In Uganda, schools remain closed to curb the spread of Covid-19 so our focus is very much on working with USDC to ensure children with disabilities miss out on as little education as possible. We continue to run local campaigns ensuring children with disabilities have access to inclusive learning materials.
Furthermore after successful fundraising and advocacy efforts over the summer, USDC are now running a community-led Inclusive Early Education Project. This project will not only increase the capacity of the education system in Uganda, but also addresses the issue that only 1% of children who attend 1+ year of early childhood education have a disability, despite 37% of Uganda’s children below the age of 9 having a disability. The need for this project is paramount.
Parental engagement with this project has been overwhelming, emphasising its need, with many having offered space in their homes or land to host the Community Learning Centres. In Adjumani 2 acres of land has been given up and other parents have even offered to make bricks to build new sites!
At these centres’ parents are trained on early childhood development practices, inclusive education, learning games and inclusive play programmes, supported by teachers from 8 nearby schools and government officials who provide oversight and quality control.
The whole project is also supported by the local Village Health Teams and is being overseen by Community-Based Rehabilitation groups to ensure safe-guarding is the top priority.
We are really excited about the void this community project will fill in Uganda, and more so for the fantastic starts more children with disabilities will receive when starting their education journey.