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Outcasts in their own Communities
Countless children in Nepal are blind, deaf, or physically disabled. Many of them develop their disability under the age of five due to malnutrition and lack of medical care. The disabled in Nepal face difficult challenges. In addition to having to cope with their impairment, they live in a society that traditionally views them as outcasts - people who are viewed as useless and to be avoided. Many people still believe that disabilities are punishments for the sins of previous lives. This prevailing view has contributed to a shockingly low education rate for the disabled in Nepal. A recent study found that nearly 60% of disabled men and nearly 78% of disabled women had no education. Without education, Nepal’s disabled children face a bleak future, with little hope of supporting themselves or using their talents to contribute to their communities.
Another factor that contributes to the lack of education is the economic hardships faced by Nepalis. Many families simply cannot afford to send their disabled child to school. While there are schools that can accommodate the needs of disabled students, the price of tuition is more than the annual income of a Nepali family.
Education is the only hope for disabled Nepalis to support themselves. The Nepal Youth Foundation has always paid special attention to vulnerable children, including the blind, deaf, and physically challenged. With support from generous donors like you, NYF has provided scholarships to over 180 disabled children since its inception. In 2011-2012, 69 disabled youth received scholarships. Of these, 30 were girls and 39 were boys.
If a disabled child is able to enter a regular school or college, then they are enrolled there. Children who cannot attend a regular school attend a special needs school that can accommodate them. NYF scholarships provide them with hope and the opportunity to reach their potential.
NYF supported students have gone on to great successes. One student went on to become the only blind lawyer in Nepal. Others have gone on to teach at private schools. Aside from the feeling of self-respect, the students develop the skills to be able to support themselves and live with dignity.
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