Tags / Handicap
Life for visually impaired people in Cameroon is a constant battle, given that they are discriminated upon, a phenomenon which condemns some of them to live in solitude and mendicancy. Even though many of them are undocumented and often ignored by society, this doesn’t stop them from being ambitious and entrepreneurial. This is the case with Coco Bertin, who runs CJARC, one of Cameroon’s most solicited rehabilitation centres for the visually impaired. Bertin speaks fondly of his centre, saying “I am morally gratified by the fact that I am able to help other people, so that they can share in my happiness.”
Upon graduating in 1986, Coco Bertin, who is visually impaired, received a modest financial incentive of CFA 61.500 from the Rehabilitation Institute for the Blind in Buea. Rather than indulge in mendicancy as is the case with so many blind people, he decided to start an organisation that could provide strategic education for the visually impaired. This decision was greatly influenced by the fact that people with disabilities who go to school find it very difficult coping with a system which does not take them into account when drawing the curriculum.
In order to achieve this, he started working on the furniture for his organisation, which he named COJARY (it was later renamed CJARC [Club des Jeunes Aveugles Réhabilités du Cameroun] in 1988) from his bedroom in his parents’ house, and as well joined forces with Martin Luther, another visually impaired person who graduated from the same school as himself. From Bertin’s parents’ bedroom, the activities moved to the veranda of the Departmental Delegation of Social Affairs in the Essos neighbourhood.
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October 22, 2014
Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip
21-year-old Jamil Attia Za’anin is one of thousands of Gazans who’s home was destroyed in the 2014 summer war with Israel. However, Jamil’s case is particularly bad as he suffers from a neurological disorder that has left him severely mentally disabled. Jamil now lives in a shack with his family with no access to proper healthcare. In fact, his disability itself is symptomatic of the living conditions in Gaza, as it is a result of substandard healthcare in the coastal enclave.
Jamil now spends his days chained in front of his temporary home because there is nowhere for him to go and his family fears he may run away. His younger brother Mohammad is also mentally disabled, albeit to less severe degree. The family’s situation is particularly desperate as their father Attaya is too old to work. Left with no working age males in the family, they are forced to rely on food handouts from the United Nations. The family now spends their days salvaging the rubble from their destroyed home, struggling to find enough money to eat, and trying to keep their two disabled boys safe and healthy.
October 22, 2014
Jamil Attia Za'anin with his mother Donia Za'anin. Jamil, 21, developed a spinal condition 16 years ago when he was just a child. Poor healthcare infrastructure in Gaza meant that doctors could not properly treat Jamil, so the disease spread to his brain, leaving him handicapped. Jamil lives with his ten family members in a shack in the town of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. He has a younger brother Mohammed, 19, who is also handicapped and the family's situation was made even worse after their house was destroyed in the recent war with Israel.
These are young men and opposition militants from the neighborhoods of old Homs after they were evacuated due to the agreement between the United Nations and the Syrian government. They are injured as a result of the clashes, as well as shelling and bombing by government forces, that left them permanently disabled. Some of them have lost limbs and are in critical condition.
The United Nations and the Syrian Red Crescent supervise their treatment in a school in the neighborhood of Al-Andalus, Dablan ,that is used as a shelter for the displaced from the old neighborhoods of Homs, after they get security clearance by the authorities.
مجموعة من الصور للشباب والرجال من مسلحي المعارضة من مسلحي أحياء حمص القديمة بعد الاتفاق بين الأمم المتحدة والحكومة السورية على خروجهم وهم مصابين نتيجة المعارك مع القوات الحكومية السورية والقصف المدفعي والطيران، على تلك الأحياء قصفا واشتباكات تسببت لهم بإعاقات دائمة والبعض منهم فقد طرفيه او احد أطرافه .. تقوم الأمم المتحدة والهلال الاحمر السوري بالأشراف على علاجهم في مدرسة الأندلس في حي الدبلان التي اتخذت كمركز إيواء للنازحين من أحياء حمص القديمة .. بعد تسوية أوضاعهم الأمنية من قبل السلطات السورية .. الصور بتاريخ
A handicap person is sitting on his three wheeler imagining about things, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.
Mazen, the first disabled person to climb St Catherine mountain in Sinai, promoting rights for disabled in Egypt
Mazen is the first disabled person to climb Mount Saint Catherine in Sinai, to promote rights for the handicapped in Egypt. Mazen contracted polio when he was 3 years old, while he was escaping Iraq with his family during the First Gulf War.
According to World Health Organization’s statistics, 10% of Egypt’s total population suffers from physical or mental disabilities. The 1975 Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons law didn't bring progress to the living conditions of the disabled. During the two years that followed the revolution, with 18 months of military rule followed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s government, Egypt’s handicapped population, estimated at over 8 million, continue to face more of the same problems. The precarious and difficult situation in a city like Cairo, one of the most chaotic in the world due to a substantial lack of infrastructure, is unfortunately only one of the many problems handicapped people face in Egypt. A lack of rights, health care and increased social marginalization inspired Mazen, who has been handicapped since the age of 3, to get involved in political activism, prompting him to join the 6th of April movement in 2010.
In November 2012, during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, Mazen lost his close friend and companion of the 6th of April movement, Gika. Since then, he decided to change his methods of protest, and to start a more responsible and peaceful activism campaign through symbolic actions.
Three months ago, he completed the first of several actions, climbing the Keops pyramid in Giza. On the 6th of April 2013, for the anniversary of the movement, he decided to climb the 1586 m and 750 stairs of mount Saint Catherine in Sinai.
00:00 - 00: 44 sec intro VO
Mazen is the first disabled person to climb mount Sinai, promoting rights for handicapped people in Egypt.
According to World Health Organization, 10% of Egypt’s population, over 8 million people suffer from a disability. The Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons law of 1975 didn't improve their living conditions. In Egypt little attention is paid to the difficulties of the handicapped, especially in Cairo, one of the most chaotic cities in the world, there is a shortage of infrastructure to the assist their mobility. This is compounded by the lack of rights, poor health care and social marginalization. Mazen, handicapped since the age of 3, was inspired to get involved in political activism, before the revolution.
00:44 – 01:39 interview : presentation and problems of handicapped people in Egypt
“I am Mazen Hamza, I am 26 years old. I was born in 1987 in Iraq. I came in Egypt during the First Gulf War. I contracted the polio when I was three years old because of the vaccination. ”
“The problems that handicapped people suffer here in Egypt have been the reason why I decided to enter political activism, in order to send a message to the entire world, that handicapped people have to be integrated into society. We have problems in all aspects, in transportation, in education, in work, in housing, in airplanes, and mostly in the treatment we received by the government. I mean the government does not know how to treat handicapped people.”
01:40 – 02:03 political activism VO 6th of April / sit-in of 6th of April in front of the Ministry of Interior
Mazen became a political activist in February 2011 when he joined the 6th of April movement, the most active civil rights movements in Egypt. He first participated in debates, demonstrations and sit-ins.
In November 2012, during the clash with Security Forces and the Military Government, Mazen lost his close friend Gika, a fellow activist. This inspired him to begin a campaign of peaceful activism through symbolic demonstrations.
02:04- 02:47 Interview talk about gika / inside Gika's family house
“The death of Gika influenced us a lot. He was a boy that put a beautiful energy within us. Climbing the Cheope Pyramid has been only the beginning of many activities in urban, historical and religious places. We started by climbing the pyramid and it has had a lot of success, we heard good feedback from the people. I am not speaking about the public’s opinion, but from the other activists.”
02:48- 03:18 VO actions: Saint Catherine
Three months ago, Mazen completed the first of his demonstrations, climbing the Haram Cheope, the great pyramid of Giza. Then, on April 6, for the seventh anniversary of the movement, he climbed the 1586 m of Mount Sinai including the 750 “stairs of penitence”. In the Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions, Mount Sinai is where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Overcoming his physical limitations, Mazen reached the summit in order to raise awareness for the disabled population and to remember those who died for human rights in Egypt.
03:18- 05:12 climbing St Cathrine, reaching the summit
05:12- 05: 27 interview St. Cathrine
“I would like the world to be aware of what’s going on in Egypt. For this reason I climbed St Catherine mountain, where Moses spoke with his God, to bring his speech all around the world, and I am doing the same thing to make people care about the handicapped women, children, and society and in general human rights.”
05: 28 Mazen Screaming the name of “Gika”.
Other text (Arabic translation):
“When I found out that there were young people ready for revolution, I joined them for months to take down the regime, and change the system. After two years I feel that nothing has changed. We have a new president, but the same system, so I tried to be different.
I started to work with the movement by participating in demonstrations and other activities. When I found out about the 6th of April movement, I joined it immediately. I joined the movement on the anniversary of the clashes of Mohammed Mahmud. In the Moquattam group, I was just an activist, but after I became responsible for social policies. I joined many events, especially for handicapped people’s rights.”
I attend a lot of conference to spread their voices everywhere, and to raise awareness of the problems of disabled people.
I tried to see the system separately from religious or historic dogma. I would like the world to be aware of what’s going on in Egypt. For this reason I climbed St Catherine mountain, where Moses spoke with his God, to bring his speech all around the world. And I am doing the same thing to make people care about the handicapped, women, children, and society and in general human rights,
We have a problem with the system. Politicians don’t listen to our demands, but we will make them listen and change their policies to how young people want them.
I am a citizen who sees that people will soon organize themselves to bring a real change. Tomorrow will be better, but now we still need to spend a lot of energy, even if we already spent a lot. That’s why we are climbing St. Catherine mountain, we already climbed 2350 meters and we only have to climb 750 stairs. That is the fight with myself against the system and the entire world, and I will do more, or my efforts will be vane.
Cedric, on his usual corner, at McGowen and Smith, midtown.
Leprosy clinic, Kampong Cchnang, Cambodia.
One of the first signs of leprosy are pale patches on the skin. The fingers start to stiffen up and eventually without the proper medication lose the feeling as the nerves slowly die.
Me and my family are shunned by our local community, my family now by our food from a market nearly 2 miles away.
I have now lost the feeling in my feet and constantly injure myself.
Life is extremely difficult, my son helps me to dress myself, clean my wounds and now that I have completely lost my sight navigate through my house. CIOML provide me with antibiotics which has helped calm the disease spreading but I feel that it is now too late.
A look at Eid Al Fitr celebrations in Egypt, including the release of 638 prisoners from Egyptian prisons, as directed by presidential decree.
After the death of a 16 year old boy in Bahrain, local people and the boy's loved ones take to the streets in protest of human rights abuses and harsh treatment by Bahraini security forces.
A sample from a black & white photo essay of survivors of land mine detonations in Cambodia; despite a disproportionately large number of the population affected by land lines, many receive prostheses and a chance at life.