Disabled children in Africa – the AbleChildAfrica appeal

by stevebroach

Disabled children in Africa face all the same barriers to inclusion as disabled children in the UK, but magnified. 

For example, while many families with disabled children in the UK struggle to get them an appropriate education, most disabled children in Africa get no education at all. While UK disabled children face bullying and harassment, disabled children in Africa often have to contend with isolation through social stigma associated with cultural beliefs about disability. 

A number of grassroots organisations has sprung up to help address these challenges. Many of them are partners of AbleChildAfrica, a UK based charity for which I am proud to be a trustee. We work with our partners to improve provision, raise awareness of disabled children’s rights and lobby government locally, nationally and internationally. Our partners have formed a network of self-sustaining organisations helping each other to improve the life chances of disabled children in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

For a small charity, something like a Radio 4 appeal is a big moment. It’s our moment in the spotlight now and the AbleChildAfrica appeal is here. I would be very grateful if all readers of this blog who care about disabled children’s rights could take a moment to listen to the appeal and if possible donate. 

Those involved in the fight for rights and justice for disabled children in the UK will find lots of familiar aspects to the work of AbleChildAfrica and our partners. To take one example – the parent support groups run by the Uganda Society for Disabled Children (USDC) are doing very similar things to the parent forums in every local authority in England – bringing parents together to support each other and lobby those with power to improve provision.

So the goal of rights and inclusion for disabled children is the same the world over, but the African context makes realising this goal even harder. To the extent you can afford please help AbleChildAfrica in our vital work through our appeal.