Operation Dagsverk Part I

Operation Dagsverk Part I

In southern Africa, nine out of ten disabled people are never allowed to go to school. Operation Dagsverk 2009 aims to help young people with disabilities to get an education – and thus be able to take control of their own lives and future.

  • Who does the NPD collaborate with in this year’s campaign?
  • Why are disabled people singled out for the NPD 2009?
  • How and where should NPD funds come to the rescue?

There are international conventions (agreements) that state that disabled people have the same rights as everyone else. Every day, however, there is serious abuse against this group of people. They are trampled on, silenced to death, hidden away and hidden from the outside world. Neither schools, study places, workplaces nor the public space are well enough adapted for people with disabilities. Of all the children and young people in the world, the UN estimates that 77 million do not go to school; many of them never get the opportunity because they are disabled.

Operation Dagsverk 2009

At the Pupil Assembly in March this year, Norwegian schoolchildren chose that during Operation Daywork they will work for disabled youth in Malawi , Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda (see map) and their right to education. On NPD Day this year, October 29, close to 120,000 school students will work for income for a group that is often hidden away, silenced to death, oppressed and discriminated against. Operation Dagsverk collaborates with the Atlas Alliance on the projects.

2: Visible – motivation

In many parts of the world, having children with disabilities is a great shame. In this year’s NPD film, we meet the twin brothers Joakim and Amon, among others. Joakim is blind, his brother is deafblind. Four years ago, the father remarried, and the boys’ new stepmother found them locked in a dark basement. There they had spent most of their lives, out of sight of the neighborhood. Now they both go to school, and they have duties at home on an equal footing with all other young people.
– If I do not learn Braille, I can not become president. Or teacher… Without Braille, I can not become anything, since I am blind, says Joakim.
– People I meet do not understand why I want to take care of these children, says stepmother Esther.
– Why wear yourself out ?, they say. Why not just let them die? They will never be able to contribute at home or get a job. Completely useless!
Unfortunately, the story of Amon and Joakim is not unique. In many places, it is common for disabled young people to experience exclusion and kidnapping, in the worst case also murder. Therefore, there are parents who hide their children, often with what they believe is the children’s own best interests in mind.


According to constructmaterials.com, nine out of ten disabled people in southern Africa are never allowed to go to school. Those who begin an education often drop out early. Because they are bullied by both classmates and teachers, because they are HIV-positive, or as a result of early pregnancy. This year’s income will, among other things, go to attitude campaigns that will motivate disabled young people and their families to take education. No one can take education away from you, whether you are disabled or not. An education is something you have with you for life.

3: The vicious circle – Africa

The UN estimates that around ten percent of the world’s population lives with a disability, by some referred to as the world’s largest minority. This corresponds to 600−700 million people. Of these, 8 out of 10 live in developing countries. The World Bank estimates that about 20% of the world’s poorest are disabled, and according to UNICEF, about 30% of the world’s street children are disabled. Why is it like that?

In southern Africa, measles, meningitis and malaria are diseases that can lead to disabilities. Every day, 500 children die as a result of measles, and those who survive can have side effects such as blindness and brain damage. Worldwide, 900,000 people die each year from malaria. Possible consequences for those who survive are loss of sight or hearing.

Polio, leprosy and river blindness are diseases that can be prevented and treated, but untreated they can also lead to disabilities or death. Daily malnutrition, diseases, birth defects, harmful environmental consequences, natural disasters, traffic and work accidents and violent conflicts lead to disabilities among people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Poverty is an obvious reason for the lack of access to medicines, preventive vaccines and medical care. Thus, diseases that could easily have been treated with simple means have free rein, and this can have consequences such as a disability. Poor diet and malnutrition make children and young people in developing countries more susceptible to dangerous diseases.

– Every year at least 9 million children under the age of 5 die – over 1000 children every hour. More than half of these deaths are caused by diseases that can be treated with safe medicines intended for children, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, serious infections in newborns, malaria and HIV / AIDS, writes Kirsten Myhr. Although there are separate medicines made for children, these often cost two or three times more than medicines intended for adults.

If you are disabled, it is more difficult to get an education to which you have a statutory right; It’s harder to get a job, and it’s even harder to get out of poverty. In other words, one is in a vicious circle where poverty leads to disabilities, and disabilities lead to poverty.

We also know that having a disability in developing countries leads to increased poverty . This is because the disabled are excluded from the tools most people use to fight poverty. In South Africa, the average unemployment rate in the population is 24%. Among the disabled, 75% are without work. A disabled family member often incurs extra costs for poor families. Wheelchairs and other aids cost money, as do medicines and medical treatment.

Operation Dagsverk 1