In this chapter of STORIES OF THE OTHER WORLD, we tell you about Saw Sai Chit Oo, who suffers from physical and intellectual disabilities. Initially his mother was worried about her son’s future and didn’t believe in his potential, but thanks to Saw Sai’s journey, she realised that disability is not an insurmountable obstacle, but only a characteristic.

Saw Sai Chit Oo is a 14-year-old boy from Kyan Sit Thar Ward, Dala, Yangon. He has right hemiplegic cerebral palsy with intellectual disability and he’s a beneficiary of the I C.A.R.E (Inclusive Communities Advocating for the Rights to Rehabilitation and Education of People with Disabilities) programme. He is an only child and his parents run a restaurant, his father is not in good health and his mother was completely devoted to her son, considering him incapable of managing himself.

When we first met him, he had a bending contracture in his knee and although he couldn’t walk well, he was very good at cycling. His mother wanted him to start the programme to start walking well and was worried about Saw Sai’s future, as she feared that he would never be independent in his movements and daily activities.

The programme includes Physiotherapy, Meziere Therapy, Special Education and some awareness-raising meetings for the caregivers, in this case the parents are the ones who take care of him. Saw Sai immediately started to improve in terms of motor skills, he exercises daily and is more active than before. At the moment we are focusing on education, as he is interested in mathematics and wants to learn to help at the restaurant. After attending the awareness meetings, his mother is more and more involved and continues the programme even when they are alone with exercises and homework.

Before starting this course, the mother managed her son completely and did everything for him. Now she has realised the importance of teaching him to carry out daily activities on his own and slowly Saw Sai is learning everything. His mother’s views on disability have changed: she realises that the physical impairment is not a big problem for him as he can learn to perform all daily activities independently, calmly and with the right teaching.

To this day, he continues to follow the lessons and activities in the programme and to improve. He’s happy and confident, grateful for everything he’s learning and eager to improve more and more. Our team is happy to see him improve and especially happy to see how his family is changing their approach to disability.

We sincerely thank our staff and all those who support us, thanks to you we are generating a wave of change even in places where it seemed impossible before.