Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope is the only charity working specifically to support child amputees in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and one of the few in India.
Amputees rarely make the headlines or gain much attention, yet there are more than 30 million worldwide. In developing countries, 90% of amputees do not have prosthetics and only one in ten will go to school. This makes them some of the most vulnerable individuals in the world.
Disability is widespread in developing countries, with 80% of people with disabilities living here. The vast majority do not have access adequate medical care or social support. They tend to live in poverty and be marginalised in their society.
Prosthetics can give amputees back their physical mobility and ability to be part of society. Yet, only one in ten have access to prosthetics due to:
- Lack of availability
- Poor awareness
- Lack of money
- Limited trained personnel
Challenges faced by amputees
Understanding some of the issues that amputees face is vital to providing meaningful assistance.
Stigma: Stigma often underlies people’s perceptions of amputees which has a direct effect on the amount of support they receive. Many child amputees suffer from low self-confidence and are excluded from society. As a result, they live very lonely lives with few prospects of a better future.
Poverty: There is a strong relationship between poverty and disability. UN Enable has reported that living with a disability increases the cost of living by about a third of average income. On top of this, those with disabilities are often discriminated against when finding employment, accessing education and health care, trapping them in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Education: Education is a way out of poverty but due to discrimination, lack of accessibility, and poverty, many individuals cannot access schools. In developing countries, a staggering 90% of child amputees do not go to school.
Infrastructure: Poor and unstable infrastructure is another barrier for amputees. Uneven road surfaces, lack of public transport, and lack of accessible buildings mean that many cannot take part in everyday activities such as school.
The work of ELoH ensures that child amputees can access medical care, social support and education. Take a look at our case studies to learn about some of the children whose lives we have changed.
Looking towards the future
The situation of people with disabilities is gaining increased attention. In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed by more than 170 countries.
In 2015, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted. The SDGs are 17 global goals covering areas such as poverty reduction, education and healthcare. Governments have committed to fulfil these goals by 2030. Disability is recognised as a core part of the SDGs with five goals directly impacting people with disabilities:
Goal 4: Guaranteeing equal and accessible education
Goal 8: Promoting inclusive economic growth allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market
Goal 10: Emphasising the social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities
Goal 11: Creating accessible cities
Goal 17: Underlining the importance of data collection, emphasis on disability disaggregated data.
The UK has committed to make sure that these goals are met by 2030. ELoH’s support in Sierra Leone, Liberia and India is directly working towards impacting these goals and help to improving the lives of child amputees.