Amongst the Bedouin of Jordan, children with disabilities are often neglected. Operation Mercy has for 6 years provided care, training and advocacy. We have seen progress, with local authorities and schools promoting inclusion for the first time. But we want to go further! We want to see a change in attitude amongst our friends in the Bedouin communities, see barriers and prejudices towards children with disabilities broken down, seeing these children included in all aspects of community life.
Bedouin children with disabilities lack acceptance, respect and care from the rural community and often also from their own family. The general idea is that a child with a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disability doesn't have the potential to learn. As a result, the child doesn't receive the stimulation needed to develop to his full potential. Many schools are reluctant or not equipped to receive a child with a disability so the child is kept at home; isolated and under-stimulated.
The project promotes changes on family and community level. It raises awareness and helps the community to become an inclusive society in which the rights of their children are protected and provided for. We are supporting the families, walking with them, doing hands-on training, building trust, and helping them to see what changes they can make in order to provide their child with love, respect, sense of security and a nurturing environment in which the child can develop.
A change of attitude will occur in the affected families and in the Bedouin communities. Children with disabilities will no longer be considered useless or cursed. Awareness of children's rights will grow and inclusion in normal family life and in the schools will give children with disabilities a chance to develop according to their ability. This will increase their chances of getting a job and give them an improved life where they are considered equal members of the local Bedouin community.