• Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Disability

    Posted by Christoph

    2 August, 2012

    Most people will have heard about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by now, and it’s probably a well known fact that the overall aim of the MDGs is to halve global poverty by 2015. Much has happened, some goals have already been achieved, but still more work is needed especially when it comes to addressing the issue of disability. 

    Disability? What does that have to do with anything, you may wonder.

    You see, while issues relating to poverty are starting to be more clearly understood, one crucial aspect is still hovering in the dark a bit – understanding the link between poverty and disability. 

    Shedding light on disability, we’re excited to have Micah Challenge partner with End the Cycle – a campaign raising awareness of the cycle of poverty and disability. Ruma gives private lessons and is passionate about school enrolment for children with disabilities. Photographer: Wahid Adnan/Drik, Bangladesh Ruma gives private lessons and is passionate about school enrolment for children with disabilities. Photographer: Wahid Adnan/Drik, Bangladesh Ruma gives private lessons and is passionate about school enrolment for children with disabilities. Photographer: Wahid Adnan/Drik, Bangladesh

    Together, Micah Challenge and End the Cycle are saying that disability is often a cause of poverty - and poverty often causes disability. In order to alleviate poverty world-wide, all development projects such as programs that aim towards achieving the MDGs, must address and include people with disabilities.

    How do we know that it’s so important to include people with disabilities in development and poverty-reduction programs? Because whether we listen to the real life stories of people with disabilities in developing countries, or read high level research, this message comes through again and again. 

    You can check this out yourself: End the Cycle recently went to Bangladesh to collect some amazing stories from people with disabilities, told in their own words. If you watch some of these videos, such Ruma’s (below), you’ll see how poverty and disability lead to each other... and moreover, how this cycle can be broken when people with disabilities are empowered and supported. 

    This message is also made loud and clear in the recent World Report on Disability that came out last year. The report highlights that the MDGs will not be achieved if people with disabilities are not specifically addressed in the planning and implementation of development programs.

    End the Cycle collected the stories and videos of people with disabilities in Bangladesh so that we could work together to spread the word about the cycle of poverty and disability, and empower people to stand up to END THE CYCLE.

    To find out more about End the Cycle, watch the stories to sign our pledge visit www.endthecycle.org.au.

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    Christoph Ziegenhardt is the Coordinator of 'End the Cycle' and works for CBM Australia.