Life to the Fullest

1 Nov 2021

Our community Based Disability program is based in rural South Asia and serves more than 150 people with disability, mostly children.  Our program has been serving those with disability for more than 10 years now.

People with disability in rural India face multilevel disadvantage and vulnerability.  We saw this during Covid when we heard about a child with disability who had died in our area.  This was tragic.  Especially when it is very rare for kids to die of covid19.

But a child with disability has multiple vulnerabilities; not just due to physical comorbidities, but also due to difficulty in accessing health care, income poverty and social discrimination.   A child with disability is not seen as worth spending money on and in this case his parents had decided not to take him to hospital. Children in cases like this are more likely to die.

Our disability program seeks to address all these areas to increase the wellbeing of people with disability. 

Our community health arm helps to link people with disability to appropriate health and rehabilitation services.

Our community awareness raising helps the community, local government and other programs to include people with disability and this is something that is happening more and more now.  We usually have a good attendance from leaders at our disability events and people with disability have become more visible and included.

We also have an education learning centre where 10 children with more severe disabilities come to learn.  And then we help them integrate into mainstream local schools –  where the school is actually functioning. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face in our disability program, is helping people with disability to access employment and livelihoods.  We have a program to help 40 people with disabilities earn money or access gainful employment. This program includes farming activities, sewing, entrepreneur training and links with local employers like hotels.

Additionally, we have just finished a small shop attached to our centre to sell goods and to help people learn how to run a small shop and business.

Finally, people with disability need to know that they are loved and cared for, so we show them God’s love in word and deed. They need to know they are created in God’s image and have a God given identity and purpose

In fact, that is what we all need to know. This a first – but critical – step to becoming valued and included.  The rest of our disability program is built on this. On this foundation, we work with families and communities to ensure people with disability live life in all its fullness. …

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’’ (John 10:10)

  • Nathan J. a Pioneers worker serving in S. Asia

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