Specialized educational programs for people with special needs increased with the growing need to pay attention to these socially marginalized groups
Many reliable official studies show the importance of establishing educational and rehabilitation centers that are concerned with the upbringing of children with special needs. In 2018, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimated that the number of children with special needs in Lebanon at the age of compulsory schooling may exceed 45,000 children, and according to the Lebanese government’s statistics, there are only 8,558 children registered as having special needs of primary school age in the country, therefore still remains more than thirty thousand children excluded from public schools. This is due to the discriminatory admission policies, lack of reasonable facilitative arrangements, lack of inclusive curricula (including the absence of individual educational programs), and discriminatory fees and expenses that further marginalize children with special needs coming from poor families in light of the difficult circumstances the country is witnessing despite its continuous efforts through the two ministries concerned, mainly the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Based on our belief that education is a fundamental human right and that it is a universal and inalienable right. In 2018, NOUSHAREK Association launched its program entitled “Learning and peace are the basic rights for every human being ” by founding a non-profit rehabilitation and therapeutic educational center called “Al Bassma Center” which provides education, counseling and diagnostic services for children with special needs. It provides an integrated educational and rehabilitation program, in addition to vocational training, entertainment, sports, art and cultural programs for young boys and girls and provides the care they deserve, through the comprehensive use of the human resources available in the Association.
Al Basma Center is working to conclude a partnership contract with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, with its sole purpose to maintain financial sustainability. However, the current difficult circumstances the country is experiencing not only are delaying the joint cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, but also are financially limiting the funding of the program by the local community, with the annual value of the program estimated at 30,000 USD, while the annual contributions and donations do not exceed 20% of the value.
Achieving Sustainable Development Goals:
The program contributes to the elimination of gender inequality and ensuring equal access to all levels of education for vulnerable groups, including people with special needs, so the goals we seek to achieve are in line with the sustainable development goals expressed as follows:
- Goal 3 ‘’Good Health and Well-being’’
- Goal 4 “Quality Education”
- Goal 5 “Gender Equality”
- Goal 10 “Reduced Inequality”
- Goal 17 “Partnerships to achieve the Goal”
The general objective:
Provide free educational, treatment, and rehabilitation opportunities for the largest possible number of people with special needs.
Enhance people with special needs’ integration into society and their full participation in all aspects of life.
We realize that disability is a concept that is still under development and that there are barriers that limit the participation of disabled people as members of society on an equal basis with others. We believe in their current and potential valuable contribution to the overall well-being and diversity of the society, and that their full participation will lead to an increase in the sense of belonging and the achievement of significant progress in human, social, and economic sustainable development. That can be achieved by enabling them to participate effectively in a free society and encouraging recognition of their skills, competencies and capabilities, and their contributions to the workplace and market. With that being said, organizing training programs to raise awareness of people with special needs and their rights, and to spread positive perceptions about them and a deeper social awareness of them is the core base of promoting an integrated participation of such individuals.
Develop the talents of people with special needs and support their mental, physical, emotional, personal and social capabilities.
We believe in the potential of people with disabilities, their talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, and respect for their right to preserve their identity. That is why Al-Bassma Center provides an opportunity for people with special needs to develop their creative, artistic and intellectual capabilities allowing them to reach advanced levels of skill development, not only to serve their interest but also to enrich society. We work to enable people with disabilities to achieve and maintain maximum levels of independence and to attain their physical, mental, social and professional potential to the fullest, by providing comprehensive services and programs for rehabilitation, especially in the fields of education and health (Physical, speech, psychological, occupational, health and social therapy).
Promote psychological support of women in the local society.
We are fully aware that a stable mental health raises sane and healthy individuals. Parents having a good mental health, free of problems results in the creation of conscious generations characterized by self-stability and inner peace. Thus, the extent to which women are mentally healthy, affects the stability of the whole family, particularly in a way that enables them to adapt and deal with life pressures and the various changes and challenges that may occur to them and their family members. In light of the current difficult conditions that Lebanon is going through, the tendency to intensify attention to women’s mental health is an urgent need due to the negative repercussions that may occur in one’s life within the family as a result of the increasing pressures and the multiplicity of women’s responsibilities that basically exhaust their mental health and hinder them from fulfilling their basic roles. Hence, NOUSHAREK Association pays great attention to the mental health of the mothers of people with special needs on one hand, and women of the local community on the other hand, through awareness campaigns, workshops and seminars targeting various important topics that protect the family from the perspective of women’s mental health.