Play programmes are the best strategy for 'low-income' countries

We have spoken at great length about why play programmes are such a fantastic, transformative approach which bring the most isolated people on our planet, out of isolation and into a supportive environment where they thrive. For some, playschemes are literally life-saving. 

Dis-empowering assumptions and how we challenge them

‘Empowerment’ is a word that is now thrown around liberally in the field of international development. NGOs working in the poorest parts of the planet like to declare that they are empowering the people that their programmes target. And yet, the fact remains that charity, aid and international development can actually be dis-empowering to the people that they seek to help. 

Communication is everything

People often ask us, “When you say you work with disabled people do you mean physical or . . .” and then it arrives; the look of mild anxiety as the person grapples in vain to find, what they are sure must be the politically correct term for “the others”! 

Redefining ‘sustainability’

But even amongst people who agree that sustainability in international development projects is absolutely vital, there are disagreements over how it should be defined.

What is sustainability and why is it important?

‘Sustainability’ is probably the greatest and most important challenge for international development actors of all sizes.

Inclusion - A better response to poverty

Much international aid is directed, quite rightly, at the alleviation of poverty. But we, at Disability Africa, observe a tendency to ‘mainstream’ this practice to the exclusion of more thoughtful approaches. We see this working to the detriment of some marginalised groups, especially disabled children.

‘Isn’t it just too difficult and too expensive to include disabled people?’

This view is often implied in discussions about disability, Africa and development. But the case for inclusion is economic, social and above all moral. We should view it as an opportunity rather than an expense. 

"Why only disabled children? Doesn't every child matter?"

Good question. For sure, no child deserves to be excluded. And this is exactly why we target our projects at disabled children in Africa. 

"I’ve never thought about disabled children in Africa”

 Is this you? Don't worry, you're definitely not alone.

Millions of children are left behind - this idea could change everything

We were recently asked: ‘Why are you working on projects in several countries? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to concentrate on just one country?’

It’s a really good question and it deserves an answer. So here goes.

The paralysing effects of pity

At Disability Africa, we try to think things through before we act. We do get emotional sometimes, but we try never to let that guide our strategy. 

The ones left behind

It’s a pretty terrible statistic that only 2% of disabled children in Africa attend school, so wherever we go, we are always keen to have the conversation.

Inclusive education in Africa: Look beyond the school gates

Only 2% of disabled children in Africa are attending school. This clearly isn't good enough. But what is inclusive education? Well, it's about much more than just being in the same room. We need to consider the complex reasons why disabled children are denied their right to a quality education and adopt a child-centred approach which looks beyond simple statistics.

The other inauguration: a new, inclusive Gambia?

The other inauguration: a new, inclusive Gambia?

Tom Barton: The 20th January 2017 will be remembered as the day on which Donald Trump assumed the office of the President of The United States. But on the West African coast, some equally momentous and unlikely political events have been unfolding, which should not go unrecognised.