News / Press Releases

December 03, 2018

Children with disabilities become the teachers on Disabilty Day

For the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls every December 3rd, Humanity & Inclusion and its global ambassador, Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr., invite the general public, as well as teachers and their students, to take part in #TeacherKids.

Everyone has something to teach. Teacher Kids is the first virtual school where children with physical, sensory, or intellectual disabilities are the teachers, thereby elevating their skills. By doing so, Humanity & Inclusion, an award-winning international NGO working in 60 countries, hopes to draw attention to the plight of 32 million children with disabilities around the world who are unable to access a school education and to develop their full potential.

Teacher Kids school

The public is invited to visit the virtual school at www.teacherkids.org, where they can learn to sing, express themselves in sign language, do relaxation exercises and more by watching tutorials posted by children in Cambodia, Togo, Kenya, France and other countries.

More than 20,000 people have already visited the Teacher Kids website, launched on October 29, in conjunction with HI’s Global Ambassador, Neymar Jr. The video launching the campaign, featuring Neymar Jr., has tallied more than three million views. The  subtitled video may be watched by clicking here

32 million children with disabilities deprived of a school education

Children with disabilities must have access to school in order to develop their potential and to build a future for themselves. In fact, it is their right. Yet 32 million children with disabilities around the world do not have access to a school-based education due to a lack of support or appropriate teaching methods, and inaccessible school facilities.

Humanity & Inclusion has been campaigning for accessible schools for all children, whatever their disability, since 2004. Thanks to the NGO’s innovative initiatives - traveling teachers and inclusive classes in mainstream schools, for example - 150,000 children with disabilities are enrolled in school in Togo, Burkina Faso, Nepal and other countries every year.

Soccer star Neymar Jr.: first Teacher Kids student

Humanity & Inclusion's Global Ambassador, Neymar Jr., was keen to get involved in this cause by becoming its very first pupil. The soccer player, who counts 103 million followers on Instagram, took origami, sign language, dance and relaxation lessons with disabled children. (Click here to see how the video was made!)

Moreover, Neymar Jr posted the Teacher Kids video on his social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to share the campaign with his fans.

On November 27, 250 students from the famous French school Polytechnique Paris-Saclay University also had the opportunity to benefit from a relaxation exercise taught by Pierre, a young man with Down Syndrome, 21, who participated in the campaign.

Take part in Teacher Kids

Children with disabilities and their parents are welcome to share a lesson by posting a short video, which will then be made available on the campaign’s website, www.teacherkids.org.

To create a tutorial, simply:

  • Ask a child if they would like to share their special, surprising or amusing talent with other children. The talent does not have to be linked to their disability. The aim is for the kids who watch the tutorial to learn something interesting that they can use in their everyday lives.
  • Film the child giving the lesson, on a mobile phone or camera. The video should be no more than two minutes long.
  • Post the video on your social media platforms with the #Teacherkids hashtag. In this way, the tutorial will be identified by the HI team and posted on the Teacher Kids website.

About Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International) is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 36 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable groups, our action and testimony focus on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since its founding in 1982, HI has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergencies.  The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. HI is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997; and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.  HI takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.

About Neymar Jr. and the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr.

Neymar Jr. became HI's Global Ambassador on August 15, 2017, at an event in Geneva. From the top of the city's iconic, Broken Chair monument, on Place des Nations, Neymar Jr. sent a message to the nations of the world, calling for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Symbolically, this message took the form of a soccer ball bearing the Handicap International logo, shot down the flag aisle in front of the Palais des Nations.

This commitment with an international NGO is in line with his social commitment in Brazil, where he created the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr. in 2014, located in Jardim Glória, Praia Grande. The project is extremely important for the player's family: Neymar da Silva Santos, Nadine Gonçalves and their two children Neymar Jr. and Rafaella. It is there that they lived part of the children's childhood.

Instituto Projecto Neymar Jr. was created to help children, adolescents and their families living in the area. This non-profit association now welcomes thousands of underprivileged children and their families to an 8,400 square meter educational and sports complex. The INJR provides children with a variety of artistic, sporting and educational activities, and seeks to work with the whole family. Parents also receive support from qualified professionals who can help them and their children as citizens, now and in the future.