Ewakisi (let’s include) is taking shape in Karamoja!
The Ewakisi (let’s include) Project is a one-year project implemented by Restless Development Uganda with technical support from Light for the World through the Make 12.4% Work Initiative. The project aims at gathering information about disability inclusion in formal education structures and economic systems as well as raising awareness about the critical need to include young persons with disabilities in these two spheres. The project started on the 1st of March 2019 and will run up to 28th of February 2020 in all 5 districts in the Karamoja sub-region (Abim, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit).
Ewakisi is driven by a team of Youth Communtiy Researchers (YCRs), both with and without disabilities, working together to gather information about the current barriers (specifically on attitudes, communication, accessibility and policies) that young people with disabilities face in accessing education and making a decent and sustainable living.
Following the selection and training of the YCRs (with our pool of Disability Inclusion Facilitators from the Karamoja region included), a mapping exercise ensued led by our DIFs.
The Mapping Exercise, conducted from 21-30th of July 2019, aimed at identifying 60 community structures including educational institutions, private sector actors, Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and development actors in the 5 districts involved in the project.
The structures identified were informed about the objectives and key activities of the project as well as assessed on their willingness and potential to act as ambassadors on the project.
Selection Criteria for Ambassadors
- Efforts already made on inclusion: number of persons with disabilities already included as project beneficiaries (for development actors), learners (for educational institutions), target groups/customers (private sector actors) and as employees (for all structures) as well as any other actions done garnered towards promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Expectations: what the particular organisation hoped to gain from being part of the Ewakisi Project. This criteria purposefully weeded out unrealistic expectations and misguided intentions.
- From the DIF’s observation and recommendations: willingness of the structure to participate in the Ewakisi Project (rated on a scale of 1-5) and the potential impact of the particular organisation being part of the project.
Disability Inclusion Assessment and Action Planning
In October, 18 disability inclusion ambassadors identified during the mapping exercise were assessed on their disability inclusiveness using a Disability Inclusion Scoring Card and an accessibility audit tool. For each ambassador, a Disability Inclusion Action Plan was developed containing simple actions that could be taken within three months to take them a step closer to being a disability inclusive organisation.
Each ambassador will have a disability awareness training tailor-made to suit their specific contexts, needs and areas for support (on disability inclusion) identified during the assessments. They will also receive two monitoring visits to foll
ow up on their progress in implementing actions stated in their Action Plans. These monitoring visits will also serve as opportunities for additional coaching and support.