Increasing Survival and Reducing Poverty of Adults and Children with Disabilities in Malawi.
FEDOMA is implementing a School inclusion project with funding from DFID though Motivation Charitable Trust. The project is titled; Increasing Survival and Reducing Poverty of Adults and Children with Disabilities in Malawi. The project is in its second year and is expected to wind up in March 2017. Currently, Patric Ulaya is the coordinator of the project which has PODCAM and MACOHA as other implementing partners.
Donor: DFID through Motivation Charitable Trust
Implementing Partners: FEDOMA, PODCAM and MACOHA,MAP,Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital
Districts: Blantyre, Machinga, Dedza, Lilongwe and Rumphi.
T/As: Kuntaja, Chikweo, Kaphuka, Chitukula and Chiayembe
25 Schools were selected, that is, 5 schools per district where parents were to be trained in inclusion. Out of those 25 schools, 15 were recommended for inclusion trainings that targeted school teachers as well as community representatives. Further to this 10 schools, have been earmarked for school infrastructure modifications.
Key objective of the project relates to promoting equal access to education amongst learners. The idea is that learners with physical disabilities, mostly those who uses wheelchair are attending classes without barriers.
The objective is expected to be achieved through training of parents of children with disabilities on how to encourage their children to attend schools, training communities within the selected schools in inclusion practices and training teachers in the selected schools in inclusion. Further to this, the inclusive objective will be achieved through modification of some infrastructures in selected schools so that the schools are accessible to learners on wheelchairs.
FEDOMA’s role is that of facilitating the inclusion trainings through inclusion trainers, conducting access audit in schools in readiness for modifications. FEDOMA is the organisation that is responsible for modification of schools.
Parents of Disabled Children Association of Malawi (PODCAM) is responsible for conducting parents/guardians training on caring of cerebral palsy(CP) and other physically disabled children. Malawi Council for the Handicap (MACOHA) is responsible for self help groups mobilisation where these parents/guardians assemble for discussions of disability issues.
Principle beneficiaries of the project are children with disabilities. However persons with disabilities are also beneficiaries since they will benefit from the modified classes in terms of participating in community based meetings at these school premises.
Community in general will benefit in the project since their children with disabilities, mostly those who use wheelchairs, will be assisted to acquire basic education which will be a step towards higher education and therefore self reliance.
Primary school teachers are expected to gain knowledge in inclusion which will assist them to reach out to learners with disabilities on equal basis with others. As such primary school teachers are also beneficiaries of the intervention.
The initiative intends to achieve the following during the two year period that it is being implemented:
Increase in enrollment in the selected schools regarding learners who uses wheelchairs.
Increased retention rate for learners with disabilities in the selected schools.
Decrease in absenteeism amongst targeted learners.
More positive perception towards learners with disabilities amongst teachers participating in the project
Parents encouraging their children with disabilities to go to school.
Communities monitoring progress of learners with disabilities in the selected schools