The Kawama Inclusion Project (KIP)
In Zambia, southern Africa, 64% of the population live in poverty. It is in Zambia’s Copperbelt region that we can find Kawama, a large suburb on the edge of the city of Ndola. It is a poor district, with a dense population of approximately 27,000. The Kawama Inclusion Project is delivered in partnership with Wukwashi Wa Nzambi (WWN), a local NGO based in Kitwe. WWN has conducted community-based work in this region since 2005, and is experienced in training volunteers, delivering physiotherapy, supporting disabled children into education, and providing social support for parents. The KIP has now been running for two years, and demand for our support is growing all the time.
The KIP provides:
Currently, the KIP playscheme runs twice a week; it is attended by about 35 children and 12 community volunteers each day. A dedicated ‘play-centre’ is under construction and new accessible play equipment will be provided. We are also supporting WWN to train more young volunteers as playworkers for the project. This level of support was previously unprecedented in Kawama, but there is a long way to go to reach every child and family that needs support.
Medical Support and Physiotherapy
Our playschemes provide an opportunity for primary healthcare assessments. From here, we can help children to access local healthcare providers for treatment, medication, medical equipment, and support; where necessary, we can assist with access to surgery at the Beit CURE Hospital in Lusaka (Zambia’s capital city). Our volunteers and parents are trained to deliver basic physiotherapy. We have also been able to provide mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs and standing frames. This area of our provision is crucial in removing barriers to longer, healthier, and more independent lives for disabled children in Kawam
Parent Support and Community Awareness
Social support is vital for parents of disabled children – especially in Zambia, where traditional negative beliefs can cause devastating stigma for these families. In recognition of this, we provide a Parent Support Group, which offers a much-needed opportunity for advice, information, and peer support. Volunteers also conduct home visits to support parents one-to-one. Importantly, WWN and the community volunteers work to promote disability awareness, and the idea of inclusion throughout the community; this saves lives.
The KIP aims to improve the almost non-existent participation of disabled children in education. WWN has extensive experience of supporting disabled children into education and has established its own school for disabled children in Kitwe. The KIP has already supported children into primary, secondary and skills-centre education. Our next move is to work within schools to establish ‘Inclusion Clubs’. The aim is to inspire non-disabled students to help find their absent and isolated disabled peers and begin to include them in education.
The Ngwerere Inclusion Project (NIP)
Ngwerere is a rural district eight miles north-east of the city of Lusaka; its residents are mainly either subsistence farmers or workers on large agricultural estates. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, a community like Ngwerere will be home to up to 1000 disabled young people. At present though, not a single disabled child is enrolled at either of the large schools serving the area, where teachers complain that they do not have the training or the resources to include them. That’s why in late 2018, WWN established a project in Ngwerere, identical to the one in Kawama.
So far, the NIP has registered 24 disabled young people. They are all benefiting from our inclusive playscheme which runs once a week - in 2019, we will be looking to expand this. We will also be looking to strengthen and grow our ancillary programmes so that disabled young people and their families have the medical, educational and social support that they need.