Why Disability and Poverty?

Why Disability and Poverty?

Disability and poverty crushes children’s lives

Too many children with impairments living in the poorest families and communities – surrounded by disabling barriers – are dying, lonely, neglected, uneducated, abused, viewed as a burden, unemployable as adults… And it’s wrong.

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240 million kids

live with disabilities, 80% in low-income countries

As governments and development agencies work together to deliver essential health and education services to children around the globe, particularly those in low income countries, there is a marginalized and largely invisible group of children who are consistently overlooked.

These are girls and boys with impairments – physical, sensory, intellectual – and they are among the most vulnerable children on the planet.

These children are hidden away, sometimes out of shame, more often out of necessity, as parents struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their family’s heads.

Misunderstanding, stigma and exclusion pulls whole families into deeper poverty. Deeper poverty makes families more vulnerable to sickness, infection, disability.

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65% of child disability

in low-income countries is preventable


Every child deserves protection

Alemnesh developed bed sores. She was poor… so her family couldn’t get her the medical care she needed. The sores ate away at the muscles in her legs. We found Alemnesh feverish and in pain. Unable to walk. Lying on a plastic sheet in an empty house.

For kids like Alemnesh, disability is needless. It can be prevented or cured… but only if we believe kids like Alemnesh are worth saving. Without medical care, relatively minor impairments result in wildly twisted bones, permanent blindness, pain and in some cases death.

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9 in 10 children

with a disability never get the chance to go to school

Every child is worth educating

For weeks, Mestu and Getu walked to the gates of their local Ethiopian school… hoping to get in, only to be disappointed. Why? Because Mestu and Getu are deaf. Because they couldn’t hear the teacher. Because the school lacked the understanding and the resources to welcome them in.

Millions of children are denied an education because they can’t see, hear, or walk – crushing their dreams, depriving the world of future scientists, teachers and business leaders.

Mestu and Getu
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3 to 4 times
more likely to experience physical or sexual abuse than children without a disability

We are all God’s children

He was called ‘cursed by God’. Neighbours said it. They didn’t understand the cleft in Fred’s lip was a physical condition – not a spiritual one. They teased him. As a result, Fred spent 6 years of his life staying out of sight. Hiding in shadows and inside his family’s small home.

Many cultures view disability as a curse. So children like Fred are hidden away – out of shame, fear – sometimes out of necessity as moms and dads work flat out to earn a living for the family.

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Together with YOU, we bring hope and healing to the most vulnerable kids in the world.