In Nigeria, children with disabilities face cultural, economic and social barriers within and outside the education system that directly or reflexively affect accessibility to a qualifying education: stigma and erroneous archetypes internalized by families about the actual learning abilities of children become, in themselves, discriminating factors towards the person with disabilities, thus relegating it to the most vulnerable part of Nigerian society. With a rapidly growing population and development challenges, the country is dragging down the socio-economic indicators of the entire continent. The achievement of the SDGs – in particular number 3 (good health and well-being) – remains a challenge for the country to this day. Poverty is still pervasive: 53.5% of the population lives on less than $1.9 a day. Health indicators in Nigeria are among the worst on the African continent: UNICEF reported in a recent document that “preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and HIV/AIDS are responsible for more than 70% of the estimated one million under-five deaths in Nigeria”. The country presents a combination of problems, including inaccessibility to quality health care, poor sanitation, malnutrition, lack of use of drinking water, poor health infrastructure, low presence of health personnel. The Nigerian government’s annual budget for the health sector is 4.17% of the total national budget, which is equivalent to only $5 per year per person, while health insurance is not available to most families, or insufficient to cover long-term care for chronic diseases affecting children. exposing parents to enormous costs for caring for disabled children. Therefore, a mixture of stigma, psychological and financial burdens have combined to prevent many children and adolescents from benefiting from the opportunity of any form of intervention, both in a therapeutic sense and of special educational action, adapted to the individual and specific needs of the disability of which one is carried; This, despite the existence of federal law stating equal opportunities for every Nigerian child.
AIM OF THE PROJECT:
The FMSI project “A new hope for the future” aims to guarantee five minors and a young girl with physical disabilities the opportunity to undergo surgery that significantly improves their living conditions. The most significant change that the project intends to bring is the empowerment of the beneficiaries. All six beneficiaries were picked up from the street where they were begging and welcomed in Hopeville. The surgeries they would undergo would improve their living conditions and allow them to become independent of outside help. All 45 beneficiary children housed in the Hopeville Center come from families in conditions of economic vulnerability who cannot provide for either education or the health of their children. Some of them are orphans, others semi-orphans; but children are also hosted in the Center with both parents from families unable to provide for basic needs. In the long term, thanks to the implementation of the Project, beneficiaries will be able to contribute effectively and meaningfully to society while building self-esteem and self-confidence. The Project is made necessary by the living conditions to which the beneficiaries are forced due to the physical pathologies from which they are suffering. In fact, because of the same, the beneficiaries have been abandoned by their families and / or forced to beg in the street in order to get a meal or to earn something, for their own benefit or that of their family. At present, thanks to the commitment of the Marist Brothers, the six beneficiaries are all hosted at the Hopeville Centre and are therefore assisted in their daily activities by the Brothers and the lay staff in charge of this. That said, the condition of disability prevents them from being autonomous and, above all, from being autonomous in the future when, after their studies they could, if placed in optimal physical condition, work to provide for their livelihood. The Project is therefore necessary to guarantee not only better living conditions, from a physical and social point of view, but also a dignified future for the beneficiaries who, otherwise, would be closed to them.
THE PROJECT IN BRIEF:
The FMSI project “A new hope for the future” aims to guarantee five minors and a young girl with physical disabilities the opportunity to undergo surgery that significantly improves their living conditions.
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS:
- 6 direct beneficiaries
SDG Goals: 3
Laudato Si’ Goals: 2