There are many barriers for a child with disability to access education in Tajikistan. Sometimes this barrier is seen in the attitudes of people that think children with disabilities don’t belong in school or should be kept separate from other children. Sometimes the barriers are physical, for example a child with a wheelchair who cannot enter the school because of steps, or who cannot reach the toilet because it is inaccessible.
Our local partner organizations in Tajikistan worked with a school to help them understand the need to change the school’s physical accessibility. Then they partnered with local businesses and shops, who donated the materials necessary to build a ramp and to make the toilet accessible. Local workmen partnered with those working at the school to do the building work. The local staff also worked with the child to prepare he to go to school, as well training and mentoring the teacher who would teach the child with a disability. Much partnership has helped this child to enter school!
Karima has improved in her self-care skills and every day she learns something new and makes visible progress!
When asked about the experience, she said: “I was really happy to see that people did not notice just her disability, but they appreciated her ability.”
Now Rustam can express himself, he is socializing with his peers, and he is participating in the cultural events of the organization. Rustam is ready to go to school!
Sitora is a 5-year girl with Down Syndrome. She is the third child in the family and when her mother does housework, Sitora tries to imitate her activities.
Health is everyone’s responsibility, and Bibi grew in her health knowledge and confidence through our training and put it into practice for the good of her community.
Her confidence has grown immensely, and with this growth, she has begun to teach and train other mothers in a way that contributes to making Operation Mercy’s work in Isfara truly sustainable.
After participating in the training, Nozanin realized the importance of investing in her child, by encouraging education and independence which will help her to find her place in society.
Maftuna knew about the book through one of Operation Mercy’s community health trainers. She herself went through Operation Mercy’s general health and pregnancy lessons, as the trainers do not only work with the local women in the village but also the wives of Operation Mercy staff.
“I love speaking to new mothers that come in for the first time and giving them advice and counselling them. I love seeing the change that this brings into a family.”
Most importantly, hope is present for Hamidjon because he has a loving mother, who, through our project, is able to experience support and acceptance, receive counselling and process her grief.
Meeting Umed encouraged us in our decision to include lessons in skills learning in our disability project for this year and hopefully to continue this into the next.
The community based rehabilitation project in Rudaki provides early intervention and rehabilitation for children with disabilities and support for their parents.
“This community has helped my son to improve not only physically, but also mentally.”
Amina has grown in her capacity to advocate for children with disabilities, to encourage other mothers, and now has grown in confidence to share her knowledge and experience with the social assistance workers too.
Alisher is a boy with autism, who struggles to interact well with his world, struggles with behaviour and attention and is not able to speak.
Her mother speaks about Sumaya’s development with great happiness and joy. She says, “I didn’t expect to see this much development in my daughter, but now I see she can do a lot and will continue to make progress!”
There are many barriers for a child with disability to access education in Tajikistan. Sometimes this barrier is seen in the attitudes of people that think children with disabilities don’t belong in school or should be kept separate from other children.