Tuesday, December 28, 2010


For many people in this country, and I expect throughout the world, special needs people are a sensitive and, often, shameful topic. They are not talked about, helped or properly cared for. Yet they are often the ones most in need. This is true here. Over the last two years I’ve seen special needs people pushed to the margins, forgotten, or ignored. It is considered shameful to have a special needs person and especially to have a special needs child. So sometimes it can be hard to work in this area, when the government, culture and everything else is against you. So when one does find people who truly want to work in this field, with these people it is so uplifting and inspiring.

In my old village, through various activities, I saw this population go from marginalized to known. Now they receive more help, recognition and support. They still have a long way to go but it is exciting to see what has happened in two short years. While I lived there I met some amazing people with big hearts who just wanted to help. Some of these people had special needs children themselves, others did not. They just wanted to share the love and increase awareness. It’s the same in my current city. I've met an amazing organization that goes out to orphanages and day cares with clothes and other items. They have provided funding for projects to special needs places and recently won an award for their work. However, this place is not the ones doing something. I've met people who have created special needs apparatuses for their clients out of household items. I've seen these children thrive by just being talked to, held or noticed. The people that work here receive very little pay and hardly in recognition, yet they come every day and do it. In this country, with its stigma and discrimination towards this population it truly is amazing. They have helped to open my eyes to the potential that exists here and that no matter how bad things can look there are always heroes. These people are just that.

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