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Improving the lives of children with disabilities in Egypt

18/06/2012

Children at El Wehda centre

Children with disabilities remain amongst the most marginalised and underprivileged members of Egyptian society.  Only 5 percent of people with disabilities are able to access the support they need, as such services are hard to find and often very costly. 

Children with disabilities are often prevented from attending school and excluded from other areas of social life.

Plan is working in 30 communities across Egypt to address the rights and needs of children who have a disability. By setting up specialist centres in towns and villages, Plan is providing vital support services, agitating for educational inclusion and promoting equal opportunities for all young people in Egypt.

Enhancing provisions

Abdel Aal and his family live in the town of El Wehda.  When Abdel was two years old, his mother brought him to one of Plan’s centres because she noticed he was experiencing difficulties with his speech.  Here, she learnt of her son’s hearing impairment, and Plan provided her with the support and information she needed to help facilitate her son’s development and learning.

Plan supported Abdel to participate in activities within the community and make friends with other children his age and, with the help of a hearing aid, Abdel made rapid progress with his speech.

Meanwhile, Abdel’s mother benefitted from the parent support sessions provided by Plan, which provided her with useful advice as well as the opportunity to meet other parents in similar positions with whom to share her experiences and concerns. 

"The knowledge I have gained from these sessions has helped me become more effective in the way I raise my son, given his disability. I have become more patient and understanding. Having the skills to deal with this has made me stronger and this is how I want every mother to feel. I have decided to share what I have learned with other women and mothers so that their children may also benefit,” she says.

“I’m not scared anymore. I see how Abdel Aal is improving and learning every day. I am here to support him,” she adds.

By helping communities to enhance their provisions for young people with disabilities, Plan has enabled 5000 children like Abdel get the support they need.

Find out more about Plan’s work in Egypt.

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