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Ayushma wants to increase knowledge about intellectual disability in Nepal

Ayushma Manadhar was 13 years old when public school became too difficult and she was forced to discontinue her studies. Now she wants to increase awareness and knowledge about intellectual disability among decision makers and the general public in Nepal.

Ayushma står i en trädgård med gröna krukväxter bakom sig, hon har rosa tröja på sig och kort svart hår
Ayusma Manadhar

Ayushma is 26 years old and has an intellectual disability, she was born and raised in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. Together with MyRights and FUB's partner organization Parent Federation of Persons with Intellectual Disability (PFPID), she works for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. Through advocacy work, Ayushma and PFPID fight for people with intellectual disabilities to have increased access to support and help in their everyday lives.

An important issue for Ayusma is the right to an inclusive and accessible education. She has her own experiences of how difficult it is to go to a school that is not adapted for those with special needs.

-I went to a public school up to grade seven, then it became far too difficult for me to continue, says Ayushma.

It was difficult for Ayuhsma to keep up with the pace of school and several subjects felt difficult, especially mathematics. She did not receive the support and extra help she needed from her teachers and the teaching was never adapted to her disability. It was also not easy to make friends among his classmates.

-I often felt left out and had difficulty communicating and making contact with the other students, says Ayushma.

The difficulties at school eventually became so great that Ayushma could no longer continue her education there.

Group accommodation gave Ayushma practical knowledge and customized training

When Ayushma was 13 years old and could no longer continue her education in public school, she got a place at Sungava Homes, which is a group home for women and girls with intellectual disabilities. Residents also have the opportunity to train there. Sungava's education is adapted to the students' needs and focuses on practical and professional preparation knowledge.

The education at the group accommodation has given Ayushma knowledge in tailoring and she has learned to knit. The practical skills can help her get work in the future. The students also learn how to cope independently with everyday tasks such as cooking and taking care of their hygiene.

Ayushma found commitment and hope at PFPID

The chairman of the group home advised Ayushma to join PFPID, she was immediately interested and contacted the organization. Since then she has been active in their work.

-PFPID taught me about what rights I have as a person with an intellectual disability and what support I can get from the government, says Ayushma.

During her time in PFPID, her commitment to functional rights issues has grown and she has become increasingly active in the organization. Right now, she is involved in the work of producing easy-to-read material for children and young people with intellectual disabilities in schools around the country.

- My responsibility is to read the material and point out the words that are too difficult to understand so that they are replaced with simpler words, says Ayushma.

For Ayushma, the advocacy work she does together with PFPID is very important and something she finds a lot of hope in, even though there is still a lot of work to be done.

-The level of knowledge is extremely low, the government and the public know nothing about intellectual disability, says Ayushma.

Some of the issues that the organization is pushing right now are the right to health care and employment opportunities. They also want people with intellectual disabilities to get a discounted price on transport so they can move more freely and avoid being isolated at home.

- It is these, the most basic rights, that we must start with. After we get them through, we can take the next step, says Ayushma.

She says she wants to continue her commitment and push forward the work for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in Nepal.

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