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See the Child, Not the Disability

See the Child, Not the Disability

Written by Annette Apitz, UNICEF USA.

Last week UNICEF launched its annual State of the World’s Children report. This year, the report is focusing on children with disabilities. It calls on the world to change attitudes and include children with disabilities in all areas of society.

In Zimbabwe, 17-year-old Munashe writes with his feet. Unable to use his hands because of a disability, he is taking final exams in mathematics at the King George IV School of the Disabled. Munashe wants to be an accountant.

Thirteen-year-old Uyanga was born learning disabled. Today, she attends a UNICEF-supported center that teaches children with disabilities new skills in an inclusive and supportive environment. Uyanga is learning to hold a pen and is working on her speech.

All children, including children with disabilities, have the right to learn, to play, to reach their dreams. But sadly, Uyanga and Munashe are more exception than the rule.

Children with disabilities are among the most deprived and marginalized children in the world. They are the least likely to go to school, and are most vulnerable to neglect and abuse. They are targets of discrimination, exclusion and stigmatization. Girls, especially, are frequently malnourished, and are subject to forced sterilization. Worst of all, children with disabilities are too often invisible—ignored by governments and communities.

Right now, there are 93 million children living with disabilities—many of whom are discriminated against, excluded, and, in effect, made invisible.

UNICEF is working to bring these children back from the margins of society by removing barriers to their participation and by including them in all of its programs. When we give all children the right to reach their full potential, society is enriched as a whole.

Here is what you can do to help give children with disabilities a chance to make their dreams a reality.

This post was originally published by UNICEF.

 

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Photo: Rahmatuallah, 14, writes on a white board during a workshop for electricians at a UNICEF-assisted reintegration and rehabilitation center in Kandahar. © UNICEF/AFGA2007-00420/Noorani

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93 comments

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12:49AM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:55AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

The World can learn so much in the way of compassion from the disabled. We are human beings, just like you.

True beauty lies within us all, we just need to show it more.

11:22PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

thaku for sharing

10:39AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

ty

9:55AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

interesting, thanks for sharing

6:44AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Thank u so much!!

4:38AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing... Everyone has a lesson to teach and a lesson to learn!!

10:31PM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Thanks for the info

12:58PM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

thank you

10:27AM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

We all have abilities,and we all have disabilities.Sometimes abilities need to be brought out,because they are not always visible.But everyone has some thing to contribute for the good of everyone else.
At the same time,everyone has a disability of some kind.My disability is not so easily noticed.I am not in a wheelchair.I look perfectly normal,I can hold a normal conversation.To talk to me,or interact with me,you would never know that I have a disability.
I have bipolar disorder.I do not do the things that many associate with this disorder.I function like any other person who is considered normal.I manage my symptoms with ganja,as well as with prayer and meditation.Unless I tell someone,no one even knows.
It is better to focus on people as people,souls,with feelings,with value,and with a unique gift that only they can give to the world.

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