In Belarusian society disabled citizens are often refused the ability to work. Instead they are left to be invisible, unable to make their mark on the world. Sadly this attitude is so prevalent in society that Sergey Drozdovsky, coordinator of the Belarusian Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, reported in 2012 that “unemployment among people with disabilities stands at 80% (for those classified as most severely disabled the figure is over 95%).” Moreover, Drozdovsky claims that 40% of all disabled people who apply for work are rejected simply due to prejudice towards their disability.

But luckily this prejudice is not universal. Through our partners at Isle of Hope these disabled citizens are given the chance too often denied them by society to make an impact on the world. This is the case for Victor, a regular attendant at Isle of Hope, as he has been given the chance to do meaningful work that he wants to do. Most notably his love for being outside has made him indispensable for the local area, as during the winter months he is often found outside shovelling snow from roads and neighbouring properties thanks to supervision by the staff. Among other things he specifically enjoys the sense of authority given by this work, being known to be very controlling over who can walk on his designated work area! When the weather is better Victor can equally be found outside gardening, pruning bushes and trees, as he is given a chance by our partners to shape the world around him to fit in with his own vision. He has even helped to provide an extra source of revenue for the centre, being an asset rather than a burden through the money gained by his paper recycling.

Thanks to the donations of our supporters many children and adults alike have been able to have an impact on the world around them, giving them a sense of purpose and power previously denied to them. We at ChildAid would like to thank you all for giving such individuals hope and a chance to feel included and useful.