SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Program)
Disabled children continue to be among the poorest and most marginalised in Lawra District and across the Upper West of Ghana. In this community, most children with disabilities are seen as a curse, as evil spirit-children and are often denied care and acceptance into their family and community. Such negative cultural beliefs encourage stigmatisation and discrimination creating enormous challenges for disabled children and their families. Families are driven further into poverty and disabled children confront multiple barriers due to their impairment which sees them less likely to be in school, less likely to attend the local clinic and highly vulnerable to abuse.
ATE’s Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP) works to improve the lives of families of children living with special needs. Through raising awareness, providing basic health-care and education, and giving regular support, we work to reduce stigma, increase access to services and enable disabled children to be included and enabled to contribute to their community.
SNAP provides an opportunity for children with disabilities and their families to come together, to overcome isolation, to share experiences, and draw strength from one another.
SNAP monthly support groups provides much needed, secure and open forums for emotional support, as well as an space to work with parents to educate them in basic health care, safety and nutrition and teach basic income generating skills. We ensure children have had their vaccinations, pay for their health insurance and support them to have the orthopedic equipment they need. We advocate for their right to education, encourage stimulating activities and allow them to play, have fun and enjoy being with children of their own age.