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Published on 20 September 2012
By Christoph Ziegenhardt, End the Cycle coordinator
For most children in Australia, being in school, getting an education and choosing career options is just the way it is – part of childhood, part of growing up. But for children in the poorest countries, these things are not automatic.
For children living with a disability, it can be even harder. Some have to fight for their rights to be allowed to study, tackling attitudes and physical barriers.
For many people, living with a disability means living in the cycle of poverty and disability. Because of poverty, people are more likely to acquire a disability, and living with a disability, people are more likely to be poor, for example, because they do not have access to education.
ChildFund has previously spoken out about this exclusion and poverty faced by children with disabilities here. They’ve also partnered with End the Cycle, a campaign to raise awareness about the cycle of poverty and disability, and how this can be broken when people with disabilities are empowered to enjoy their human rights.
End the Cycle has seen first-hand how this cycle of poverty and disability is created, and also how it can be ended. Recently, we went to Bangladesh and collected some amazing stories from people with disabilities, told in their own words.
That’s when we met Ruma. When Ruma was a child, she experienced exclusion and prejudice. Her neighbours and the teachers said that she should not be allowed to go to school because she couldn’t walk. You can see her story for yourself in the video below:
In Ruma’s case, when she got into school she excelled. She is now in college, she is teaching other children and she is advocating for the rights of people with disability through a local organisation.
ChildFund Australia is an endorsing partner of End the Cycle and together we are sharing the message that the cycle of poverty and disability can be ended by working towards development that includes everyone. To see more stories like Ruma's, add your voice to the campaign and sign our pledge, visit www.endthecycle.org.au