The latest version of the Fair ‘n Square website, which was first launched in 2015 by Handicap International (HI) in conjunction with UNICEF, looks at the ways in which children and adults with disabilities in Mozambique are discriminated against on a daily basis. Some people are unable to visit health centres because buildings are not designed for use by people with disabilities, for example, while some children with reduced mobility are unable to go to school because they don’t have the equipment they need to move around, such as a wheelchair. The aim of the website is therefore to raise awareness on disability, to show how some problems have easy solutions, and to provide information on action taken by HI in Mozambique to end the exclusion of people with disabilities.
Launched in 2015 in English and Portuguese, Fair’n square (a fair and equal world) features testimonies by Muzna, Filomena, Raúl, Ansha, Eduardinho and Ester - six children with disabilities who have benefited from HI’s support.
It also features an animated film explaining the problems encountered by children with disabilities and the support they need to improve their living conditions, along with an online game that gives visitors the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be excluded.
Identifying people with disabilities
Fair’n square also provides information on the actions taken by HI and UNICEF to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities in Mozambique: “The first step is to identify people with disabilities, who often live in isolation. A child with disabilities may not automatically be enrolled in school, for example, or may find it hard to venture outside their home because their parents are either overprotective or ashamed of them. Meeting the child is the first step towards providing them with appropriate assistance,” explains Social Protection project manager, Ezequiel Mingane.
Guidance and information services - which include several mobile teams - currently identify children with disabilities in 35 districts of Maputo, Matola and Beira. These services will soon be available in Tete and Nampula. Particular attention is paid to children with disabilities.
Partnership with UNICEF
In partnership with UNICEF, Handicap International has implemented this project since 2012 to advance the social inclusion of people with disabilities and to improve their access to education, health, rehabilitation and psychosocial support services.
To date, around 9,000 people with disabilities have been identified, of whom a quarter are children. More than 10,000 families have been provided with information and involved in actions to end discrimination. Some 60 facilities have been adjusted to make public services accessible and 250 items of mobility equipment (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.) have been distributed to children with disabilities.