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Aug 22, 2013

See Ability in Disability; State of the World’s Children’s Report

UNICEF Belize and its partners, BCVI and CARE Belize today officially launched its Situation Analysis of Children with Disabilities and the Situation Analysis of Blind and Visually Impaired Children. Also revealed was UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children’s Report. Both provides data about children with disabilities highlighting the need to break the barriers to inclusion and allow equitable access to health, education, protection and participation of children with disabilities. It is all about equal rights, especially for the most excluded and vulnerable children…that is those with disabilities.  Duane Moody was on hand for the launch and has this report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The report, the state of the world’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities, was officially released this morning at the Radisson Fort George. It focuses on building more inclusive societies to improve on the issue with children with disabilities, their families as well as the barriers they face when it comes to their participation in civic, social and cultural events.

 

Ivan Yerovi

Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF Representative

“My lifetime goal is to have disability become something that is completely accepted and embraced by the global community. It may be a big task, but I believe it is entirely possible. It starts with believing.”

 

The report is being presented almost two years before the completion of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as two years after the signing of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities by Kim Simplis-Barrow on behalf of the country. According to Executive Director of CARE Belize, Evan Cowo, the report will assist Belize with the way forward.

 

Evan Cowo

Evan Cowo, Executive Director, CARE Belize

“This report then can give us direction and perhaps specific targets that we can work on to meet the important goals and to determine where we need to go in fulfilling the mandates of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. I make mention of the millennium development goals because it has been our strong position at CARE Belize that if children with disabilities are not part of the national millennium develop goals equation and strategies, it will be almost impossible to meet target goals and I think specifically of the most fundamental one which is goal number two; achieving universal primary education.”

 

One individual that has been breaking that stigma is fourteen-year-old Rowan Garel. Although blind, over the past three years has accomplished feats that many wouldn’t dare to try…even those without physical disabilities.

 

Rowan Garel

Rowan Garel

“Without this summer camp, we would be lost. My father and I climbed the Victoria Peak to ensure that this would not happen and thankfully because of all the support we were able to have this camp. Next year, we walked across Belize as another fundraiser for the camp. It was very strenuous and I thought my feet would fall off, but as you see they did not and that was successful as well. Thanks to all the support as well. This year we dove the Blue Hole as yet another fundraiser for the rehabilitation program and the summer camp.”

 

But how far off is Belize in achieving its goal in acknowledging the ability in disability?

 

Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“Our children that are blind are doing today and they are more generally accepted that the other children with disabilities. So we still got more work to be done.  Once the inspiration center is established, we will partner with all the different organizations to do a number of PR campaigns. We will do a number of things such as bringing our children with disabilities literally out in public so that people can really see that these children do have abilities and that they need to take their rightful place in our society.”

 

Kim Simplis-Barrow

Reporter

“Is it your opinion that we’ve come a long way in Belize with accommodating disabled children?”

 

Kim Simplis-Barrow

“We’ve come a long way; we still have a long, long way to go.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The reports also include recommendations as to interventions needed to increase access to programs, services and support for children with disabilities, their families and caregivers.

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