All children deserve to be treated with dignity
Almost double the number of children with disabilities, compared to their typical peers, lives at or below the national poverty line. And very often, children with disabilities receive day care from community-based and volunteer-driven day care centres that have very limited resources and where nappies are a luxury item and most often not provided.
The observation of children at these centres not wearing nappies, and sadly being ‘wet’, is a far too common occurrence. From this daily challenge of incontinence – combined with the ongoing need for nappies and a lack of diapers at care centres – to the long-term effects of negative stereotypes and stigmatization, children with disabilities and special needs deserve a comfortable life like every child, and they should be treated with dignity.
South Africa also has an obligation under the Constitution as well as national policy and legislation, to take care of each and every child equally. This is also stated in international law as well as the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Research conducted into day care centres for children with disabilities has shown that:
- Most of these day care centres are informal and in poor rural communities with poorly trained and untrained staff
- Children of all ages and disabilities are bundled together and there is little evidence of age and disability appropriate intervention and developmental input
- The vast majority of children in these centres are older children of school going age without a formal learning programme. Every child can learn and has the right to a formal education on an equal basis with other children
- There is very little developmental, therapeutic and rehabilitative intervention with the children especially at centres in poor and rural communities
- Centres are bare without the needed equipment for developmental and therapeutic activities
- Children go without much needed assistive devices
- The centres get low levels of financial support from Government while many don’t receive any Government financial support One-third of the centres operate on less than R10 000 per month while there are on average 41 children per centre.
Projects aimed at the advancement of Clidren with disability
For more information on our Child Care and Education services:
Brian Tigere: Social Worker
Office: 015 291 1787