Good Neighbours UK supports projects that improve the access of vulnerable children to quality education, particularly children living with physical disabilities.
In 2022 Good Neighbours UK in Partnership with Good Neighbors Nepal began a project to provide children living with physical disabilities in the Dhanusha and Mahottari districts of Nepal with access to education. One year on we have now completed the project.
After seeking funding, we started by carrying out a baseline survey and a needs assessment with meetings and discussions with teachers and parents at five schools. It was clear that we needed to firstly support the development of infrastructure so that physically disabled children can access classrooms, toilets, and hand washing facilities. The work, designed in conjunction with the community, consisted of the construction of a ramps with slip proof flooring to provide access to classrooms, toilets and handwashing facilities. In addition, we agreed to provide assistive devices such as ankle foot orthosis, above elbow prosthesis, knee gaiters and axillary crutches.
The project went on to support 57 disabled children to attend school by providing them with assistive devices and learning materials. We also made 6 schools accessible by upgrading infrastructure.
Good Neighbours looks at all areas of community development over the long term, so alongside the infrastructure we worked on teacher training around inclusive pedagogy and also the delivery of psychosocial support to disabled children. 89 teachers and education providers were trained in inclusive education. We also engaged local communities to promote the rights of people living with disability and worked with local governments to ensure their policies are inclusive.
Aadarsh Kumar Mandal (aged 6) says “If I was thirsty, I had to wait a long time to get help to get drinking water since I only have one hand. My friends had to lift me up so I could reach the taps to get water, but now with the new water tap it has become easy to drink. This has made me and my friends very happy.”
Nirmala Kumari (teacher) remarked “Previously, inclusive teaching learning in school was not heart felt. But, after participating in inclusive education training and inclusive classroom teaching, we have introduced inclusive classroom teaching and learning practices across the school.’’
Shital Prasad Goit (headteacher) “We are happy now to have an adequate infrastructure, classrooms, furniture, a computer and science lab, a library and other teaching-learning and playing materials. Now, when we construct a new school building, we will consider children with disabilities. Now our disabled students are very happy due to construction of a disabled-friendly drinking water tap.”