We’re currently seeking funding for a national roll out of our Early Childhood Education project in Malawi, which would impact children with disabilities in 28 districts.

We launched an Early Childhood Education (ECD) project in Malawi upon establishing a partnership with FEDOMA in 2020. The project aims to give children with disabilities the best start in life through the provision of community-based early education and early identification. Using existing community-based childcare centres as hubs, the project will train staff in disability awareness and inclusive education, while creating parent support groups to bring together parents of children with disabilities and provide them with disability awareness training and opportunities for income generation.

Within the project, children with disabilities are invited to attend disability-inclusive play schemes, which use the power of play to promote inclusion. We also conduct home mentoring visits by support workers and develop a disability screening tool which will allow earlier identification of children with disabilities. The aim is that this approach will be rolled out across Malawi and so to prepare for this, the project has a heavy advocacy focus, including extensive training of government workers in disability inclusion and rights.

A recent success of this project saw 358 community members actively participating in a ‘raising awareness’ session, equipping them with the skills to promote the rights and responsibilities of children with disabilities in the community.

The training also encouraged community members to report any kind of abuse of children with disability, specifically targeting community leaders to eliminate the ‘hiding away’ of children with disabilities and to raise awareness of the national laws that are in place to protect the lives of children with disabilities in their communities.

We are looking forward to track the exponential impact of this project as it is scaled up across the country.

If you are interested in supporting the funding of this project, get in touch with elissa@www.ablechild.org.uk.uk.

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