In Sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of disabilities in children aged 0 – 14 years is unkown, with published estimates ranging from 6% to over 20%. What’s more, 90-98% of children with special needs are assumed to be out of school. This leads to incredibly low literacy rates (only 3% of adults with special needs in Sub-Saharan Africa are literate) and severely limited professional opportunities.
To overcome these challenges, children with special needs require the same opportunities to attend formal school and learn in inclusive environments. Through the Home-Based Education Programme, we provide individualised education plans for children and their families with the objective of seeing 75% of children enrol in primary schools. These education-plans are delivered firstly in children’s homes, in conjunction with their parents, by community caregivers who have received extensive training on the biological, psychological and social challenges faced by children with special needs.
In 2022, we have a total of 197 children registered in our Home-based Education Programme, with 66% of children enrolled in formal primary schools from a baseline of 55% across all cohorts and all sites. We have made significant strides over the last few years, with 16 teachers’ assistants now trained and deployed to primary schools to implement inclusive education, projects to assist our caregivers in their own income generation, we’ve partnered with our local social welfare departments, we facilitate medical interventions for children who need consultations and operations, we provide nutrition plans and alternative therapies for children, and we offer individual counselling and group support sessions to parents.
Baseline vs Endline/Current Developmental Capacity out of 15 Developmental Metrics by Cohort and Site
Families’ Monthly Income in Zambian Kwacha Before their Children were Enrolled vs. Upon Graduation by Cohort and Site