Our goal was to raise a total of $28.4M of resources for our life-changing work in 2020. Then COVID-19 hit and some of our supporters told us they needed to pull back a bit on their giving — at least for a while.
Through the faithfulness and sacrificial giving of donors, we ended the year with a total of $24.3M to support healthier, happier, more confident kids.
Here’s how your donations became hope and healing for 614,382
children and families trapped in poverty and disability.
In 2020, you gave 254,879 children and families disability-preventing care through medical treatment, eye screening, medicines, HIV education and hygiene education.
Together with you, we gave 8,481 more people access to safe, clean, ability-protecting water through 16 wells and 12 capped springs.
Enabling Medical Treatment
Together with you in 2020, we gave 131,407 children – with conditions like clubfoot, cleft lip/palate, birth malformations and severe burns – enabling medical care through orthopedic surgery, casting, physiotherapy, braces and other assistive devices.
Our medical partners conducted 35,320 pediatric medical consultations, a 4.3% increase over 2019.
By helping us ship miracles, you sent our partners over $3.1 million worth of medication and vitamins, 7,521 hospital mattresses, 287,606 examination gloves, 57,466 face masks and 8,810 surgical items.
You gave 14,283 children with long-term disabilities – like cerebral palsy, developmental delays, post-injection paralysis – life-changing, custom rehabilitation plans that included physiotherapy, occupational therapy, assistive devices like custom wheelchairs, stationary support chairs, standing support frames, parallel bars, home-based instruction and peer-to-peer support groups for caregivers.
In addition, you allowed us to send more than 3,600 assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs and crutches. And you provided our optical partners with more than 14,900 pairs of reading glasses and other optical aids.
Canadians like you helped 41,822 families with livelihood support, agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seeds, crop diversification training; livestock and husbandry training to start a small business; loans; equipment; financial literacy and business planning support. This is an area of increased focus for us, as we address the long-term health and well-being of children living in poverty with disaility.
Medical Care for Caregivers/Family Members
When we keep parents and grandparents healthy and prevent needless long-term impairment, the whole family benefits. To that end, you allowed us to give 51,878 adults medical services such as sight-restoring eye surgery, treatment for obstetric fistula and assistive devices.
As we focus increasingly on direct service to children, we plan to slowly reduce the number of adult medical interventions we fund.
Education Support for children with disabilities
With your support, we gave 12,598 children special education support in 2020, including individual education plans, inclusive education training for teachers, eye health and hygiene training.
Despite many school closures around the world due to COVID-19, we were able to deliver even more inclusive education and play supports to children compared to last year. Our partners are using a combination of adapted school programs and “last mile” house-to-house education services. This will continue throughout this current year.
Safe, Accessible School Latrines
3,449 students were given access to safe, clean, accessible school latrines in 2020. We know that there’s a link between school attendance for children with impairments and accessible latrines. We also know that poor hygiene is a significant cause of needless disability. Safe, accessible school latrines are a priority to ensure children with disabilities are not left behind.
The number of children getting access to safe, accessible latrines was down in 2020, largely due to COVID-19 school closures.
Peer-to-Peer Support Groups
Due to COVID-19 prevention and management protocols, our partners suspended peer-to-peer support groups in 2020. Nutrition training, physiotherapy exercises and daily living skills were delivered one family at a time to minimize the spread of the pandemic virus.
Thanks to you, 13,754 family and community members were given training on the needs, potential and rights of children with disability.
Neighbours and friends who understand the causes of disability and the potential of children with different abilities are much more likely to include these kids – to give them opportunities to grow and thrive.
Girls and boys with disabilities who celebrate their own abilities and claim their intrinsic value; who have a plan for achieving their potential; and who have at least one champion in their home, community, school or place of worship become powerful engines of change in their own lives and in their communities. Inclusive play is one of the best ways for these children to discover their abilities, and to build friendships and confidence. It changes the way these kids see themselves and how others see them.
Thanks to you, 11,188 kids were able to participate in play, sports, music and arts programs. Playing together is one of the best ways for children to build confidence and to change how their peers see and value them.
Thanks to you, over the past year, we’ve been working closely with Canadian advisors, international partners and global educational experts to develop teaching materials that build resiliency skills in children with disabilities. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Resiliency skills help children explore their values and beliefs, their strengths and challenges, their ability to make friends and set goals.
We will plan to pilot our curriculum in Uganda late in 2021, with consideration of COVID-19 protocols and restrictions.