According to Handicap International, about 200,000 children in Afghanistan are affected by at least one type of disability (physical, sensorial, or mental). The founder of the school for children with disabilities located in Kabul, Parwin Azimi (an expert of sign and Brail language, and the author of Afghanistan’s sign dictionary) mentioned that over 75% of children with disabilities do not attend school. Lack of awareness and support at the country’s decision-making level has lead to minimal infrastructure at health centres or schools for children with disabilities.
Action for development is proud of its collaboration with the school for children with disabilities, where it supports education programmes for nearly 650 children with hearing impairment. In accordance with our organization’s goal of “healthy families, empowered communities”, we have provided food for the children and their families as an incentive to allowing children to attend the school. Nutrition is one of the biggest concerns amongst poor families. Statistics show that, in 2018, over 54% of the Afghani population lived under the poverty line. Therefore, providing food items is vital to the implementation of the school programmes in support of children with disabilities. At AfD we want to ensure that children with disabilities and their families are offered support and access to basic rights.
A message from Parween Azimi, Founder of the school for children with disabilities:
“The students in our school learn how to use sign language and to communicate with their hands. The fact that people in the community are unable to use sign language, motivates the pupils to attend our school, since they can be in a place where they can be understood and understand others.
With a vocational training, children learn the necessary skills to become self-reliant in the future. It is difficult for persons with disabilities to find employment, even when having knowledge of English or computer science. Many organizations do not trust them because of their disability, in this particular case hearing loss. It is important for us to raise awareness among the community that young adults with disabilities can be capable of assuming regular job roles.
In the next 20 years, we should aim at giving all children of Afghanistan access to education”.