Disabilities in Low-Income Countries
Children with both learning and physical disabilities face difficulties that most able-bodied children do not have to deal with in regards to their education. These difficulties are especially prevalent for children with disabilities in low-income countries, such as Tanzania, where they have trouble accessing the resources they need to succeed. To elaborate, many of these disabled Tanzanian children live in rural, poverty-stricken areas that prevent them from accessing available educational services due to costs, lack of public transportation and lack of knowledge about such services.
Furthermore, disabled children who do have access to some of these educational services still have to deal with troubling circumstances. This includes overcrowded classrooms, poverty, health issues, shortage of experienced teachers, lack of teaching supplies, traditional beliefs, school expectations, and motivational issues. Also, these students are oftentimes neglected and excluded from education, as well as other aspects of society, due to a general lack of resources within Tanzania that are available to assist those with disabilities. Tanzanian educational institutions have also been known to categorize their disabled students into vague groupings, rather than considering the student’s specific needs.
Alex Santos, Soma International’s Project Manager, is working with other Soma team members on grant applications to assist Tanzanian youth with disabilities.
“Experience with my own disability is a key reason why I believe that it is important for all of us at Soma to support disabled students, because together we can help our students adapt and grow,” said Santos.
With help from our donors, Soma International can continue to expand educational opportunities for all Tanzanians despite their situations.
Knowledge is Boundless
Written by: Hannah Williams