January 21, 2010.
About 23 percent of Afghanistan’s capital suffers some type of physical or mental disability. Still, they’re often shunned by family members.
Kids in Kabul who suffer from disabilities are often segregated from their siblings and not allowed to go
to school. Scarce resources, keep affected families living in the
middle of a war, even more desperate for help.
But in the midst of this stressful situation, an Italian association, called “Pro Bambini di Kabul” has built a school in Afghanistan that helps children with disabilities. The project was launched in 2001 after John Paul II's message on Christmas day. John Paul II“Save the children to save the hope of humanity.”Giovanni Guarino
President ‘Pro Bambini di Kabul’“Because of the war, the mines, and the wounds, children are the most vulnerable to poverty. That’s why the pope has made this call to the world.”
In November 2005, four nuns left for Kabul. They went with Father Giacomo Alberto Rossini from the Rogationists Fathers. They counted on support from Caritas International, UNESCO and the Ministry of Education in Kabul. They also work along side two professors and an Afghan doctor.P. Giacomo Alberto Rossini
Vice President ‘Pro Bambini di Kabul’"We don’t promote ourselves. That would be counterproductive. They know we're there for the children’s sake. They understand. They see that we work passionately. And that’s part of the reason why we have a presence there. We are not there to convert.”Giovanni Guarino
President ‘Pro Bambini di Kabul’"At first you may think we’re going to evangelize, but we’re not, we’re there for charity. The charity that is love, the love of Christ, the love of God. This is the only way, quote un quote ‘to evangelize.’ The love that has no boundaries, love that is understood by all. "
The school accepts 30 kids with all types of disabilities. They are divided among different classes by age, they learn how to read and write and receive medical attention. Parents also get classes in hygiene and a class that teaches them how to show their kids affection.
One of the most challenging issues was organizing a class with both girls and boys, because in the Muslim culture all activities are separated by gender.P. Giacomo Alberto Rossini
Vice President ‘Pro Bambini di Kabul’“We strive to stay united. That’s probably the most noteworthy. It’s become second nature, they eat together, they go to school together, and they play and dance together. This is a good thing.”
Another goal is to eventually integrate them into traditional schools. Last year, 10 students were able to attend traditional schools. For the others, the school plans to organize three projects that include cooking and sewing classes along with carpet making classes.
The idea is that every child attends with their parents so they all learn and have a trade. After completing the course, they would like to donate the machinery to them so they can continue the trade, although they would still receive, monetary assistance to do so. That way, by working, a person who is at times considered a burden to society, is also helping their family prosper.