Disability and Poverty
Disability and Poverty
“A review of 14 developing countries found out that people with disabilities were more likely to experience poverty than those without disabilities. People with disabilities tended to well less off in terms of education, employment, living conditions, consumption and health. Higher health care costs than for those from families without disabilities can further reduce a household’s standard of living.” – State of the World’s Children, 2013 Report.
Poverty and Disability are major factors helping to render the lives of special needs children more vulnerable and miserable. This is particularly true in rural communities in Africa, where 10% to 15% of the 80 million people living with disabilities are children of school-going age.
Most people with disabilities in low or middle income countries therefore live very miserable lives in abject poverty and special needs children are often the hardest hit in the maze. In addition to the high poverty rates, they are most often the subject of stigmatization and are often associated with negative and primitive traditional believes like witch craft and all sorts of superstitious believes. (Crystal Foundation)
In the face of all these, it becomes very difficult to address issues of disability without addressing the effects of rural poverty on the special needs child and her or his households.
Persons living with disabilities find it hard to afford proper nutrition, the cost medical intervention, tuition, and even basic expenses like paying taxi fares from one village to another. In this situation, many of the special needs children end up being abandoned in their home, sidelined from education, secluded from cultural and social life. The few who manage to attend primary school end up as school drop outs because they can no longer get the money to continue any form of education. Poverty makes disability harder to bear and plunge special needs child into untold miseries.
With this in mind, Crystal Foundation provides well-rounded solutions to disability for children in villages in Cameroon. Central to this is Crystal’s Economic Empowerment programs, which seek to lead each special needs child and their families out of disability and the misery created by rural poverty.