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UK government poised to decide on global aid goals

June 2014
Jenneh smiles in the classroom during a lesson at school, while Nabirye looks sad as she stands outside her home.

Children such as Jenneh (left) and Nabirye could be affected by the government’s decision on global aid.

On 10 June, the UK government will make a decision on whether to follow the recommendations made by a group of cross-party MPs to make people with disabilities a priority for global aid.

The decision will affect millions of people in developing countries, including teenage girls Jenneh (above left) and Nabirye (above right), who are both blind. Jenneh’s been lucky – she’s been able to attend a mainstream school that’s equipped for students with disabilities. She loves it there, has lots of friends and is thriving. Nabirye is desperate to learn, but she’s had to drop out as her family can’t afford boarding fees and no local schools can support her. Access to education – or lack of it – will make an indescribable difference to both their lives.

If the government decides to make people with disabilities a priority for global aid…

…it’ll mean more children like Jenneh will have the opportunity to gain an education, giving them a brighter future. The knock-on effects of this could benefit not just individual young people, but also their families, their communities and their countries.

If they don’t…

…it’ll mean stories of exclusion, like Nabirye’s, continue to occur over and over, resulting in a devastating waste of potential.

For a while now, we’ve been going on like a stuck record about now being a once-in-a-generation chance to transform the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. It’s not an exaggeration: 10 June is a crucial date, because if the UK government includes disability in global aid work, it’ll change the world.

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