Helping people with disabilities live in dignity
In the run-up to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, ICRC President Peter Maurer speaks about the special needs of disabled people and their right to inclusion in every aspect of life. Through its physical rehabilitation programme and the Special Fund for the Disabled, the ICRC has been providing physical rehabilitation services in more than 60 countries over the past 30 years. Between January and August 2013, more than 188,000 people benefited from various services at ICRC-assisted centres.
More than 30 years after the cessation of fighting along the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border, families and communities living within the 210 square kilometres that make up the region daily suffer the scourge of anti-personnel mines. Since 1980, more than 1,500 people and 120,000 livestock have been killed and 2,000 people have been maimed by mines on the Zimbabwean side of the border.
A year ago, Saman Ali Sadeq, a Kurdish man from Takiya, a small town 60 km from Suleymanieh in northern Iraq, would never have dreamed of owning his own business. Now he runs a shop and his own local radio station educating people about computers.
Among the challenges facing Afghanistan is the lack of adequately trained staff to help war-wounded and disabled people. The ICRC, in close collaboration with the Ghazanfar Institute of Health Science and the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, has developed a training programme – the Afghan Diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics (ADPO) – for this purpose.
A wheelchair basketball tournament held in Kabul in June 2012 brought together players from Mazar-i Sharif, Kabul, Herat and Maimana. The ICRC organized the event, in close collaboration with the Afghan Para-Olympic Committee.This tournament is part of the ICRC’s long-running effort to promote the social reintegration of people with disabilities.
This year, for the first time in the history of the Narul Stadium in Muzaffarabad, disabled cricketers took to the field, in what was surely one of the most special occasions of their lives. Watch the cricket team of the Pakistan Cricket Board compete against the ICRC’s Muzaffarabad Physical Rehabilitation Centre in a thrilling game.
Opening address by Christine Beerli, vice-president of the ICRC, 13th meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines, Geneva, 2-5 December 2013.
- Promoting disability inclusion in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Resolution 9, Council of delegates 2013
- Iraq: Paralympics athletes break barriers to social inclusion, News Release
- Bangladesh: Mobilizing support for people with disabilities, News Release