The National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children (NCSAC) is a charitable organization which helps special-needs children. The centre was founded over 12 years ago thanks to the joint efforts of the You are Not Alone Foundation and the government of Uzbekistan.
The centre’s specialists draw up individual development programmes for every child with disabilities or signs of stunted growth who comes to the centre to receive vital help and therapy. All services are provided free of charge.
One of the priority tasks of our charity is to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities into society by stimulating changes in the attitudes of the general public towards children with disabilities and preventing cases of their segregation and stigmatisation. It is important that people recognise special-needs children as full members of society and begin to see them as individuals with their own needs, abilities, thoughts, attitudes, joys, sorrow, hopes and frustrations.
The NCSAC provides help to children from all over Uzbekistan. To date, over 7,500 children with disabilities have benefited from services provided by the charity.
One of our uppermost priorities is to extend our charity’s work to Uzbekistan’s regions, as not all families can afford to bring their child to Tashkent. Branches of the charity are now up and running in Samarkand and Ferghana, and in partnership with government bodies we are currently working on setting up a branch of the centre in Karshi, southern Uzbekistan. We hope that eventually the centre’s work will expand to cover all of Uzbekistan’s regions.
While reviewing the centre’s work since the beginning of this year, our experts have observed positive changes in the condition of 72 per cent of children who have received therapy and psychological support from the charity. Children start walking and recognising others, and they get enrolled in public and special schools.
At present the centre, jointly with a number of government bodies, is working on a range of programmes designed to protect the rights and interests of special-needs children.
We have all heard of cases when in the past families were often encouraged to abandon their children with disabilities and place them in special state institutions. Here I would like to mention our joint efforts with government bodies to ensure the rights of children with disabilities to a family life. The NCSAC, in partnership with a number of ministries and departments, has initiated a draft government resolution on introducing day-care centers for children with disabilities in Muruvvat mercy homes. This project will enable children with disabilities to live with their families while receiving comprehensive specialist care in the areas of education, psychological support and medical and social assistance. The main emphasis in the day-care centers will be placed on adopting an individual approach to every child.
Also, thanks to the joint efforts of the children’s adaptation center and the Uzbek Labour Ministry, in 2016 the positions of social worker and speech therapist were introduced in the Muruvvat mercy homes where children with disabilities are brought up.
To ensure timely diagnosis and care for children with developmental disabilities, early intervention services were introduced in a number of state-run polyclinics in Tashkent, Namangan, Andijan and Ferghana.
Together with the ministries of public education, health and finance, the centre has prepared a draft blueprint for inclusive education in Uzbekistan and is working on raising parental awareness about the educational needs of their children and special forms of schooling available for children with disabilities.
The NCSAC, jointly with the ministries of health, education and labour, has initiated several draft laws, in particular the law “On guarantees of child rights” and the law “On guardianship and custody”, which were adopted in 2008 and 2014 respectively, as well as the draft law “On Social Services”, which is currently under consideration in the parliament’s Senate.
The coordinated efforts of our centre’s staff and government bodies have made it possible to change to a certain extent public attitudes, particularly those of families themselves, towards children with disabilities, and to help a great number of children who receive assistance at our centre to realize their potential, thereby giving them faith and hope in the future.
Chair of the Board of Trustees of
the You are Not Alone Foundation
and the National Centre for
the Social Adaptation of Children
Share this story