Polska pomoc


Social reintegration of mothers of physically and mentally disabled children

Physically or mentally disabled children in the African culture are exposed to social exclusion, due to the way in which their disability is perceived. Some communities accept contracting marriages between relatives, which only worsens the situation.

Many tribes perceive such children as a burden or a worse type of a person, which results in them and their mothers being abandoned by their fathers or even the rest of the family, after their birth. For mothers caring for a disabled child is often equivalent to their inability to provide for themselves and they end up on the street begging.

In such conditions, children are deprived of proper care and the desert climate, the lack of basic hygiene, nutrition and medical help ruin their chance for a better life. Mothers faced with this extreme situation are at risk of exploitation, which, in the long term, decreases their self-assessment and deteriorates their mental condition. Many of them have no trained profession and cannot read or write.

In order to allow mothers of disabled children to be integrated socially, it is necessary to help them restore their confidence and dignity by making them realise what they are capable of and what creation potential they have. Participating in various initiatives, starting a job and supporting people in a similar situation help them improve their own life, learn a profession and acquire new skills.

Social reintegration of mothers of physically and mentally disabled children

The objective of the project was to help mothers of disabled children from Nouakchott become independent and provide them with a dignified life by helping them enter and stay in the labour market after acquiring competencies in terms of entrepreneurship, tailoring and embroidering.

The project was implemented from 1 May 2015 to 30 December 2015 by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Rabat in cooperation with its partner, a facility for mentally and physically disabled children and their mothers “Le Foyer de l’enfance”. Its main objective is to provide children and their mothers with all-day care, possibilities for development of the disabled children and help their mothers, who are often illiterate, regain dignity. During the week, the facility cares for 80 children aged from 8 months to 25 years.

The actions were focused on basic education (literacy) and trainings in tailoring, embroidering and entrepreneurship as well as on equipping the tailoring and embroidering workshop. Acquiring practical competencies offers  mothers and their disabled children a chance for a better life, as it contributes to the creation of a stable source of income. An opportunity to watch the effects of one's own work directly influences self-worth, dignity and social reintegration.

Social reintegration of mothers of physically and mentally disabled children

Within the framework of the project, implemented from 1 May to 12 December 2015, the following objectives were accomplished:

  1. Educational materials were purchased, the tailoring and embroidering workshop was provided with basic equipment (sewing and embroidering machines, sewing tables, tailoring fabrics and materials, papers, notebooks, boards, copy machines).
  2. A literacy course was organised for 45 women.
  3. A professional training in sewing and embroidering was organised for 45 women.
  4. A training in the functioning of and operating in the labour market as well as creating cooperatives was organised.

As a result of the above actions, women acquired practical competencies so that got a chance to improve their living conditions. Additionally, based on their own example, they understood the importance of education, which shaped their decision to send their children to school. A stable source of income and visible effects of their own actions increased their belief in their own potential. The knowledge they received during the training will be passed by the beneficiaries onto other mothers of children with disabilities.

The project was fully funded by the Polish Aid and its value amounted to approximately PLN 58,000 (EUR 13,880). For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: EUR 1 = PLN 4.2249.