A 12-year-old girl from Holyport has started a website to empower young people to be proud of who they are.
Maleeka Abbas has Leber’s congenital amaurosis and is registered blind. She has very slight vision up-close but she cannot see in detail, and her side vision is completely blind.
The hardest thing about her ‘challenge’ is not being able read people’s non-verbal gestures and expressions in social situations.
Maleeka said: “I want to raise awareness for visually impaired people (VIPs) because most people in society see us as people who are quite needy and not able.
“I want people to understand we have things that pull us back but we have lots of strengths.”
Maleeka is in Year 8 at Holyport College where she is supported full-time by either Mrs Quail, Mrs Gee or Mrs Burton and really enjoys school.
In November she was presented with three awards for her Year 7 achievements in art and science. Her efforts also earned her the overall KS3 science award.
Maleeka’s website isn’t exclusively for VIPs, she said: “It’s for anyone who has self doubt or feels fearful, to not let other people bring you down and don’t feel judged.”
“You can’t compare yourself to everyone, you’re unique, you can be like them, but no one’s like you.”
Paul Hayes, assistant headteacher at Holyport College, described the 12-year-old as an ‘inspiration’ to both students and staff at the school.
He said: “Maleeka is an unassuming young lady who doesn’t realize the impact she is having on others.”
Find out more about Maleeka at meeksspeaks.com