Special Hope Network is a faith-based, Christian organization called to bear witness to God’s glory through caring for children with intellectual disabilities in Zambia by equipping families and caregivers to provide these children with a loving home, holistic health, and exceptional education and therapies.
Special Hope Network is a faith-based non-governmental organization located in Lusaka, Zambia (since May 2010), working specifically with children who have intellectual disabilities. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 out of every 10 children in the developing world are physically and/or intellectually disabled. Most of these children are not registered at birth, and have no official or legal status. They may not be counted, but we believe they still count.
We believe every child has a right to:
Sadly, because of specific circumstances in Southern Africa, these children are left particularly vulnerable. Most communities consider children who have a disability a curse—a punishment for his or her parent’s wrongdoing. Children are often hidden away and denied basic care. As a result 80% of these children will die before they are 5 years old.
Even if a child were allowed out into their community, they would find a staggering lack of resources. There are very few medical professionals educated in the field of disability, and even fewer willing to give a child with a disability quality care. As for education, most government schools do not have any sort of Special Education programs- the only examples of such programs exist in community-based schools (funded privately), and capacities at these schools are often very limited.