In Afghanistan 2.7% of the total population have “very severe” disabilities that call for the implementation of urgent policies and interventions. From a severity point of view, if other categories are added, this rate increases to well over 15%, as indicated in the 2011 World Health Organization disability report.

Based on the Social Protection Strategy and the National Risks and Vulnerability Assessment, one of the ‘Priorities at Risk Groups’ in Afghanistan is represented by Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). These people continue to undergo hefty challenges: no access to public services, negative attitudes from society, unemployment and physical accessibility are just some of the hardships. To improve this situation, disability needs to be given high priority in all policies of the government, private sector and civil society; and monitored for implementation. Providing direct enablement support to PwDs is another priority.

Community Centre for the Disabled (CCD)

An Afghan NGO, this resource centre is one of the leading disability organizations that has been promoting the rights of Persons with Disabilities since 2004. To this end, CCD maintains the following activities:

• Advocacy at the policy, implementation and community levels

• Capacity building on disability rights in Disabled People Organizations, civil society and ministries

• Awareness raising of the general public and Persons with Disabilities

• Socio-economic support for Persons with Disabilities

The photographic exhibition (Funded by Tawanmandi)

“The difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

The 3rd December marks the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the 16th anniversary of the signing of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, and the International Day of People with Disability. In honour of survivors of these horrific weapons and of other people with disabilities in Afghanistan and worldwide, the Community Centre for Disabled with the support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines – Cluster Munition Coalition is pleased to launch this exhibition featuring the photographs by Giovanni Diffidenti.

The photographs depict life situations of persons with disabilities, including landmine and survivors of other explosive remnants of war in Afghanistan. Many efforts have been undertaken in support of survivors and victims, but more can and must be done with greater resources dedicated to support this cause.

“The difference between lightning and a lightning bug”

This quotation from Mark Twain, American author and humourist, refers to the abyss between two different sources of light. The powerful flash of lightning against the faint glow of the firefly. As to light, the same analogy can be applied to the very different situations that persons with disabilities face in their lifetime and of the way they handle them.

To view all the reportage please visit Transterra Media Agency: https://www.transterramedia.com/collections/1767

Prev Next

01/08

Hide overlay
Close

Sayed, 25 years old, landmine survivor and double amputee. Here Sayed is climbing a hill on his way to the grocery shop where he works part-time in the city of Bamyan. During the day he frequents university, where he recently enrolled in the faculty of psychology. Twice a day he walks 4.6km in order to attend the course.

Info
Close

Fatima, 25 years old, prepares the oven to bake bread for her family and neighbours. Fatima suffered a serious infection to her face when she was nine years old and she lost part of her chin bone. She is paid 10 Afghani for every loaf of bread. Before the infection she worked as a shepherd in the Province of Ghur, her home. People avoid survivors of facial diseases. Nobody wants to speak to them, and they are isolated. People don’t even want to look at them. When Fatima’s brother married, he decided to offer Fatima in marriage to his future brother-in-law (an Afghan tradition known as Badalì). She is now married with two children.

Info
Close

Mobin, 5 years old. Here he raises his eyes to the ceiling in his house in Kabul, a typical gesture. Mobin was born with autism, and doesn’t understand the concept of danger. The family has taken him to see seven specialists, but nothing has changed. They all say that their son can’t be treated in Afghanistan and they should take him abroad. The family is concerned about Mobin’s future because Afghanistan has no educational services for autism. Mobin is a beneficiary of the Community Center for the Disabled.

Info
Close

Bamyan cemetery. Mohammed, 13 years old, prays at the grave of his cousin and best friend Haji Ahmad, 15 years old. Haji was an orphan and a Paraplegic and he lived with his sister. The rest of the family didn’t want to know about him. Before he died, Haji hadn’t been to school for almost a year because his wheelchair was broken. His sister attempted to contact different organizations to get a new wheelchair but she never succeeded. In this period Haji stayed at home and was depressed.

Info
Close

Razya, 31 years old, with her daughter Hasina, 3 years old. Here she is begging in one of the main streets in Mazar-e-Sharif. Since giving birth to her daughter, Razya has not been able to walk. When she became ill she didn’t have enough money to pay a doctor so her health got worse, leaving her almost paralyzed. Her husband sells vegetables in the street but he doesn’t make enough money to support the family.

Info
Close

Ghulam Ali, 29 years old, landmine survivor and double amputee. Twice a day, Ghulam walks 5 km to and from work in the province of Bamyan. He runs a small grocery shop and he manages to make enough for a living. Occasionally he finds people who give him a lift, but most of the time he has to walk. Ghulam Ali is having problems with his prostheses and has been trying to get new ones for the past four months.

Info
Close

A mentally disturbed man is stretched out on the pavement in one of the main streets in west Kabul. He receives no assistance. In Afghanistan people with mental disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups of the community. So far several NGOs and government agencies have provided a few services for mental disabilities, but their programs fall far from meeting the needs of these people and there are no specific actions taken to alleviate the problem.

Info
Close

Portrait of Nickbakht, 21 years old, double arm amputee. This image was taken in her home in the village of Aliabod, in Mazar-e-Sharif. Nickbakht was in a car accident seven years ago when all of the family was travelling to Kabul. Both her parents died and her younger brother has difficulty walking. In the first year Nickbakht was depressed, but she managed to overcome her disability and now she is the bread-winner of the family. Until six months ago she was working as a counsellor and providing peer support for the Afghan Landmine Survivors Organization (ALSO). Now she is unemployed, but she still does lot of social volunteer work. Nickbakht is a very smart woman and hopes to continue studying.

Info