A Family Life For Children With Disabilities

  • Burkina Faso
  • Goal 3: Good Health And Well-Being
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 16: Peace, Justice ans Strong Institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Tax deduction possible in the following countries : Switzerland

Partners : ISS West Africa, Basale Stimulation®, Humanité et Inclusion

In brief

Improves the lives of children with disabilities without parental care through a foster care program adapted to their needs.

The challenges

In Burkina Faso, due to local beliefs and lack of information, children with disabilities suffer from a very negative social perception. This experience of discrimination stops them from being truly integrated into society. They are isolated, have limited access to education, and their fundamental rights are often violated. According to the latest available national data, approximately two-thirds of children with disabilities are out of school in Burkina Faso.

Abandoned by their families and marginalized by society, children with special needs are often placed in orphanages. These “centers for children in distress” do not provide the nurturing, educational and medical care that they need to develop to their full potential. In fact, staff typically do not receive any training to respond to their specific needs. The consequences may be devastating for the children, as many end up developing other kinds of handicaps.

For children with disabilities who are placed in orphanages, discrimination continues as most institutions do not have adequate services or support systems. According to the Ministry of Families, in June of 2016 a total of 155 children were placed into foster families, however only 6 children with special needs were placed in such families.
Children with disabilities are often the last to leave residential institutions, even though a stable and secure family environment would deeply improve their lives and give them a real chance in life.

Action and Impact

We have set up a system of foster families in Burkina Faso that provide a family environment for children with disabilities for whom the reintegration into their family of origin is not possible or not in their best interest. With the support of the government, this specialized program is based on an evaluation of each child’s specific needs and a comprehensive assessment of the foster families, in order to find them the most suitable family.

Our program allows foster families to meet with rehabilitation professionals, access tailored support services as well as training opportunities. Following their placement with a suitable foster family, we develop a long-term life plan for each child, ensuring they will thrive and continue to grow into the future.

The foster care program for children with disabilities is being implemented in the province of Ouagadougou and aims to provide a family setting for 20 children currently placed in orphanages. With your support, we plan to strengthen the foster care system in Ouagadougou and extend it to other provinces. Our goal is to give many more children with special needs the opportunity to be integrated into the loving family environment that they need to become happy adults.

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