Children with Disabilities Have the Same Rights as Everyone Else
NPH Peru offers individualized support to all children in our care.
October 23, 2018 - Peru
Some disabilities have a congenital origin, while others may be acquired. These disabilities can cause motor, sensory and intellectual impairments. A disability affects the degree of functionality of a person, but it doesn’t change the humanity of a person. These affect more individuals than most people realize, for many are affected by physical, mental, intellectual or sensory deficiencies but do not always publically show signs.
However, speaking of special needs or different abilities doesn’t mean to underestimate those who have them. It means that there are populations of individuals who, like anyone else, have their own set of challenges and also strengths, but that these may be different than the challenges and talents of you and I.
At NPH we are aware of this; that is why our children and teenagers with intellectual disabilities receive specialized assistance to accommodate for this ‘different’ range of challenges and strengths. They attend the same local schools in the mornings as many of our other children, but in the afternoon, they receive additional lessons in our home.
At NPH Peru, Patricia Borjas has now spent three months teaching our students with intellectual disabilities. She shares that, "my job is to provide pedagogical attention to these children and youths so that they can get skills for learning according to their age and school grade. I work with these groups of teens in the stimulation of basic learning skills and in craft workshops where they can express their creativity. It’s a job that I really enjoy."
During the mornings and afternoons, she prepares her classes with love: "I offer them a meaningful learning, using different methodologies where they can awaken their abilities and skills. At the same time, I encourage my children to grow their cognitive development through games and dynamics made in class. The children work according to the programmed activity in a personal or group setting, fulfilling the activity assigned for that day. This is how we work as a team: teacher-students-students-teacher."
For ‘Tía Patty,’ – ‘aunt Patty,’ the title affectionately given to her by the kids - each day represents a new challenge, and she happily says that "their achievements will be mine too, because the work I have been doing with them will be reflected in their progress. For me it is important that my students feel comfortable and happy when I give them the pedagogical orientations, or they develop their fine motor coordination, and they awaken their creativity and art ability through the crafts made in class, as well as their cognitive development."
As with any other NPH Peru employee, each day is different from the other. Patricia fondly recalls one such day: "Imelda* didn’t like to attend my class before, because she didn’t know me very well and she didn’t trust me. One day I went to pick her up at her house, but she had a tantrum to try to get out of coming to school. So I left her house and I continued with another child. However, time passed, and every time I was close to her, I said hello and talked with her about music, since she likes that a lot. This is how I gained her trust, and now she attends her therapies on time. Every time she passes by my office, she asks me: "Tía Patty, do I have therapy today?" And she likes it when we have group activities, or get to make crafts with recycled materials. She now enjoys spending time with me and her other classmates."
Girls and boys with disabilities have the same rights as all children. That is why at NPH Peru we also care about those children and teenagers with different abilities, and we try to support them to make sure they will have the bright future that they deserve.