We work with local partners in Africa to break down the barriers to inclusion, empowering children with disabilities to fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.
Whilst directly impacting the lives of children with disabilities, we are also:
- Building the capacity of our partners to enable them to become independently sustainable, high impact organisations; and
- Advocating for change for children and young people with disabilities.
We are proud of our approach, which is rooted in our core values. This is why we are based in the UK and do not have our own offices and staff on the ground. We are firmly committed to local ownership and to locally-led solutions. We know this approach offers value for money to our donors and believe it has the greatest potential for long term sustainability and impact.
We believe in
- Empowerment Empowering children with disabilities to take charge of their own future.
- Sustainability Strengthening partner organisations for the long term.
- Collaboration Collaborating and sharing resources with those who share our vision.
- Value The value for money achieved from our approach.
Social Model of Disability Approach
We apply the social model of disability. This means we believe that disability occurs when an individual’s impairment is compounded by societal barriers that prevent that individual from fully participating in society. The model works on the premise that disability is a social construct arising through discrimination and oppression and so change is needed across society, not within an individual. Barriers to full inclusion typically fall into three main categories: environmental, institutional and attitudinal. Able Child Africa is focussed on removing these barriers that restrict children with disabilities from fulfilling their potential.
All of our work is grounded in a rights-based approach. This means we firmly believe that people with disabilities should enjoy the same equal rights as everybody else. We are guided by the principle that all people with disabilities should be able to participate in life on an equitable basis regardless of their abilities.
Twin Track Approach
We adopt a twin-track approach to our disability-inclusive programming for children with disabilities. This means we believe that inclusion is the correct and most effective way to actively mainstream disability into general programming and policies. While inclusion is the priority in our projects, we also acknowledge and support interventions that focus on specific individual needs. We identify that children with disabilities are intrinsically disadvantaged and so their full inclusion often requires both mainstream and targeted interventions, and our twin-track approach tackles this.
Our Partnership Approach
Our values and are firmly grounded in our partnership approach. We are committed to local ownership as we believe we achieve the greatest impact and sustainability by listening to and taking the lead from our partners. We partner with organisations where we can add value and make a difference not only to the lives of children with disabilities but also to the partner organisations themselves. We believe a successful partnership is one that is mutually beneficial to both parties. Our Partnership Model defines this approach and is informed by extensive consultation with our current partners, as well as an examination of other models in the sector. Our partnership approach is intended to be brave, to do things differently, and to level power dynamics between ourselves and our partners on the ground.
Child and Youth-Led Approach
We believe that young people are best placed to make decisions that will impact their own lives. Historically, children with disabilities have too often been defined or judged by what they lack rather than by what they can contribute. We, however, believe that all children are able. By committing to a child and youth-led approach, we are able to empower children and young people with disabilities by including them in our decision making. This includes participating in and leading in the design, delivery and monitoring of our programmatic work to ensure they are best suited to the children and young people we are trying to support.