Dididai works with a group of disabled residents in a children’s home in Kathmandu, Nepal, since 2010. When we first met them, the lack of human and material resources affected more severely those children with neurological and physical impairments. Most of them had never attended school.
The mindset of part of the country’s population, for whom disability is a stigma, could be an obstacle for people with additional needs to access suitable education and therapeutic programs. Since Dididai’s involvement, these children and young people attend lessons in our on-site special school, 6 days a week. Those in need of it also receive physical therapy 4 days a week.
From Dididai’s starting point, when most of the pupils we work for lived without much needed specialised support or even acceptable levels of stimulation and social engagement, their quality of life and dignity have increased significantly. They are now much happier and healthier, clearly enjoy their daily routine, access personalised education programmes, participate in motivating activities and are members of their community.
We want the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to be a reality for disadvantaged children and young people, especially concerning their right to an education.
Dididai promotes sustainable actions to increase their social inclusion, dignity and quality of life. We work to develop existing frameworks, making them more effective. We ensure better chances of continuity to our interventions by supporting capacity building locally.
Our goals, as reflected in Dididai’s constitution, are:
• Advocacy for human rights, the rights of children in particular.
• Equality of access to education. For people with developmental disabilities to have access to a quality, personalised education that meets their real needs and learning styles.
• For the more complex needs of these young people to be met at an individual level. This includes physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, alternative / augmentative communication systems, mobility resources…
• To increase public awareness of disabilities.
• The creation of Centres of Reference in the fields of Special Education and care for people with disabilities.
• An improved Quality of Life for those people living, attending school or working in those centres.
Ten pupils access specialised education daily at Dididai school, in addition to health care and, those who need it, physiotherapy.
The Dididai team in Nepal is made up of a teacher, a wellbeing manager, three support staff and a physiotherapist. Dididai also pays a salary supplement to three mamus (dedicated resident caretakers).
The teacher has constant support from experienced special education professionals so that the curriculum is tailored to the educational needs of all her students, and the work of the entire team is closely monitored.
With the earthquake of April 2015 the orphanage building in which we worked, Bal Mandir Naxal, was destroyed and its residents were transferred to different locations in Kathmandu. The children and young people with disabilities were relocated to Siphal, a former home for the children of inmates. The conditions of these premises are deficient and are negatively affecting the health and well-being of our students and the people who care for them. At this time both the home and the school are in that same building. Dididai’s priority is to end this precarious situation. For this, we are building a new school and a home.
The project is growing and we want to continue our work, extending our support to other children and young people with special needs, so they can access quality education that is meaningful, personalised and appropriate to their strengths, needs and learning styles.
At the present, Didiai's pupils are:
Dididai's Team in Nepal consists of:
• Chandeswori Shrestha - Teacher
• Sabina Kattel - Teaching assistant
• Asha Chhetri - Teaching assistant
• Mishra Thapa M. - Teaching assistant
• Upendra Lal Shrestha - Physiotherapist
• Ranjana Rai - Mamu (resident carer)
• Durga Mahatra - Mamu (resident carer)
• Prathana Khadka - Mamu (resident carer)
Dididai works in close partnership with the Rotary Club of Durbar Marg, our Nepali counterpart. Mr. Nugal Ananda Vaidya is the designated committee chair.