Eighty percent of all people with disabilities live in developing countries. And in these countries there is a shortage of doctors, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. Children and young people with disabilities frequently live in poverty. Many suffer from social exclusion and prejudices. Kindernothilfe supports girls and boys with disabilities and works to have people with disabilities accepted in the society.
The global number of people with disabilities is on the rise. This is due, on the one hand, to improved medical care. Even with a disability, a person today can lead a long and fulfilled life if they enjoy the benefits of a good healthcare system. In developing countries, however, there is no adequate healthcare provision. Children suffer from hunger, have no access to clean water, get illnesses which have either been eradicated in the industrial countries or which can be easily cured. All these deplorable conditions inhibit the development of children and can lead to disabilities. According to The Child Right Information Network, 97 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries receive no rehabilitation and 98 percent receive no school education suited to their needs.
The importance of human rights is nowadays undisputed. The needs of children with disabilities, however, are often disregarded. In the world of outcasts, they are the poorest of the poor whose basic right to live is not taken for granted.
The majority of children and young people with special needs live in extreme poverty. In addition, these girls and boys are exposed to discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Frequently there is only one of two alternatives open for them - either their families put them onto the street to beg or they are kept hidden away in their homes. In the countries of the South disability is still often seen as a punishment by God.
Kindernothilfe supports girls and boys with disabilities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Its policy is to support children with disabilities, strengthen parents in their fight for survival and sensitise the public so that these children are better accepted and integrated. The support of children with moderately severe and very severe physical, sensorial, intellectual or psycho-social disabilities is one of the main focuses of Kindernothilfe's work and it supports more than 7,000 children with disabilities across the globe.
Kindernothilfe is a member of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit" ( a work group for disabilities and development co-operation) and helps publish the magazine "Behinderung und Dritte Welt"(Disability and the Third World). It is also a member of the NRO- work group "Behindertenarbeit in Entwicklungsländern" (Disability work in developing countries) of VENRO( The association of German NGOs) in Bonn.