Special Needs Groups

SFD supports the government and civil society organisations to enhance the medical, educational and social services to groups of people with special needs.

SFD aims to promote an inclusive society and equal rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities and those exposed to abuse. SFD activities in this sector follows a rights-based approach in the following areas: building capacities of local entities (service providers, social supporters, consultants); increasing sensitivity and awareness for the rights of children with disabilities and vulnerable groups exposed to abuse (among local authorities, line ministries and unions); and supporting policies and strategies. These priorities will be achieved through the following:


§ Developing strategies and policies with the relevant ministries;

§ Developing new approaches to establish a methodology in programs targeting orphans

and juvenile delinquents such as alternative and sequential education and the preparation

of early intervention strategies;

§ Supporting government and NGO efforts to provide these groups with social, medical

and educational services;

§ Encouraging organizations to begin implementing rural outreach programs;

§ Continuing to support inclusive education, partial and full integration programs and preintegration rehabilitation;

§ Enhancing activities in private education and expanding education for children with

impaired vision;

§ Continuing working with local partners on coordination and development of appropriate



SFD has identified the following special needs groups:

  • Disabled;" Deaf, Blind, Low vision, Mentality , Autism"
  • Children under difficult circumstances " Orphans, children in trouble with the law, street children, children of imprisoned women, child laborers;
  • Women at risk - women in prison and being released;
  • Socially marginalized - institutionalized psychiatric patients, institutionalized elderly people, and slum dwellers.


Intervention sub-programs

The focus of SFD social protection is on children giving priority to their social protection and education. SFD support to Groups with Special Needs is channeled through nine programs. Each of these 9 programs is described briefly below.

1.  Supporting Policies & Strategies

SFD supports the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and other line ministries to prepare a national Disability Strategy, a Social Protection Strategy and strategies to fund care and rehabilitation of the disabled.

2.  Integration and Inclusive Education

SFD supports the Ministry of Education in its policy of inclusive education, i.e. education that does not discriminate between children and endeavors to abolish all obstacles that hinder the enrollment of children at the neighborhood school and participation in classrooms.

SFD supports NGOs which provide educational services to children with special needs to provide rehabilitation and pre-school education  with the eventual aim of integrating the children into public schools

3.  Early Childhood Development

Early childhood is considered a very important phase in child development .

SFD made use of its multi-sectoral capabilities to support early childhood development through the following activities: 


  • Neonatal care "for the premature and new-born children"
  • The integrated management of childhood diseases;
  • the general reproductive health  and emergency obstetric services
  • Early intervention " in health, education, socially and/or qualifying.


  • Building kindergartens
  • Training the cadres of the Ministry of Education and its offices in the governorates;
  • The training of workers at kindergartens at several governorates;

  The Institutional Structure:

  • Supporting the National Strategy for childhood and Youth and focusing on the early childhood component;
  • Setting up a branch for early childhood at Sana'a University;
  • The establishment of a center for early childhood at the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood


4. Capacity building of government and NGOs caring for groups with special needs

SFD helps build institutional and technical capacities, prepare their strategic plans and programs consistent with global approaches of care for disabled groups.

5. Preparation of National Trainers

SFD supports the development of a national cadre of specialists with training skills in the care of those with special needs

6.  Protecting Children

SFD aims to provide orphans, street children, and juvenile delinquents with a safe environment and access to health and educational services through improvements to street children centres including the construction of new or additional buildings and centres, and through support to strategy development and management.

7. Early Intervention

Dangers of minor disabilities can be avoided if treated in a child’s early years. Such early interventions take two forms:

  • Medical intervention through early discovery and evaluation of children suffering growth related problems, and their early admission to appropriate programs
  • Early rehabilitation that occur the disabled child's home, his/her most familiar habitat.

8. Community-based Rehabilitation

Community based rehabilitation (CBR) is considered the most effective program to reach the maximum number of disabled persons.  Currently run as a pilot in areas selected for their high levels of poverty, SFD provides financial and technical support for training, raising awareness, surveys, additional expertise, providing a number of NGOs with transport, and the evaluation of the program. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, through its Disabled Fund, pays operational expenses.

9. The Most Disadvantaged Groups

SFD is working with  Most Disadvantage Groups through support to their education, institutional support for associations working with these groups, and building the capacity of educational cadres working in this area.

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