December 16th, 2015
One of IAS core areas is Inclusive Education and last week the International day of People with Disabilities was celebrated by IAS in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Here are some greetings from the field:
4 000 gathered in Ethiopia
More than 4 000 people participated in a colorful celebration to create awareness for people with disabilities in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The topic this year was: Inclusion matters, access and empowerment for people of all.
-IAS Ethiopia took the bigger role in the celebration using banners, brochures and t-shirts to create awareness to all stake holders. Dramas were performed by students with disabilities to advocate for their rights, says Eshetu Tilahun, Project leader IAS Ethiopia who also was part of the celebration.
Two students, one visually impaired (using Braille) and one intellectual impaired students inspired the attendants by presenting two big lessons using poem and reading from an article.
-The focus of their message was showing the participants how people with disabilities are effective and able if they get the chance to education. Another child, integrated to the regular class from IAS center, grade two, read one article to show how he improved his studies since he joined the project, says Eshetu.
Children performed in Tanzania
-We had a great day, altogether over 700 people were gathered, says Irene Shayo, Programme Manager, IAS Tanzania.
In Tanzania the event was organized by IAS Tanzania together with Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania, Information Center on Disability and the authorities from the local government of Rukwa Region.
-The main reason for this day was to highlight the rights of persons with disabilities. We had children with impairments such as albinism from different schools that performed with for example poems. People were sad when they heard the stories about people being mistreated. But at the same time they were happy, since they saw that people with disabilities are capable, says Irene.
A speech was held by acting District Administrative Secretary, Oresta B Haule. He addressed the community on the rights of persons with disability and encouraged the whole district to have a budget for persons with disability.
-The celebration was important since it was a part of awareness creation. It was also a platform for persons with disabilities to raise their voices.
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Eshetu Tilahun, Irene Shayo
September 30th, 2015, Ethiopia
Mohamed Deqe from Ethiopia was born with a physical disability and because of this he was denied to go to school. But thanks to IAS project in Inclusive Education (IE) he can now read, write and count and is one of the top students in school.
All children should have the right to go to school. Still, as many as 126 million young people today can´t read or write and disabled children are particularly vulnerable as they are often not accepted by friends, family or the communities in which they live.
It is not uncommon that these children are being hidden in the home and denied the opportunity to go to school. Therefore IAS work actively with projects in Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya to help these children get a chance to education.
Rune Cederholm is our Head of Programme Departement and he visited IAS project on Inclusive Education in Ethiopia. Here he writes about his meeting with Muhamed Deqe:
“I spoke with Mohamed, 15 years old, who lives in Jijiga in the Somali region of Ethiopia. He is truly an example of that Inclusive Education works. Mohamed was born with a physical disability and can only walk on one leg, with a crutch. Because of that, he was denied the opportunity to go to school. After a year of schooling at the IAS Special Needs Education Center, he could both read, write and count! He even helped his teachers to teach the other children. His best friend had difficulties to manage in school but when he received extra help from Mohamed he was able to continue his education.
Today, Mohamed is integrated in the regular school and is one of the top students! “
Some of the activities that are implemented in the projects with Inclusive Education are:
-Organize teacher training courses.
-Provide support to parents who have children with intellectual disabilities.
-Arrange investigations on why children may have learning difficulties.
-Influence the development of educational materials and curricula.
-Produce educational materials.
-Construction of additional classrooms for children with learning difficulties to have a quiet environment to learn better and get a customized education.
-Promote a continuous dialogue with local education authorities to have “Education for All” on the agenda.