Milan, 12, has already faced many challenges, from being diagnosed with multiple disabilities to obtaining social support services to accessing education.
When HI's teams first met Milan and his mother, they realized that the family had no documents recognizing his disability, which would entitle Milan to a monthly allowance. Renuka Dhakal, HI's social mobilizer, recounts the administrative procedures that came next:
”Milan's family was marginalized and had no contact with the administrative services. We began by working closely with the local council to get Milan's mother a marriage certificate and a citizenship certificate. Then we were able to take the steps needed to obtain Milan’s recognition by the social services as a person with disabilities.”
Milan's greatest wish was to go to school. HI’s teams started working to help him fulfill his dream.
"Milan wanted to study and asked me to enroll him in school. Unfortunately, his father was against the idea," explains Sanu Maya, Milan's mother. "However, a member of the Inclusive Futures project contacted me and offered to teach Milan in a mainstream school with inclusive practices or, if not, at home. That gave me new hope!"
Since then, twice a week, Bimal Thapa rides his moped out to Milan's home. For two hours, he provides him with personalized support to help him with his daily needs, such as learning how to wash and dress himself. Bimal also uses fun activities to teach Milan the basics of reading and arithmetic.
'Every child deserves to learn and develop'
Milan communicates mainly through sounds and gestures that only his parents understand. With their help, Bimal is gradually connecting with Milan.
"Working with Milan is a very rewarding experience. My aim is to help him become more independent in his daily activities and to create a stimulating environment in which he can thrive!”
Day after day, Bimal sees Milan’s increasing determination to learn and is very proud of him.
"I remember the first time that Milan, after much effort, managed to button his shirt by himself," Bimal recalls. "I saw the smile and joy on his face! That's what motivates me to continue to support him. I firmly believe that every child, whatever their situation, deserves the chance to learn and develop.”
The Inclusive Futures project, managed by HI Nepal and its local partner, Autism Care Chitwan Society, has played a key role in Milan's progress. He has benefitted from the early detection of his autism, a health assessment and referrals to the appropriate services. This project, which currently supports 2,300 children with disabilities, is supported by the UK government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.