Enabling children with disabilities in Rwanda to access primary education .

Educating children with disabilities in many communities of the developing world is often not a priority. Children with disabilities are less likely to attend school, more likely to begin education late and more likely to drop out. In collaboration with ablechildafrica.org, UWEZO is implementing an education project in the Northern Province of Rwanda, in Musanze District, a place that is almost physically inaccessible due to the nature of its landscape the rocky surface.

This is a pilot project initiated in May 2016 and works with children with disabilities 7-16 from poor communities of Musanze District. Their families, teachers, local authorities in charge of education and youth with disabilities. Children are enrolled into mainsteam schools, promoted on merit and retain their schooling because of the following components of the project.

Mentoring Kids.

This programme has identified and trained 30 youth with disabilities, 18 – 35 years, who serve as mentors and role models. They conduct weekly visits to the families

and provide practical and emotional support to the children, reporting back to the Project Officer on any issues affecting school performance.

 

Practical support to children.

 

sensitizing parents to understand the potential of their children, giving parents the tools to engage with their children’s educational development,

providing practical support to children e.g. through homework help, or access to scholastic materials, and working with school authorities so that they understand their obligation to educate children with disabilities.

 

Families of children with disabilities .

Families of children with disabilities meet on a quarterly basis to share their experiences, provide each other with mutual support and learn about their children’s development and how to support it. During these meetings children are engaged

in extra curricula and recreational activities designed to keep a smile on their faces and as well show their parents/guardians that they can also entertain themselves

UWEZO continue to raise awareness to different stakeholders actively involved in the education of vulnerable children by inviting them to contribute to this cause.