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Stars Foundation invests in organisations and ideas that transform the lives of disadvantaged children and their communities globally.

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Friends of the Disabled

The Challenge

In developing countries like Nepal, people living with disability are more likely to be in poor general health and are less likely to be able to get work to support themselves and their families. 

Those two things, coupled with widespread stigma often associated with disability, means that people living with disability are often on the fringes of society, struggling to access any of the services that do exist. 

Limited and costly health care means that corrective surgeries, vaccinations or treatment are impossible to afford for some of the country's poorest families.

The Response

Friends of the Disabled (FOD) sees disability as a social issue, not just a physical one. 

Through its world-class Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC) and satellite centres in rural areas, FOD helps children with disabilities receive reconstructive surgery, nonsurgical interventions, physiotherapy, low cost prostheses and follow-up care. 

FOD sees the integration of children with disabilities into the community as central to its work, collaborating with families and communities to combat stigma and rebuild the confidence and social skills of children with physical impairments. 

Since 1992, FOD has treated 44,000 children with disabilities, and cares for 17,000 children each year. In 2008, an independent evaluation of FOD's work revealed that:

  • 83% of HRDC beneficiaries are attending school, up from 53% before treatment;
  • 91% are helping with household chores, up from 62%;
  • 63% are participating in social and cultural events along with other able-bodied children.

Photos: Suraj Shakya