Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT

Access to education for refugee children with disabilities

The mission of this pilot project is to improve the access to education for refugee children with disabilities in the refugee camp of Gihembe (rural area) as well as in the town of Kigali (urban area) in Rwanda. After a pilot study, the initiative will share the results of the study during a dissemination meeting with the main partners, which includes the Minister for the Management of Disasters and Refugees (MIDIMAR), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPWD), and other international organizations working on refugee issues in Rwanda.

“The project seeks to improve the access to education for refugee children with disabilities in the Gihembe refugee camp and in Kigali city.”

Ebengo MUZALIWA ANGELOHead of Project
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Access to education for refugee children with disabilities
Organisation:Initiative for Refugees living with Disability (IRD)

of Implementation


  • The project addresses the needs 115 students – 67 boys and 47 girls.
  • The IRD organized a two-day training (11–12 June 2015) with the participation of 30 people – the majority of whom were refugees.


In a country where 12 years of basic education is compulsory, the project promotes an accessible learning environment for students with disabilities by removing barriers and building appropriate infrastructure; by adapting teaching methods and materials; and by providing the necessary support tools. In addition, special trainings enable teachers to manage their classrooms more successfully, and sensitises both teachers and students regarding disability issues and how best to interact with disabled students so as to fight against stigmatization.


The effort to promote Inclusive Education includes: (1) identification of refugees with disabilities (RWDs) and an assessment of their needs and barriers to education; (2) sensitization of parents/caregivers of refugees with disabilities and of community leaders so that they consider refugees with disabilities like any other person and provide them with due care and rights, including the right to a mainstream education; (3) advocacy for the integration of the issues concerning refugees with disabilities into the annual programmes of the stakeholders (MIDIMAR and UNHCR) together with their partners (MINEDUC and OPWDs); (4) providing training of teachers and education staff on managing children with disabilities in the mainstream education system; and (5) conducting regular consultations with RWDs, their parents/caregivers, and all Stakeholders.


The IRD needs support to continue and reinforce its efforts to improve access to education for disabled refugee children in the Gihembe camp and in Kigali, as well as to support them with handicap schooling and reinforce their capacities. In addition, IRD needs support for research regarding best practices and to measure the impact of the Projects.


Initiative for Refugees living with Disability (IRD)
+250 788762188