Posted By: Erica
I spoke to a woman from UNESCO yesterday working on inclusive education for children with disabilities. Thirty years of warfare have left a significant number of disabled children, most due to poor health care access during 30 years of war but an estimated 25% due to the direct consequences of conflict. For example, those injured from explosive remnants of war (ERWs), including cluster bomb duds or other unexploded ordnance, are frequently children who inadvertently pick up or hit the ERWs while collecting wood, water or other materials for their family. Children who lose a leg or an arm, suffer deafness, or have other disabilities are usually not allowed to go to school, not allowed to learn a trade, nor given other development tools that would allow them to become normally functioning adults.
The woman I spoke to in UNESCO has been working for the past twenty years to persuade Afghan government entities and school authorities to allow some of these children to go to school. It’s a sad legacy that sometimes the most effective redress for those injured in conflict would be a return to normalcy – something that these children’s injuries and the ongoing conflict do not allow.