Hope and Healing

Seeing All Children As Children

May 04, 2016Malawi

Last week a child in a school supported by cbm in Malawi was abducted, killed, and body parts used for traditional medicine.  The boy was targeted because he had albinism.

A recent article on Reuters refers to the problem of violence towards people with albinism

My prayers go out to the family.  I can’t imagine the trauma that they are feeling at this time.

As much as this news saddens me, it also angers me.  This devaluing of human life is horrific!  It is unacceptable that any child’s life can be thought of as less valuable than another.

But this is still the case.

Consider that in the poorest communities, children with disabilities (including those with visual impairment that often accompanies albinism) die at 4 times the rate of other children in those same communities.  8 out of 10 won’t live to see their 5th birthday.  Many don’t die of a physical condition or impairment.  Most of them die because of stigma and misunderstanding…some are murdered.

They die because they’re misunderstood and undervalued and because their families can’t afford the special care these kids need.

The fact is, most development programs aren’t focussed on children with disabilities.  So these children fall through the cracks.

Only 1 in 10 children with disabilities who survive early childhood will ever get the chance to go to school.  Not because the rest aren’t smart, but because they can’t walk the 2 kilometres to and from school.  They can’t see the blackboard.  They can’t hear the teacher.  There’s no classroom money for special supports.

The solution?  Access. Inclusion. Medical care. Dignity.

More of us demanding change!

More of us being outraged!

Yes I am outraged over the death of this boy in Malawi.  I am outraged over the lack of value on children the world over that leads to exclusion, pain, and death.