As I'm reading through key work documents, my eyes often tear up. I find that the difference between working at any other international organization and this one is that the disabled population is such a specific sub-group. Sure, projects target women or youth or HIV+ people. But the disabled population is so large and so diverse and so invisible. Where I've worked before, the people and communities we worked with just need a little push or some few resources to get going - a small loan, say, or school lunches, or quality seeds, or training - and encouragement. Working with the disabled in developing countries though is a little more intense. Not only do they need "a little push," they also need prosthetics, or a wheelchair, or their family members need to be trained how to care for them, or their community convinced that they're not cursed. These are the people who are kept in the back room.
And sadly NGO's etc. that work with people with disabilities are often the organisations in our communities which receive the last dribs and drabs of Governement allocations, rather than the good amounts that they need to really be able to make a difference in these clients' lives.
It so frustrates me at times - with a bit of positive discrimination community workers and NGO's could make such a world of difference .. but without resources, it makes things really hard at times!
:) You're right. When I lived in Germany, one of the family members I lived with was mentally disabled and diabetic. It was really interesting to me and I really feel like I have learned so much about their problems with the way societies view them.
It's wonderful to know you're making an impact though. I know nothing about the area, but given how under-resourced the disabled sector is in Australia and other 'Western' cultures I'm sure there's a huge need in developing countries. Go you :)