Working to support families’ needs
Abu Hijar, Sinnar state - Nine-year-old Hiba, a sweet, playful girl with cerebral palsy, participated in one of UNICEF’s focus groups for children with disabilities that took place in Abu Hijar, a rural area of Sinnar state. This vibrant young participant attends the local school thanks to her mother (sitting on Hiba’s left). It is her mother who carries her to school and into her classes every day.It is her mother who carries her to school and into her classes every day. Hiba's mother has three other children that she also cares for. What Hiba wants most is to receive the physical rehabilitation she needs to become more mobile, develop better motor skills which will mean she would be able to hold a pen, feed herself, and become more independent. But that service is only available in Khartoum and her family can't afford the continuous travel that therapy would require.
There are alternatives. In rural areas community-based physiotherapy is one of the most effective ways of supporting children with disabilities like Hiba's because it gives the parents and other family members an active and key role. Some such projects have already been established in remote areas of Khartoum state, and with the support of the government, UNICEF, and its partners, will hopefully now spread to other states like Sinnar, as well.