Growing up with a disability in Malawi is tough. Children with disabilities often become isolated as a result of stigma, and they are often face barriers in attending school. This leads to greater exclusion and children with disabilities being unable to reach their potential. We recently held a training for volunteers at the community-based childcare centres in Chilaweni to improve inclusion. There is also a separate centre in Chilaweni that focuses on children with disabilities – who weren’t being included in other centres and decided to set up their own. The volunteers from this centre, some of whom are living with disabilities, also attended the training.
The training was led by a specialist in Special Educational Needs from a nearby international school. Specific strategies for including children with autism, Down syndrome, visual impairment and cerebral palsy were discussed and volunteers were able to think about how to effectively include children with disabilities in the day to day activities of out community-based childcare centres. The response from volunteers to this inclusive training was amazing, and we hope that children with disabilities will increasingly be to attend the community-based childcare centres in Chilaweni and also benefit from the nutrition, health care and education that these centres provide.
This activity is part of a project funded by UK aid from the UK government.