It is difficult to fully grasp the plight of young Disabled Refugees. A short clip below introduces Luz E. from Colombia. Luz left school at the age of 14 because she could not withstand the bullying anymore. Teachers were unable to protect her against the verbal and physical assaults of her peers and so she hid at home. Eleven years ago, the family had to flee Colombia in the midst of horrific attacks in their homes. The UN relocated them in a 'temporary' refugee camp... for the next 8 years. Once again Luz was at home with her mother because of the sheer lack of services for disabled youth. When the family was welcomed into New Zealand, Luz's hopes for a new life were rekindled, only change was not forthcoming... Access and language barriers keep Luz once again a prisoner in her own home.
She spent the first 3 years of her life in New Zealand at home with her mother. This young refugee from Columbia who has Cerebral Palsy, had not been able to access services for the first 3 years in New Zealand. As soon as our researcher alerted a Disability Service Provider, however, a programme of activities she wanted to do was put in place... On day 1 her first choice activity was a walk by the lake to feed the ducks... so simple yet unachievable in past years!