What is the problem?
Children and young people with disabilities in the town of Uvira in Congo have a big problem: they find it difficult to attend school. There is a lack of resources to provide an education that benefits ALL. Negative social attitudes towards children with disabilities, obstructive infrastructure, lack of tools and school materials: these are all reasons why only 5% of school-age children with disabilities attend school. The remaining 95% will eventually become adults whose abilities have remained unused and whose economic and social opportunities are limited. They will hardly escape the cycle of poverty and isolation.
What are our plans?
That is why we are working together with the Congolese organisation Appui au Développement de l'Enfant en Detresse (ADED) to improve the opportunities and living realities for children and young people with disabilities in Uvira. In a first part of the project, inclusive education is to be made possible in the Saint-Pierre primary school. In a second part of the project, young people who have not been able to experience school education are to receive vocational training that will ensure they can work and earn money. To this end, various aspects are to be addressed:
- Social attitudes towards people with disabilities and the understanding of inclusive concerns are to be sharpened. For this purpose, the exchange with parents, teachers and leaders of the local community serves as a starting point.
- The infrastructure of the Saint-Pierre primary school will be made inclusive.
The school will be equipped so that every child can learn effectively.
Teachers will be adequately trained and supported to adapt their teaching methods.
- Young people who have not been able to experience schooling will be given vocational training and then the support to start income-generating activities.
- Self-help groups will be promoted to serve as a local support system for people with disabilities.
What do we need the donations for?
The project is limited to one year, after which it will be self-sustaining. So far, the focus has been on raising awareness in society about inclusion and disability, and organising and training self-help groups. In the near future, the focus will increasingly be on improving the socio-economic living situation (through training workshops, setting up small businesses for the target group, etc.) and upgrading the school to be inclusive (by training teachers, equipping with inclusive equipment, etc.). In addition to funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, we and our partner organisation ADED have to raise a contribution of our own in order to actually realise the project. This is exactly why we need donations in our work.