Photography by Patrick Zachmann
"These children don’t need charity, they need dignity."
- Ricardo Moresse
Invisible Children explores the disability challenge in Mozambique, and meets children and their families, as well as activists such as Ricardo Moresse, head of the Mozambican Forum of Disability Associations, who is working to build the country’s capacity for inclusive education and services.
Mozambique ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012, yet everyday life for persons with disabilities remains woefully precarious, especially for children. Education is not a given here, with access an issue even for able-bodied children. Just as crucially, the misconception prevails that a child with a disability is not at all suited for education. All too often they are kept at home or in an institution, receiving no education at all.
Children with disabilities frequently fall victim to stigma and discrimination, fed by misconceptions, superstitions and the common belief that they are a punishment or a curse on their family.
Like all of us, children with disabilities need love, support and protection. They need to be treated with dignity and respect. But until these basic needs are met, children with disabilities in Mozambique will continue to be invisible.
UNICEF has launched a 2-year project integrating education, child protection, and communication for development, and is an important first step towards ensuring that children with disabilities in Mozambique fully realize their right to basic education and an inclusive environment.