|Project Name||Promoting School and Home-Based learning for Children with Disabilities (CWDs) in low Resource residentialAareas during COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya|
|Commisioned by||German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)|
|Implementing Organisation||Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) – www.kara.or.ke|
|Duration||December 2021 – May 2023|
Lack of Quality Education for Children with Disabilities: The Kenyan legislative guarantees quality education for children with disabilities. Nevertheless, inadequate funding, limited social support structures, and shortage of teachers with skills to teach children with disabilities, are hampering access to inclusive education. Especially in low-income urban areas the provision of early child development programmes for children with disabilities remains challenging and calls for governmental initiatives.
Community-based Educational Services: Low-cost Early Education Development (ECD) centres have been set up by several individuals, religious and community-based organizations in informal settlements. Children with disabilities rely on these as well as on home-based programmes managed by CBOs, private individuals and community schools in order to receive education and services. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of the centres and schools to close, cutting off access to various services needed by children with disabilities. As a result, many families with children with a disabilitiy living in informal settlements are not able to access education and support services.
The project’s objective is to provide learning opportunities for children living with a disability through the implementation of specific targeted learning materials. Therefore, the project implements digital learning mechanisms that responds to the needs of learners with disabilities and their caregivers.
The Target Group
The main target group are children with physical and intellectual disabilities (in and out of school) in four selected informal settlements in Nairobi.
The project aims to support caregivers or parents who are responsible to foster learning and access of services to children with disabilities. Additionally, early child education teachers are targeted through specific training and adequate in-service professional development on inclusive education.
The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) is an umbrella body founded in 2000 representing the voice and proactive action of Resident Associations on consumers and taxpayers’ rights in Kenya. Its mission is to inculcate partnerships and promote good governance, transparency, accountability, and ethical practice in public service delivery for all society members.
Launching an Inclusive Digital Learning Platform: In collaboration with innovators, KARA launches an Inclusive Digital Learning Platform (IDLP), that provides accessible child-friendly educational materials and stories for early literacy. Via the IDLP, learners can access age and (dis-)ability appropriate educational content designed for all persons but explicitly to children living a disability. The platform can be used as a tool at schools and as additional learning resource to be used at home.
Building Capacities of Teachers: The project builds capacities of teachers and caregivers in adopting and utilizing innovative inclusive early childhood education programs for children with disabilities. The platform helps teachers and parents to access resources, communicate, and to support learners with disabilities in their early years as well as accessing essential services provided by or promoted through ECD centers. The latter referring to primary healthcare, nutrition, responsive care, safety and securing (child protection) alongside opportunities for learning.
Sharing Knowledge: A key component of the inclusive digital learning platform is a knowledge sharing and exchange function, where stakeholders can meet to share information, innovation, and best practices related to inclusive education policy and programming and to inform knowledge gaps and policy priorities.
Raising Awareness: KARA raises awareness about the learning needs of children with disabilities and available inclusive learning materials on the digital platform to help address negative attitudes and norms and essential service within the communities.
- An Inclusive Digital Learning Platfrom is developed
- 1080 teachers and caregivers are trained and supported in utilizing the child with disability friendly learning materials and the digital learning platform
- 800 Children with or without disabilities receive access to schools and home-based education and community support services
- 8 community mobilisation and sensitisation forums on access to education and services for children with disabilities are conducted
I believe in a world where children, women, boys and girls with disabilities live free from violence, exploitation, and discrimination and have equal opportunities to succeed. Our partnership with GIZ under the recover better support fund has so far enabled us to reach out to parents, teachers and caregivers in marginalized communities to cater to the unique learning needs of children with disabilities.