“Not only is there a lack of resources, many cultures in developing countries marginalize disabled children from society, making them extremely vulnerable and more likely to experience discrimination. Children with special needs are more susceptible to abuse, neglect and exploitation than children without disabilities.” Caroline Logan. Borgen Magazine, August 2014.
Within the poverty of developing countries there are millions of children who are in need of health, sanitation and nutrition. Further down in their population is a group who are often cast aside and forgotten – those with disabilities and special needs. They can’t be sold or worked for profit, so developing countries have no use for them.
As a parent of a child with special needs, I understand how challenging it can be for a child to live with disabilities and special needs in the United States. How much more extremely difficult it must be in developing areas like Congo, Guinea, Bosnia, Haiti, etc…?
“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has found that 10 percent of the world is living with special needs and 80 percent of the disabled live in developing countries. The World Bank estimates that, of the 58 million children who do not attend primary school, one-third have a disability.” Kelsey Lay. Borgen Magazine, February 2016.
If you were orphaned and disabled or orphaned and had special needs in a developing country, what chance of survival would you have compared to fellow orphans who weren’t disabled or living with special needs?
For those disabled and special needs children in developing countries who do have parents, what resources do they have to help their child grow and live a production life?
There is a great need within the great need. As programs work to develop better health care systems, better schools, better ways to bring water and electricity to people, it seems they are bringing hope for advocacy and social aid to specifically help disabled and special needs children.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve deeply considered and thought about this plight. I want to learn more, meet those who are helping and find ways to fill this need for disabled and special needs children in developing countries. Below are links where I have started research:
Global Partnership for Education: Children with Disabilities
Borgen Magazine – The Borgen Project