Providing Inclusive Programs to Disabled Kids
Grant Recipient: AbleChildAfrica
There are nearly 1 billion people living today with physical and mental disabilities. In every country of the world, people with disabilities face stigma and a series of challenges that could be lessened. Individuals with disabilities suffer disproportionately in developing countries and communities where access to proper healthcare and other support systems (such as government recognition) aren’t easily available. In certain areas of rural Africa, life with a disability can be a profoundly difficult experience, particularly for school-age children and their families.
AbleChildAfrica, a UK charity which operates in the East African nations of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania has partnered with independent African organizations to operate several projects which strive to promote and achieve equal rights for children with disabilities and their families. The mission of AbleChildAfrica is threefold:
- Advocate for children with disabilities
- Provide trainings for teachers and medical professionals
- Facilitate family-inclusive organizational strategy
Grassroots advocacy helps to combat the stigma sometimes associated with disabilities, which, if left unaddressed, can lead to social ostracization which impacts not only a child’s access to education, but can also become a severe burden on the family or caretakers. With the help of donors, AbleChildAfrica and its partners provide access to health and education to the most vulnerable children in this region. Through various partnership initiatives, they have also successfully improved access to services for children with disabilities; including training teachers in various special education techniques. To date, more than 400 teachers spanning 25 schools have received inclusive education training for disabled students through AbleChildAfrica.
The organization’s efforts do not stop here. Another important initiative spearheaded by AbleChild Africa aims to provide inclusive services by supporting the creation of Parent Support Groups. As a result, AbleChildAfrica is effective in their effort to maximize the potential of their inclusive standards, which can be maintained at home and in the communities. Parents have a forum where they can voice their concerns and allows for AbleChildAfrica to act as a support system.
AbleChildAfrica has utilized a portion of its funding received through CAF America to develop a shared learning system with five partner organizations using a unique Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) framework. This system allows for close collaboration between the partner organizations, ensures that best practices are incorporated into all projects spanning the three focus-African countries, and that any potential risks to new projects are identified through careful examination of past examples.
Utilizing its comprehensive combination of grassroots advocacy, education, and collaboration, AbleChildAfrica and its partner organizations have worked diligently towards equal rights for children with disabilities throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.