The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) will be running a fundraising drive during June. Join in the month long campaign and donate nappies. It's that simple!
This should build on the success of the 17-year running Casual Day disability-awareness campaign.
You could also join the organisation's fun run events on National Children’s Day on 3 November 2012.
Why is the campaign important?
Children with disabilities who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, the ones who live on the fringe of society, are the most vulnerable and exposed.
As we commemorate Youth Day (16 June), the need to raise awareness of these ‘invisible children’ is at an all time high with 293,000 - 346,000 children with disabilities in South Africa according to the World Health Organisation.
The NCPPDSA believes that children with disabilities are overlooked in the SA's childcare and protection systems.
Most of our nation's children with disabilities are not only marginalised and alienated due to their disabilities, but have to deal with neglect and suffering because of poverty and not having their basic human rights and needs met. This also makes this minority group more exposed to violence and abuse, especially those children with disabilities who are in institutional or residential care facilities.
A national issue
“Child disability is a neglected and serious national problem,” says Therina Wentzel, National Director of the NCPPDSA.
“We are inundated with reports of children, already severely disadvantaged due to poverty and lacking in opportunity, who are not identified nor sufficiently provided for in policies, programmes and services by an array of state and civil society childcare and protection agencies.”
A lot of children with disabilities fall through the cracks of the SA childcare and protection systems. Often the country’s childcare and protection policies and programmes do not adequately regard the special needs of children with disabilities, and exclude disability-appropriate intervention strategies.
Our country has an obligation under the Constitution, as well as national policy and legislation, to care for each and every child equally as supported by the UN.
Where does education fit in?
Every child with a disability has the right to an education and to be included in the South African school system. The Right to Education for Children with Disabilities campaign estimates that there are 165,000 disabled children who are out of school.
That is about half of the number of children with disabilities who are not receiving an education!
Because of this, there is a strong chance that their career options and pathways are limited not by their own potential - but also by the inability of the system to support them. Early childhood development is crucial for every child in this critical foundation phase so as to enhance their opportunities to advance in society.
The social effects
Prejudice, misconceptions and ignorance about disabilities are often at the root of the abuse, neglect and abandonment of children with disabilities.
People with disabilities can be sidelined in society and treated as secondary citizens. This stems from a lack of understanding of disabilities.
Society requires a shift in focus from the disability to the capability of each individual.
The NCPPDSA believes that by addressing human rights, society’s knowledge and understanding of disability issues will improve, and with it the social inclusion of disabled people.
To find out more, go to www.ncppdsa.org.za, www.nappyrun.org.za and www.causes.com/nappyrun or follow on Twitter.
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