In rural or isolated regions, access to an inclusive educational services are even more difficult to find. In fact, the inclusive Early Childhood Education Centre run by CST in Mbeya is the only one of its kind in a 1,000-mile radius. The need for CST to exist is therefore great.
Over the last few years, CST’s impact has stretched beyond their school, taking a role in regional policy development and becoming an advocate for the inclusion of children with disabilities in school more widely. The problem is that CST were still running their school out of two residential rooms not fit for purpose, unable to accommodate the growing number of children with disabilities that required its services.
Able Child Africa has been working with CST to design and construct a purpose-built fully inclusive early childhood education centre for the last 5 years. In 2016, with support from the local community and government, CST secured land with permission to build a new centre.
A partnership with Article 25 was secured, an architectural charity that completed a Feasibility Study and developed a masterplan for the school in consultation with children, parents and community members. The design included a sensory garden, playground, physiotherapy room, teacher’s accommodation and a permanent site for an income generation workshop following its full completion.
In 2017, Able Child Africa and CST were able to secure funding to begin Phase 1 & Phase 2 of the School Build, supported by Guernsey Overseas Aid and Aberdeen Charitable Foundation, which would allow CST to move from their existing site to their new permanent home.
Phase 1 is nearing completion and the school is set to move to their new site by the end of 2019, providing an inclusive educational environment for local children with disabilities to participate equally at school.