published in ChildrenChristmas ActionDisabilityEducation on November 23, 2023

Christmas Action – No Child Left Behind

Taban is 4 years old, and lives with mild cerebral palsy that limits his mobility. His dad disowned Taban when he saw his impairment, and abandoned the family.

No child left behind

Taban is 4 years old, and lives with mild cerebral palsy that limits his mobility. His dad disowned Taban when he saw his impairment, and abandoned the family.

Taban’s mum, Shamsa, shares what your ALWS help means for children like her son:

“Taban is a brilliant boy and he’s getting better by the day.

I hope for a day when our world is adapted to be inclusive

for everyone with different abilities. Society should be mindful

of people living with disabilities by giving them equal chances

in life, as this will help them achieve their dreams.

All that these children want is to be included.”


Our ALWS Goal

Support 2,500 learners with disabilities in Somalia to go to school. Support 1,000 younger children with disabilities to receive support they need to live life to their potential.



Why you are needed

In Somalia, 60% of the population are under 18 years old. Life expectancy is only 51.5 years.  After 5 years of drought, 1.4 million people are displaced from their homes. 80% of these people are women and children.

Children with disabilities struggle most because they face:

  • stigma and rejection
  • inadequate facilities
  • lack of health services
  • neglect
  • psychosocial distress
  • forced child labour

Children with disabilities miss out on education because:

  • lack of disability-trained teachers
  • latrines / desks / uniforms are not disability-friendly
  • lack disability-friendly learning materials
  • parents have a high rate of poverty
  • they are invisible in Somali society, and often hidden at home
  • low awareness and advocacy for their needs



Your 7 Step ALWS Action Plan 

  1. Enrol 2,500 Learners with Disabilities into school:
  • Provide uniform
  • Assistive devices
  • Disability-friendly teaching and learning
  • Teachers
  1. Renovate one school as model for Inclusive Education:
  • Widen doors for learners with wheelchairs and crutches
  • Install more windows to increase lighting for learners with low vision
  • Install ramps and rails for access
  • Install disability-friendly latrines
  • Clear signage to latrines / office / classrooms
  1. Support 1,000 Children with Disabilities through Educational Assessment and Resource Centre:
  • Technical assessment of disability and support required
  • Rehabilitation program
  • Physiotherapy and treatment
  • Dry ration porridge (proven effective in encouraging parents to bring children for assessment & support)
  1. Awareness and advocacy for inclusion:
  • Community members
  • School parents
  • Local and national Government
  1. Train local carpenters to build assistive devices:
  • Crutches
  • White canes
  • Assistive rails
  1. Build engagement with families:
  • Home visits
  • Outreach services
  • Transport
  1. Train teachers in disability-friendly techniques:
  • Braille
  • Sign-languages
  • Individual Education Plans
  • Special Needs Education
Photo: LWF Somalia

9 year old Casho, living with cerebral palsy, receives support from LWF worker, Yurub. Casho’s mum has received awareness-training about children with disabilities, and now says: “That’s just the way she is, that’s just her and its part of who she is. Casho will be so much more than just a child on a paediatric CP wheelchair!” 




How the 5:1 Government Grant works

 Every donation you make to this project will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to reach more people. ALWS has committed to contribute $1 for every $5 received from the Australian government. Your donation will allow us to extend our programs.

The total ALWS match required is $30,589. This Appeal closes Wednesday 31 January 2024. At this date, any income beyond what is needed for this project will be used for other ALWS projects supporting children hurt by war or poverty to go to school.

17 year old Xabib became impaired after he received an unsafe injection as a child. His mother, Maano, recalls: “I remember the horror I endured after my son became impaired, sadness to the point where I became depressed and could no longer mingle with people.” Your support through ALWS, matched with a 5:1 Australian Government Grant, has supported Xabib to go to school.  Photo: LWF Somalia



Spread the Word

You can also help by spreading the word about our Christmas Action Appeal to friends, family and your church or school communities. Click here to access downloadable social media slides, powerpoint slides and newsletter notices etc.

Skip to content