Earlier this month we celebrated World Cerebral Palsy Day 2023.
World Cerebral Palsy Day is a chance to celebrate the opportunities and confront the barriers that children with Cerebral Palsy face.
Started in 2012 by an Australian organisation and now celebrated globally, the aim of the global movement is to spread awareness of the need for a more accessible and inclusive world. World Cerebral Palsy Day is a celebration of everyone with cerebral palsy, including the 18 million children with it globally.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common disabilities in children. It is cause by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain. Children that have cerebral palsy can live long and fulfilling lives, provided appropriate support is available at the earliest opportunity. They benefit from interventions such as physiotherapy; access to equipment such as wheelchairs and talking aids; and regular medical checkups during an infant’s earlier years.
Children with cerebral palsy are often stigmatised and alienated. In Africa, many children with cerebral palsy do not go to school as those schools that are near where they live cannot accommodate them. It does not have to be this way. Children with cerebral palsy are as able to participate in the community as every other child, provided they are given the right assistance.
Able Child Africa work with local organisations to support children in accessing these vital services.
One child, born with cerebral palsy in Kenya had a challenging start to her education and was subject to bullying from other students. However, after a long fight she was supported in finding a school Able Child Africa worked with, where she thrived in her education and made friends. She is now more confident, resilient, and an advocate for children with disabilities to have the same opportunities This shows that, given the chance, children with cerebral palsy can thrive and be leaders in changing the future for other children with disabilities.
Advocacy is vital to raise awareness of children with cerebral palsy. The more we raise awareness of children with cerebral palsy and celebrate their achievements, the more included in society they will be. Able Child Africa works alongside its partners to make sure that barriers to inclusion are broken down, so that all children are meaningfully included in their communities.