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Inclusive Futures wins Zero Project award for work on education

Kenya Nepal

Inclusive Futures has won a global award for its work on collaborating with organisations of people with disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is part of the Inclusive Futures initiative, led by Sightsavers and funded by UK Aid, which is working to ensure no one is left behind.

Bimal, Milan's teacher, comes twice a week to her home, and her mother also takes part in some of the play activities. |

Thanks to HI's "Inclusive Futures" project in Nepal, Bimal, Milan's teacher, can come twice a week to his home and support him | © P. Gairapipli

Inclusive Futures has won a global award for its work on collaborating with organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) across inclusive education projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Tanzania. HI runs activities in Nepal and Kenya.

The Zero Project awards recognise innovative and scalable solutions to disability inclusion from around the world and are announced on International Day of People with Disabilities on 3 December.

People with disabilities and their representative organisations are often left out of decision-making in mainstream development programmes. This can result in a lack of local ownership and unsustained benefits for people with disabilities.

Under the UK aid-funded Disability Inclusive Development programme, Inclusive Futures has committed to ensuring OPDs have a central role in how the eleven partner organisations in the consortium design, implement, monitor and evaluate their projects. To make its engagement with disability organisations meaningful, and not tokenistic, the inclusive future intiative provides them with resources and support in exchange for their expertise. It also ensures that our OPD and consortium partners learn from one another about how they can strengthen their organisational practices to deliver more inclusive development.

Through its inclusive education projects, the initiative tackles the barriers that prevent children with disabilities from attending school, including those with multiple  and complex disabilities and other learning support needs. So far, the programme has supported nearly 1,700 children with disabilities to access education in five countries.

OPDs have a critical role in co-creating and carrying out our inclusive education project activities, including:

  • Doing community outreach to identify children with disabilities and encouraging families and caregivers to enrol them in regular schools;
  • Providing peer-to-peer support for parents and linking them to health and social services, so their children can access government-supported disability benefits and social protection schemes;
  • Sharing guidance with teachers, school-based management committees and teacher-parent associations on how they can make learning accessible for children with different disabilities;
  • Working alongside education officials in government committees, to influence policy-making on inclusive education provision at a local and national level.

Speaking about the award, Inclusive Futures programme director Johannes Trimmel, said:

“We’re delighted to receive this award. When people with disabilities and their representative organisations are left out of development programmes, they are more likely to be left behind their peers, and are also more likely to be left out of shaping and transforming the society they live in. By actively participating in our programme, OPDs have not only helped to remove the barriers to children with disabilities accessing our education projects, but they have also helped to transform mindsets within the education sectors and communities where we work. This will help to ensure that people with disabilities are included beyond the life-span of our projects.”

The Zero Project awards is be presented at the Zero Project conference in Vienna in February 2024.

Date published: 15/02/24


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