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Blind children Cambodia 01
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Wanna today. Despite his disability, he is now is a Music teacher in the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 11
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Wanna teaching a class in the present day. Wanna's journey from a child who yearned for education, to now being a teacher is the success story that spurred the creation of schools for blind and deaf children in Cambodia.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 12
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Wanna today with his team.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 17
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 18
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

A Student at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 16
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 15
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation

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Blind children Cambodia 14
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey school.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation

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Blind children Cambodia 19
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

A Student at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 20
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 21
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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The Courageous Duo Battling to Educat...
Dubai
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

“Neither the government of Cambodia nor its families care about blind children”
 
"No – absolutely not." This is what the Cambodian Minister of Education said to Benoit Duchateau-Arminjon in 1993 when he proposed to open the country’s first school for blind children. "If you want, take the money and invest it in normal schools,” he remembers being told.

“No,” other families said to Phalla Neang, a cambodian teacher, when she drove her small motorcycle from house-to-house, asking if there were blind children there. “Some people shut the door in my face,” she recalls. Now she laughs about it. At the time, blindness was considered a curse in Cambodia. But Benoît had promised a blind child, Wanna, that he would go to school. With that promise he convinced Phalla to join his organization, the Krousar Thmey Foundation.

"It was crazy," he admits. "I looked for her and I told her: I know you can help me but I’m only able to pay you $100." And she agreed. Phalla Neang, one of ten finalists under consideration for the “Nobel” of teaching at the 2015 Global Teacher Prize event held in Dubai, became the first teacher of Braille in the history of her country. Wanna, their first student, is now a professor of music.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Blind children Cambodia 05
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Phot Wanna in 1993 being taught to read an braille book. Wanna, was the child who gave Benoît the inspiration to open the first school for blind children in Cambodia.

Photo by Krousar Thmeu.

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Blind children Cambodia 06
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Wanna 20 years later with Benoît (founder of Krousar Thmeu Foundation, back row, third from the right) and Australia actor Jack Thompson.

Photo by Krousar Thmeu

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Blind children Cambodia 07
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Photo by Krousar Thmeu. Benoît Duchâteau-Arminjon and Phalla Neang. Benoît is the founder of NGO Krousar Thmey. He started in Thailand’s refugee camps over 20 years ago. In 1993, Phalla Neang and the NGO Krousar Thmey opened the first school for visually impaired pupils in Cambodia and Phalla became the very first Braille teacher in the country’s history. She also contributed to the development of the Khmer version of Braille.

Since 1997, Krousar Thmey, which is supported by LIGHT FOR THE WORLD (a European development federation), also provides education for deaf pupils. Today Phalla Neang serves as a teacher trainer, school director and as the coordinator of the national ‘Education for Blind’ program. The ‘Education for Blind’ program involves five schools for blind and deaf students, 72 integrated and inclusive classes in regular schools, and nationwide advocacy campaigns.

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Blind children Cambodia 10
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Phnom Penh Thmey School. This is the school where Phalla currently works. The program has now expanded to 69 teachers and 250 children in 4 Krousar Thmey schools. There are an additional 29 integrated classes in public schools across the country.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 09
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

The Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation

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Blind children Cambodia 08
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

The opening of the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 03
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
16 Mar 2015

In 1993, Phalla Neang opened the first school for blind children in Camboda. She was one of 10 finalists for the "Global Teacher Prize," an honor that awards $1 million to "the best teacher in the world."

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Blind children Cambodia 04
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
16 Mar 2015

In 1993, Phalla Neang opened the first school for blind children in Camboda. She was one of 10 finalists for the "Global Teacher Prize," an honor that awards $1 million to "the best teacher in the world."

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Spain's Southern Fortress: The Africa...
Melilla
By tclava
03 Jan 2015

A TEXTLESS NATURAL SOUND REPORT
VERSION WITH MUSIC TRACK AVAILABLE HERE: https://transterramedia.com/media/53117

Surrounded by a triple barrier 12 km long, controlled by dozens of cameras and continuous patrols, a small Spanish enclave in Moroccan territory called Melilla is – according to the Spanish government – a fortress under siege. It is a fortress which in recent years has faced increasing migratory pressure that has reached “unprecedented levels” according to Abdelmalik El Barkani, Madrid’s representative in Melilla.

Hiding in the forests of Oujda, Nador, and Selouane, nearly eighty-thousand migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan countries, are waiting for the right moment to slip across the frontier. Some go by boat or in a secret compartment of a car if they can afford it, but the majority try to jump the barriers surrounding Melilla. Spain and Europe stand silently by while every week hundreds of migrants risk their lives and allegedly face violent reprisals of the Moroccan police who they say beat, torture, rob and kill them. Meanwhile, Morocco is building a new barrier, a three meter deep ditch filled with barbed wire. Part of the 50 million euro project is reportedly funded by money Spain acquired from the EU, an accusation made by Spanish activists and media and never denied by Rajoy’s government.

A few kilometres from these barriers, on the slopes of mount Gurugu, in the forests overlooking Melilla, nearly four thousand migrants are waiting for the right time to jump across into the Spanish enclave and enter the CETI (Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes), a collapsing first aid structure with two thousand people already inside. Gurugu seems a circle of Hell, where migrants live in inhuman conditions. In tents made of plastic bags, without water and food, heated only by firewood collected in the bush. Sought out by the Moroccan military, they have to hide like animals in the forest, digging in the garbage to find something to eat, walking miles on slippery rocks to drink. Systematically, every two days or so, at six in the morning, the soldiers break into Gurugu, destroying tents, burning, stealing what little the migrants were able to put aside, beating them and forcing people to jump down from the crags, arresting and bringing the detainees to Rabat.

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Abandoned Children in Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
29 Sep 2014

Bulgaria is one of the countries in the world most affected by the abandonment of children. Every year, 2,000 babies are placed in state institutions, while over 7,000 infants and teenagers live without parents. This practice of abandoning children is a by-product of the family policy in the countries that were part of the Soviet Union. In these countries, the state or "homeland" acted as the surrogate mother for abandoned children and took care of families. As a result, thousands of children in Bulgaria have grown up without proper care and affection. The shocking images of the Rumanian orphanages in the eighties opened the eyes of the authorities and public opinion about these child prisons. In 2009, a BBC report showing wild children in Bulgaria fighting for food and living in terrible conditions greatly upset the population. Over the last few years, NGOs, the European Union, and Unicef have mobilized in an effort to close these orphanages. The state of Bulgaria also decided on a national plan to close the institutions. The authorities made a commitment to provide alternative housing and care for these children, which involves developing a network of host families, facilitating adoption processes, helping the biological families financially to encourage them to keep their children, and creating small institutions to help handicapped children (42 % of the abandoned children suffer from a disability). But what really needs addressing is the causes behind the high level of abandonment. Poverty, lack of access to healthcare (among the Roma minority in particular), poor sexual education, and the high price and inaccessibility of contraceptives are all issues that contribute to the problem. This is a colossal challenge for the poorest country in the European Union, compounded by corruption. Another angle to the story: ‘Mothers in Chains’ After being abandoned, the child has to grow up without a mother. Placed in an institution, they are surrounded by women who will give them care and affection. Nurses, nannies, volunteers and, in the best cases, a family assistant if there is placement in host family or foster mother if they are lucky enough to be adopted. To make up for the absence of the biological mother, surrogate mothers' chain is going to be set up. Who are these women who devote themselves to taking care of these abandoned children? How do they work? What are the aftereffects on the children after having so many different maternal relationships?

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IMG_5425.jpg
Shumen
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A nurse plays with two children in the garden of Shumen Institution, the oldest institution in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 13
Shumen, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Blind children Cambodia 22
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
16 Jan 2014

Ly Khemara checks braille script as it emerges from the braille printer - the only such machine in Cambodia.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation. Phnom Penh, 16 January 2014

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First Disabled Man To Climb St. Cathe...
Cairo, Egypt
By zeer news
11 May 2013

Mazen, the first disabled person to climb St Catherine mountain in Sinai, promoting rights for disabled in Egypt

Background:

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.

Shots:
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.

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CHILDREN OF AGENT ORANGE
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By U.S. Editor
03 Mar 2013

Child victims of Agent Orange suffer from mental and physical deformities and disabilities at the Peace Village Ward in the Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Dioxin, the active ingredient in Agent Orange is one of the most toxic compounds known to humans and was used by the US military during the Vietnam War. Children born to parents exposed to the deadly toxin suffer from an number of birth defects, though many don't make it. Fetuses on display show the stillborn victims.

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Children Of Agent Orange (23 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A boy born with protruding eyes during lunch time in Peace Village at Tu Du hospital.

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Children Of Agent Orange (22 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A boy born with protruding eyes and deformed limbs in Peace Village at Tu Du hospital.

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Children Of Agent Orange (20 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

Born with protruding eyes is common seen among children in Peace Village.

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Children Of Agent Orange (19 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A boy born with protruding eyes and deformed limbs is fed in Peace Village at Tu Du hospital.

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Children Of Agent Orange (13 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, VIetnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A disabled child is fed at the Peace Village prepares for a daily nap.

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Children Of Agent Orange (12 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, VIetnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

Born with deformities is common seen among children in Peace Village at Tudu Hospital.

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Children Of Agent Orange (9 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, VIetnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A boy born with deformities in the limbs walks back to his room after helping staff clean up after lunch.

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Children Of Agent Orange (8 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, VIetnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

A boy at Peace Village in Tudu Hospital poses for a photo in front of decoration for a new years.

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Children Of Agent Orange (7 of 32)
Ho Chi Minh City, VIetnam
By hiroko tanaka
18 Jan 2011

Children at Peace Village at Tudu Hospital pose for a photo.