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Tanzania Education

disability activists

The people behind the project.

Meet the activists, teachers and community members who have helped more disabled children in Tanzania go to school.

Millions of disabled children are being denied their right to an education.

Since 2012, we’ve been partnering with organisations of disability activists in Tanzania to tackle stigma, transform attitudes and support the right of every child to access an education. The success of this project has proven how societies can become more inclusive and how, with the right support and education, children with disabilities have the potential to thrive and build futures filled with opportunities.

Get to know some of the remarkable people that we partner with.

Doto, teacher.

"I have been teaching my pre-primary class for almost a year now and for the first time I have a student with a disability in my class. I feel very happy and proud when teaching him because if he just stayed at home, he wouldn’t know all the things he knows now. I’m grateful with the training I received because for now I’m able to prepare teaching materials for children with disabilities. For instance, I can prepare learning materials for students with visual impairment."

disability activist

Rashid, disability activist.

"In 2009 I helped form SHIVYAWATA, the umbrella organisation of disability activists. If disabled people didn't have groups to allow us to speak out, to have the same voice, then we would be left behind with no help. One of the main responsibilities of SHIVYAWATA is advocating equality and rights for people with special needs. Since we started working on inclusive education project in Tanzania, there have been a lot of improvements. The community now is more aware about inclusive education and more parents are motivated to take their children with disabilities to school."

Zuhura, disability activist.

“ADD has improved our confidence in expressing ourselves and overcoming fear. Now we can go anywhere, to any government office to meet with top government officials at district level. Back in the day, we didn’t have that confidence or that courage. As a result, we only managed to speak to lower level decision makers who could have less impact."

district education officer

Siporah, District Education Officer.

“My role as Education Officer includes taking care the welfare of the teachers, and also to make sure that all policies from the government regarding roles, schools, regulations, and everything concerning education are well implemented. ADD International for sure helps to shape the government policies. For instance, when ADD International initiated this project to identify children with disabilities in specific regions, the government adapted it for the whole country. ADD International has awoken us that there’s a need of taking children with disabilities to school.”

Faith, teacher.

“ADD International’s trainings have helped me understand how to work with students with disability more effectively. They have also helped me to educate my fellow teachers from higher classes who will later take my students into their classes, so that they can teach them well. Before being trained in Inclusive Education, I was one of those people who had no love for students with disabilities. But now, I am aware of how to help children with different types of impairments. These trainings have helped me to restore my love for these children, and to educate others who believe children with disabilities aren’t needed in the community. That’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

Joseph, District Education Officer.

" I work with ADD International and SHIVYAWATA to motivate people in the community by telling them that, children with disabilities have the right to an education. When you look back at the days before this project, parents were not aware that even young children with disabilities could be sent to school. ADD International has helped us reach these parents, and as a result, they are now aware that, regardless of their child’s disability, these young children can also be taken to school, and study like other children. I feel very happy when doing this type of sensitization work to convince parents to let their children go to school, especially when the parents finally agree to it.”

mother and daughter

Happiness, parent.

"Education is very important for my daughter Anastasia, and her disability shouldn't be an obstacle for her to get education. Anastasia can’t talk but with education, she can effectively communicate with writing. If there’s a “Danger Sign” somewhere, she will know because she’ll be able to read as well. But on top of that, an education will be very helpful for her life. If you have a child with disability and you’re alone, you feel completely alone. But through ADD’s different seminars which I have been invited to attend, I have learned a lot of things. Now I understand different types of disabilities, how she should live, how to help her, what to avoid and the advantages of sending a child to school."