Inclusive Education and Life Skills

APPCO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT – ECD:

African Partners for Child Poverty – APPCO ECD interventions focus on early child development to support the healthy growth and development of children under 5 which is seen as the most critical pre-condition for the full realization of their potential during adulthood.

Our intervention approach aims at increasing the number of children with disabilities enrolled in early childhood education. Using evidence-based data, it will also contribute to increasing the awareness of families, caregivers, decision-makers, and community leaders about inclusive education rights, opportunities, and the importance of school-family collaboration.

Recognizing the Needs for Children with Disabilities in ECD:

While the identification of children with developmental delays or disabilities is critical for the development of policies, strategic planning, and service provision, it is important to acknowledge that children with disabilities rarely think of themselves as disabled. Therefore, working with children with disabilities requires carefully tailored approaches. Labeling a child solely in terms of their health condition should be avoided. They are children first and aspire to participate in a normal family and peer-group activities. Our approach intends to raise ECD enrolment, improve psychosocial and cognitive development, and the increasing number of mothers practicing appropriate childcare including nutrition feeding at ECD centers.

APPCO Intervention Areas under Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Development:

Therapy services, including Assistive Devices

Therapy services aim to optimize a child’s development and ability to participate in family and community life by providing structured opportunities to practice skills appropriate to the child’s current developmental level. Our Service provision includes a combination of center- and home-based interventions with the active involvement of parents and/or other family members.

Where available, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) services can assist in establishing a bridge between center-based services and the home environment. Therapy interventions for young children include therapeutic activities based around play and other activities; functional training to work on skills required for independence in everyday activities; education for parents to help them better understand their child’s disability and their role; prescription and provision of assistive devices including user training; and modifications to the home and school environments. Interventions that allow the acquisition of even basic skills, such as helping a child with a disability learn to feed or dress himself or herself, can lead to a growing sense of independence and competency and reduce the burden on other family members.

APPCO Family Based Service Model:

Families are critical to the development and protection of their children and a close child caregiver

bond is important for both children with and without disabilities. Inclusion begins in the home environment during the early years and later broadens to school and community settings. Our Family services approach aims to provide families with the knowledge, skills, and support to meet and advocate for the needs and rights of their child in all settings. APPCO coordinates with service providers to work closely with families to design and implement interventions that are culturally appropriate and meet their needs.

Following early identification and assessment, many parents/caregivers of children with disabilities will require information about their child’s disability and development progress, what steps they can and should take, and the resources available for support and treatment. Recognizing that formal assessment processes are often delayed or not available, the provision of information for parents is critical during the early stages of support and intervention. Our model in information sharing with families educates parents

and other family members and that promotes constructive dialogue within the family and community.

APPCO EDUCATION IN EMERGENCY:

Education in emergencies is a critical, life-saving response that works to protect children in conflict and natural disasters, and preserve their right to education. APPCO’s education Programmes in emergencies respond to the needs of children, parents, communities, and education officials. Before a disaster, we work with schools and families to strengthen community-based protection mechanisms through preparedness and planning, conflict education mitigation, and peacebuilding.

APPCO under this theme covers basic quality education (both formal and informal), early childhood care and development (ECCD), and Education in Emergencies. Our program aims at creating an opportunity for deprived young children to attend quality inclusive early childhood care and development and transition successfully into basic education. Education in Emergencies intervention creates access to education for children affected by emergencies and living in refugee camps.

Girls’ Education

Poverty, discrimination, and exploitation keep millions of girls out of school. What’s more, half of all girls in Uganda don’t even finish primary school.

There are many barriers to educating girls. Some must work to help their families or stay home to care for younger siblings. Other girls simply don’t have the money for educational fees or school uniforms. Parents and communities may not understand the importance and benefits of girls’ education, or schools may not be safe places, especially for girls and other children that experience marginalization. Child Marriage may keep girls out of school too and infringe on rights to the enjoyment of civil liberties in society.

Girls and boys have the right to education. APPCO works to get girls into school, make sure they stay in school, and supports their academic success by promoting an equitable school environment that encourages learning for both girls and boys.

We work with all stakeholders in a girl’s life – governments, families, schools, churches, traditional leadership, boys and men, and the girls themselves – to create multi-layered, holistic, and sustainable Programs that target the barriers to girl’s access to education, retention in school and learning outcomes.