Children who cannot walk, go to school, play with friends or lead an independent life because of their disability are often orphaned or abandoned because of their differences. We help to provide medical care, recovery, mobility and education so that these children have the opportunity to defy social stigmas and lead a fulfilled life.
Based on research by UNICEF USA, it is estimated that there are at least 93 million children with disabilities in the world, but numbers could be much higher.
Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. Facing daily discrimination in the form of negative attitudes, lack of adequate policies and legislation, they are effectively barred from realizing their rights to healthcare, education, and even survival.
Children with disabilities are:
▪ Likely to be among the poorest members of the population
▪ Less likely to attend school, access medical services, or have their voices heard in society
▪ At a higher risk of physical abuse
▪ Often excluded from receiving proper nutrition or humanitarian assistance in emergencies
▪ In danger of being caught in a vicious cycle of violence, social polarization, deteriorating services and deepening poverty during armed conflict
According to Special Olympics, intellectual disability is a term used to describe a person with certain limitations in cognitive functioning and other skills, including communication and self-care. Common intellectual disabilities include:
▪ Fragile X is a genetic condition that affects a person’s development, especially behavior and the ability to learn
▪ Down syndrome describes a set of cognitive and physical symptoms that result from having an extra copy or part of a copy of chromosome 21
▪ Autism is a complex neurological and developmental condition that affects how a person learns, communicates and interacts with others
The United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development includes the following goals for disabilities:
▪ Guaranteeing equal and accessible education by building inclusive learning environments and providing the needed assistance for persons with disabilities
▪ Promoting inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market
▪ Emphasizing the social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities
▪ Creating accessible cities and water resources, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, providing universal access to safe, inclusive, accessible and green public spaces
Boeta was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. He grew up in an abusive foster-care home, and because of his disability, he never went to school and was hesitant to engage with anyone. He met 2019 Hero Award Honoree Chaeli Mycroft when he was nine years old and began attending inclusive classes at The Chaeli Campaign’s education center. He finally started to come out of his shell!
Now 16 years old, Boeta attends a special needs school in Cape Town, South Africa and has a number of sporting accolades to his name. The Chaeli Campaign has also helped to find him a supportive family where he feels safe and knows he belongs.
2019, 2013 Hero Award, Youth Award
2019, 2012 Hero Award, Humanitarian Award
2017, 2008 Hero Award, Health Award
2016 Humanitarian Award
2015, 2007 Hero Award, Health Award
2013 Health Award
2016, 2011 Hero Award, Health Award
2009 Humanitarian Award
2005 Health Award
2003 Youth Award
2001 Humanitarian Award
2000 Humanitarian Award
1999 Humanitarian Award