Education for children with disabilities in Kabul

by Action for Development (AfD)
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul
Education for children with disabilities in Kabul

In Afghanistan, services to support people living with disabilities remain extremely limited. Just 26 percent of children with disabilities were found to have access to primary school in Afghanistan’s National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment. Girls with disabilities are often double disadvantaged and even more vulnerable to exclusion and marginalisation.

Providing an education for children with disabilities has numerous benefits. Children can receive basic education skills – such as literacy and numeracy, but also crucial life-saving protection measures via health education, feeding programmes, and psychosocial support. Education offers a space for social interaction and learning as well as a means of protection from abuse such as forced recruitment and exploitation. The long-term effects of educating children from conflict areas include economic growth, better health, lower mortality rates, and peace and security.

Since 2004, our Rahyab School for Disabled Children has been providing basic education, including braille and sign language, as well as food and transportation for boys and girls with various types of disabilities from very poor families in Kabul. The school’s objective is to develop the children’s academic and employment potential, in addition to providing nutritional support.

A notable achievement of our school in 2017 was the introduction of a special class for children suffering from intellectual disabilities. The class comprises 24 students, all of whom have some form of intellectual disability. Bringing them together in one class ensures that the curriculum and teaching method are adapted to the children’s special needs.

At the end of last month, we held an exhibition in Geneva for members of the public, which presented a series of photographs by the Afghan photographer Rada Akbar, and was kindly sponsored by the GloriaMundi Foundation. We have included some of Rada’s photographs of the Rahyab School in this report; the rest can be found on the GlobalGiving project page.

The Mother’s Day Campaign is currently running on GlobalGiving until 13th May. At the end of the campaign, the top 5 projects with the most funds raised and most unique donors will get a bonus prize of $1,000, $800, $400, $200, $100, respectively. Additionally, there will be a 100% match for all new monthly donations started during the campaign up to $200.

Please help us to continue supporting disabled children in Afghanistan, either by donating directly, or sharing our work with family members and friends. We greatly appreciate your support.

Warm wishes,

The team at AfD

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More than one billion people have some form of disability, 80% of which live in low-middle income countries (World Health Organization and World Bank). This subpopulation remains substantially underserved, and experiences consistently high rates of poverty, mental distress, and social exclusion (World Health Organization and World Bank).

One of the most stigmatized groups are people disabled at birth or from an unknown cause. The burden of stigma limits access to healthcare, education, and limits opportunities to make friends and start a family.

Research indicates that educated people with disabilities are less at risk of social exclusion and mental distress. Education provides a sense of empowerment, which enables an individual to cope despite adversity caused by stigma.

AfD remains committed to providing an education for children with disabilities, and instilling a sense of value among our students. Our Rahyab School in Kabul is attended by 455 students - 40% of whom are girls. Since our last report, 397 students have progressed to the next grade, and all students in the final grade have graduated. The School Coordinator is now working on a national dictionary of sign language to be developed.

With more than 40% of the Afghan population being unemployed, finding paid work for the disabled students is a challenge. However, attempts are being made to employ some of the recent graduates as teachers in the school.

All members of the population should have the right to an education. Exclusion feeds hate, and prohibits the development of a country. With your support, we can continue to support disabled children in Afghanistan, and give them the opportunity to reach their potential.

Kind regards,

The team at AfD

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Dear friends and supporters,

Afghan children face hardship on many levels, but disabled children are confronted with additional barriers. Due to a widespread lack of awareness, having a disability, especially one which is congenital, is seen to be shameful. Consequently, many disabled children are ill-treated by others, even by their own family members, and marginalized from society. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of disabled children do not receive an education, with estimates ranging from 75-95%. With limited opportunities for employment, Afghan children face an undignified future. The Afghan government is yet to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It is within this context that Action for Development (AfD) recognizes the need to support the Rahyab School for disabled children in Kabul. The school is currently attended by 455 students - 40% of whom are girls. Every day, the deaf, mute, and/or blind children benefit from an education, meals, and professional training. Activities include Braille, computer education, music, embroidery, purse making, bicycle repairing, sewing, waiter training and various other crafts.

Provision of meals is a key part of the school program because most students come from very poor families, who struggle to feed their children. Thanks to the donations received via GlobalGiving and from private contributions, AfD has supplied food for the school lunches.

The school’s success is highlighted by the addition of a preschool for children aged 4 and 5 years, and the graduation of 35 students – 8 of whom have joined the school as teachers.

In the near future, AfD would like to add sporting activities to the school's curriculum. This will be an important addition since it will improve the children's well-being, mental development, physical fitness, and self-esteem.

We would like to thank you once again for your invaluable support for the disabled children of Afghanistan. Your support enables them to look forward to a brighter future.

Not only does the school help the children to reach their academic, employment, and personal potential, it helps others to recognize that the children are capable human beings, who should be valued and integrated in society. Education is necessary to ensure sustainable peace to the families of disabled children as well as to the entire country.

Best wishes,

The team at AfD

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Children at the Rahyub School in Kabul
Children at the Rahyub School in Kabul

It is difficult to put a number on how many disabled children there are in Afghanistan or in Kabul, estimates suggest as many as 400,000, most of whom live in the main cities in Afghanistan such as Kabul. Disabled children in Afghanistan receive no social support from the government so many of these children are not able to attend school.

The Rahyub School in Kabul provides an education for 455 disabled children, providing the disabled children with an education and the skills to become productive members of Afghan society.

The school continues to expand, since this schooling  year it begun offering preschool for children aged 4 and 5.

A sign of the success of the project and what a valuable contribution to improving the lives of disabled children in Kabul, in 2016, 35 students graduated from the school, and of those 8 have joined the school as teachers of preschool children and beginners. This is an incredible story, considering the dire economic situation in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it is not possible to find employment for all graduates but as the school grows with your continued support, the children will be taught new skills which they might use to gain an income.

As of March 2016, the school now offers a new project for grades 9,10 and 11. Girls in this age group learn how to sew, and it is hoped that boys can be found opportunities in the fields of mechanical and IT courses that will help them to find employment in the future.

In 2017, your donations on top of our other funding as enabled the school to provide a warm meal every day during the first quarter of the school year up to the 21st June.

The school is looking for future donations, so they may continue providing this service to the underserved disabled children of Kabul. Any amount of money would be greatly appreciated by the school, $10 is enough to buy language books for students and $25 would make a day meal for 20 students, and for $300 a child’s education needs and basic expenses can be provided for an entire year.

As the media grows tired of reporting of problems being faced by the people in Afghanistan it is important to realise that the problems still persist and they need your support as much as any time before. 

Thank you in advance for your kind support. 

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Dear Friends and Supporters,


While the situation of Afghan children is still critical from many perspectives, disabled children frequently confront additional barriers as the social stigma and isolation from the community. Kabul's Rahyab School, where nearly 450 disabled children receive daily education, is preparing to start a new school year at the end of March. The school presents an academic opportunity for disabled Afghan children and allows them to develop the future employment skills.


Action for Development continues its focus on strengthening the primary children's rights to education and health, with special regard to disabled and disadvantaged young people. The organization admits that these rights are vital for the economic, social and cultural development of all societies. Thanks to generous donations of our donors, the organization plans to further support schools meals for the students during the next school year. Through the support for disabled children, we aim to provide an encouragement to their parents by keeping them happy about the progress their children make in learning communication and professional skills and giving them confidence in their children's future.


At the beginning of the school year, AfD has the ambition to take action in order to encourage Rahyab teachers and administration to integrate more physical activities into school's routine. This is actually already happening: Rahyab students enjoy playing football during breaks between classes. The organisation is looking for possibilities to improve their sports experience by engaging a professional coach, provisioning in equipment and organising a sports ground.


We look to the next school year with a great expectancy, that Rahyab's children will enjoy their classes and leisure time at school. AfD remains an active supporter of the school, which brings a hope. We believe that education is the only way to bring sustainable peace not only into the families of disabled children but also to the country.


Thank you for your generosity and kindness.


Best regards,
AfD's team

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Organization Information

Action for Development (AfD)

Location: Geneva - Switzerland
Website:
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Twitter: @afd_swiss
Project Leader:
Zuhra Dadgar-Shafiq
Geneva, Geneva Switzerland
$15,055 raised of $20,000 goal
 
108 donations
$4,945 to go
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