Inclusive education programme for children with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa
- Country of Implementation
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Start Year
- First published
“May ADED, which is changing the lives of our disabled children, grow and its works spread and be known throughout the world.” Madam Nabinto Mbomba Marie, mother of Camade Muhonge, one of the supported children having been treated for cataracts and having fully recovered vision
Appui au Développement de l’Enfant en Détresse (ADED), an NGO based in the DRC, implemented a programme called Tunafasi in the Uvira region to provide quality inclusive education to children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Tunafasi adapted the ‘Inspire2Care’ model of Nepal’s Karuna Foundation, improving the accessibility of facilities, training staff, and organizing self-help groups for parents. Between 2020 and 2023, Tunafasi raised the school attendance of children with disabilities from 5 per cent to 68.5 per cent in its region.
In the Uvira region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, children with disabilities face barriers to receiving a quality education, including non-accessible classrooms and teaching methods, societal stigma, and the challenges posed by poverty.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
ADED has implemented the Tunafasi programme, a replication of the ‘Inspire2Care’ model of Nepal’s Karuna Foundation adapted to the unique context of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The multifaceted and inclusive programme fosters the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream education by collaborating with the schools to improve their accessibility, delivering specialized training to teachers and staff in the art of inclusive teaching, and supplying proper materials and tools. Tunafasi actively engages in community-based inclusive development by empowering parents and families through the establishment of self-help groups. Additionally, it enhances the employment potential of young people with disabilities through technical and vocational training programmes and connecting them to organize disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs). From its inception in 2020 to 2023 the programme has substantially increased school attendance rates among children with disabilities in the region. It has also been instrumental in the creation of 36 self-help groups, uniting families and supporting over 700 children with disabilities. By 2022, 167 students had received technical and vocational training, organized within four DPOs.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Tunafasi’s support is a mix of public funding by the government and by philanthropic grants from Stichting Impaction, Bezev, and the Liliane Foundation (Netherlands). Parents of children and youth with disabilities contribute as well. The programme operates in close collaboration with the DRC Government and local authorities. These authorities have adopted the community-based inclusive development strategy within the government, effectively influencing public policies. In 2022, Tunafasi was replicated with promising results in two other regions of the DRC, and it has inspired a programme in Tanzania. (Awardee 2024)