Jul 05, 2024

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Children with Special Needs: Addressing Barriers to Education

By YIDA Youth Initiative.

Children with special needs are often overlooked, which limits their access to education. They face persistent barriers stemming from discrimination, stigma, and an inability to participate fully in society. These challenges sometimes prevent children with special needs from attending school regularly, and some even drop out.

At YIDA Youth Initiative, we recognize the unique value of all children and focus on creating highly tailored learning environments that meet the diverse needs of all learners, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

In our schools, Youth Initiative Kindergarten and Youth Initiative Primary School, we have various interventions designed to meet the unique learning needs of children with special needs. These interventions include building accessible infrastructure, such as classrooms and toilets with ramps, making them easily accessible to children with physical disabilities. Additionally, we collaborate with other organizations operating in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, such as Finn Church Aid and Alight, by referring some cases of children with special needs to ensure they receive the full support required.

Notably, our teachers are continuously supported with professional development programs to ensure that teaching strategies are both inclusive and impactful, catering to each learner's unique style. Through the child-friendly space at our Early Childhood Development Center, Youth Initiative Kindergarten provides a safe environment for our students and those from the community to participate in supervised, structured play activities. This has promoted social skills and reduced cases of discrimination and isolation among children with special needs. Our school leaders and teachers have established open communication with parents of children with special needs through weekly community visits, helping them better understand these children's strengths and weaknesses.

Despite our efforts to support children with special needs in accessing education, we face several challenges. Among these are the lack of trained special needs teachers, long distances to school where transport is still an obstacle, and inadequate instructional and play materials, which limit the active engagement of children with special needs.

To ensure the sustainability of our efforts and that children with special needs remain in school, we have partnered with various organizations, such as ADRA, which offers scholarships to some of these children.

Class teacher of grade one class giving individual support to Salima Kyalikunda , a child with epilepsy and muscular dystrophy.

At YIDA Youth Initiative, we are committed to breaking down barriers and providing every child with the opportunity to learn and thrive. However, we cannot do it alone. Your support is crucial in helping us create inclusive and accessible educational environments for children with special needs. By donating to our cause, you can make a significant difference in the lives of these children, enabling them to overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

Join us in our mission to ensure that no child is left behind. Donate today and help us build a brighter future for all children.

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