Worldwide, over 57 million children of primary school age remain out of school and more than half of these children live in sub-Sahara Africa. According to the Ugandan legal framework, all children should be given free and accessible education. However, there appears to be a discrepancy between the policy and practice; in the Kabarole District of Uganda (where K4C is based), 82.4% of children with disabilities are reported to be out of school. The reasons for this are complex and include political factors (such as lacking demographic data and funding), physical barriers (such as inadequate infrastructure and a lack of assistive devices and transport) and social barriers (such as lacking understanding and awareness of disability within wider society).
Despite being primarily a health focused organisation, K4C recognises the importance of education and the negative impact that poor access to education can have on a child’s life opportunities, economic empowerment and subsequently their health needs. We decided to expand our activities to include primary education in 2018. We have focused initially on improving access to education for disabled children, in recognition of the additional challenges faced in this area and the closer link to our experience and capacity in physical and mental health.
We currently support several Community Based Organisations (CBOs) working in this field; these include the Youth and Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YAWE), the Agency for Community Development and Welfare (ACODEWE) and Kyaninga Children’s Development Centre (KCDC). We are also in the process of negotiating a new and exciting partnership with ‘Kids Club Kampala’ which promotes educational opportunities for vulnerable children living in slum areas of Kampala. More information on our CBO partnerships can be found here.
K4C has directly supported Canon Apollo Primary School which caters for children with physical and mental disabilities. Our work at Canon Apollo has included infrastructural developments, facility refurbishments, the provision of computing equipment and learning aides, providing social work support for families and research collaborations. More information on our work at Canon Apollo School can be found here.