[title size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]About Ray of Hope Academy[/title]

What is Ray of Hope Academy Douala?

Ray of Hope Academy Douala (ROHA) is a lay private institution (inclusive nursery and primary school) located in the Denver neighborhood in Bonamousadi, Douala V Sub-division, Cameroon Africa.

ROHA originated from the desire of the parents of an autistic child to provide an inclusive and enabling environment for the cognitive development and social interaction and integration not just of their offspring but also of those other parents in the community especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

We are using an “all-inclusive and differentiated” learning approach. Many of our students are on scholarships, coming from families that are unable to contribute even $5 a month. This is balanced with neuro-typical (“normal”) children whose families are capable of paying. Proceeds from their tuition will eventually make the school sustainable.

Why an Inclusive school?

This is a pilot project: a model school. In Africa, where most people are still very superstitious, autism is often attributed to witchcraft and the children are seen as a bad omen. Consequently, special needs children stigmatized and ostracized, seen as a drain on a family’s limited finances and a nuisance. In some circles, they are neglected and mistreated. This explains why there is no provision or acceptance for this segment of society.

The families must deal with this situation alone with no support network, no programs or centers for these children, and no hope for a functional future. Ray of Hope Academy is not just about caring for special needs children; we are also providing support for parents, and educating the community about the dignity of each child.

Before the formation of ROHA there was only one school in Cameroon that had attempted to integrate autistic children in their system. Sadly, these children are all in one classroom, and services are minimal and rendered by people with little or no training. The monthly costs are above 500,000 CFA ($1,000) per month (over three times the average monthly income). This leaves most people without options, without HOPE!

We are motivated by our belief that EVERY child can learn and has the right to be taught in the way that he or she learns best. Our desire is to take special needs children and work with them one on one while integrating them with neuro-typical children. We purpose to provide an environment and specialists who can address their unique situation. Their education will take into account the impact of remediation, social and emotional growth, and self-awareness and self-advocacy skills, and work at their pace.

We surround our students with highly trained and skilled teachers and specialists, led by an administrative team who sets high standards of excellence and who see the value of ongoing professional development. Our team is drawn from Cameroon, the USA, Europe and other countries.

Academic structure and staff

Ray of Hope Academy currently runs the following levels of basic education: pre-nursery, nursery (nursery one and two) and primary (Class one to class four). We have a balance of normal students and students with special needs

The school has a policy limited classroom/pupil ratio of maximum 10 per classroom to facilitate personal interaction between teachers and pupils. The academic structure comprises two departments: the special needs department and the regular school.

We surround our students with highly trained and skilled teachers and specialists, led by an administrative team who sets high standards of excellence and who see the value of ongoing professional development. Our team is drawn from Cameroon, the USA, Europe and other countries.

The Future: CAMP PENIEL

Realizing some of our children may not be able to fully function in “normal society,” we have been burdened to develop a center to provide ongoing education, and an environment that creates meaningful jobs, and builds a sense of belonging, dignity and respect for these children as they move to adulthood.

To that end we have applied for a sizeable land grant from the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) and the government of Cameroon for a multifaceted campus base that will house adult autistic and disable children, a place where we can render the following services to families and children with various disabilities.

  • Respite & Temporary Habilitation
  • Supervised Living
  • Supported Home Living
  • Residential Support Services &
  • Supported Employment
  • A recreational and educational camp etc.