Reem Alfranji, Founder and Managing Partner
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Children with developmental or intellectual disabilities can grow up having a meaningful and independent life, not only by believing in them, but by educating them and empowering their parents and caregivers with effecient tools.
What we do?
In Arabic, the word "Habaybna" means "Our loved ones", and we believe children with All Abilities are our loved ones.
Through habaybna.net, we provide parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with caregivers living in MENA region with guidance and continuous support, to know how they can equip their child with the skills and education s/he needs for a better and productive future, starting from early intervention till employment or creating self-employment opportunities.
Habaybna.net offers three features to help parents and caregivers get educated on how they can deal with the uniqueness of these children, educate them and improve their skills and talents.
1. Specialized content in Arabic: that includes A video library with +800 videos and +200 articles that provides short videos based on micro-learning approach. Specialists and Many parents of children with intellectual disabilities share experience and tips on a specific topic in each video or article. Soon, specialized online courses in special education and rehabilitation will be available on the platform.
2. Directory to facilitate parents access to services, resources and tools they need for their child, whether a center, a school, an educational or assesstive tool, educational products, parents support group or social activities.
3. Tele-coaching service: in which we connect parents with specialists to have 1:1 guidance on how they can deal with a specific challenge with their child via a calls system.
With our Freemium model and affordable services, we want to insure every parent or caregiver can find a chance to know and to reach out.
How COVID19 affected our work?
In March 2020, we received a grant from Oxfam-Jordan to produce 3 online courses on inclusion. They will be on: 1) Public awareness on intellectual disabilities. 2) Inclusion at schools. 3) Inclusion at work. We are working on them with a number of specialists in special education and rehabilitation.
In April 2020, and due to the crisis, we started providing the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disability with our Tele-coaching service to be provided for parents of children with intellectual disabilities free of charge and help them find alternatives dealing with their children with intellectual disabilities at home. 332 calls were provided till 31 June 2020 and still going on. A number of the calls were for parents who got weekly goals to educate their child at home.
In April 2020, we organized 2 webinars for Zain Telecom company in Jordan for their employees who have children with Autism/Down Syndrome and caregivers at their nursery. With the webinar we hosted specialists from rehabilitation and special education fields to discuss ways on dealing with children with Autism and Down Syndrome under the lock down and to keep their learning and skills development at home.
Planned to scale Habaybna.net out of the MENA region by listing and including tools from Europe, US, Canada and other countries, which will help in accelerating parents from the region to international and advanced resources.
Also the website has visits from other countries in the region other than Jordan, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Morocco and others.
Why we do it?
Being a parent of two sons with developmental disability made me know how education and rehabilitation could change my sons life and helped them gain skills that we never imagined they would have.
When we first knew about our sons disability, my husband and I started googling what the doctor said, unfortunately we didn't find a reliable resource in Arabic that would help us and guide us what to do or where to go in practical steps, and in every phase with our sons, we found that we needed continuous guidance to unlock their potential and help them improve their skills more. We spent 3 years in search to figure out what was needed to be done, steps to follow and searching for guidance and the right programs our sons needed.
There 250 million people living with intellectual disability around the world (specialolympics.org), with at least 30 million living in the MENA region (WHO, 2009)
The majority of children with disability living in MENA region don't get access to educational opportunities. For example in Jordan alone, out of 1 million children with disability, only 30% get education, and the numbers are less among children with intellectual disabilities. This is due to many reasons, one of them parents feel lost and confused on the next steps they should take for their child with different learning abilities, another reason is the expensive cost of specialized programs that is unaffordable compared to the family's income, or the child being rejected from schools because of his disability... another reason might be the stigma that these parents feel of having a child with disability and they give up on his education because they have a belief that this child is not worth investing in because anyway he will stay with disability, especially if this disability is severe.
With habaybna.net, we work to shift mindsets and change attitudes towards the education of a child with intellectual disability and provide tools that will facilitate it.