– Dana, Interpal Gaza Field Office
Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalised and excluded groups in societies the world over. They are effectively barred from realising their right to healthcare and even education. Estimates suggest that there are at least 93 million children with disabilities in the world. Their disabilities also place them at a higher risk of physical abuse, and often exclude them from receiving adequate nutrition and humanitarian assistance in emergencies. They are often likely to be among the poorest members of the population. Girls with disabilities face a double disadvantage. They are not only subject to societal stigma but a
re also constrained by traditional gender roles and cultural barriers.
Palestine has a high proportion of people with disabilities compared to its population rate. Around 113,000 individuals suffer from at least one disability, which constitutes 2.7% of the population in Palestine. 75,000 of these people reside in the West Bank and around 38,000 live in the Gaza Strip.
Education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination and poverty that children with disabilities often face, however, access to school for children with disabilities is often limited by a lack of understanding about their needs, unsuitable school environment and poor learning resources and facilities. 37.6% of all disabled individuals aged 15 years and above in Palestine have never been enrolled in a school.
Although roughly half of the schools in Palestine have appropriate toilets and ramps for student with motor disabilities, there are other conditions that require special adaptations that are not yet readily available in schools. These include special transportation and classroom accessibility.
The Sanabel School for Special Education, which is located in the middle of Gaza City, educates students with special educational needs in a way that addresses their individual requirements. However, strain on the sector has left the school struggling in a time of great need.
Interpal provides the school with educational assets, learning resources and employee salaries but we need your help to ensure that these children are no longer left behind.