four consecutive years participating in the event and after that they change and take another child.
And the aim is for children to explore and learn about their rights and other people’s cultures,” said Danie.
She said as the school they do workshops to educate learners to make them understand that children who are disabled are the same as other children.
Eunice Ntikinca, Sesethu’s grandmother, said she is relieved she is back.
“I was so worried and always praying for her to come back safe. Initially, I couldn’t believe when I heard about her trip to Sweden from her educators.” She said the family will host a welcoming dinner in Sesethu’s honour.
The grandmother described Sesethu as shy and a quiet child who likes reading.
Speaking in sign language, Ntikinca described the gathering as very educational and entertaining.
“I learned about children’s rights and we were told that regardless of race, we are all equal.
We also met with royalty in the form of the Swedish Queen Silvia. And we socialised with children from other countries.”
One of the organizers of The World’s Children’s Prize South Africa, Ambassador Shen Winberg said the goal of the foundation is to work towards a more humane world, where the rights of the child and democracy are respected by all.
“Since its inception as a Swedish millennium project in 2000, it has grown to 57,530 global friend schools with 32,6 million learners in 108 countries. In South Africa more than 20 000 schools have registered as global friend schools,” said Winberg