Right to inclusion and livelihood: improved access to education and social resources for youth with disability in Kenema, Sierra Leone
Ingeniører uden Grænser (IUG)
Indsatsen vedrører følgende verdensmål:
- Mål 4: Kvalitetsuddannelse
- Mål 8: Anstændige jobs og økonomisk vækst
- Mål 10: Mindre ulighed
- Mål 16: Fred, retfærdighed og stærke institutioner
- Mål 17: Partnerskaber for handling
Indsatsen foregår i følgende lande:
- Sierra Leone
- Opportunity Training Centre
Overordnede mål :
This project aims to contribute to the fulfilment of the right to education, the right to livelihood and access to resources for people with disability in Kenema, Sierra Leone, as set forth in the UNCRPD and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will be done through working with local partner Opportunity Training Centre (OTC) on advocacy and outreach regarding the rights and inclusion of persons with disability into society, and through strengthening their position as a provider of education and skills training to establish a livelihood and thereby immensely improve living conditions for this marginalised group.
Umiddelbare mål :
Engineers without Borders Denmark has since 2017 worked together with the OTC in Kenema, Sierra Leone. The OTC is a vocational training centre that offers basic education and skills training for youth with disability in the Kenema area, giving them an opportunity for an independent future. The partners have been working together on improving the infrastructure and physical conditions at the training centre and on strengthening organisational capacity and management at the OTC. Building on these previous efforts, this project has the objective to further strengthen the OTC in becoming not only a well-established training centre providing solid opportunities for a strongly marginalised demographic group, but also in consolidating their position as a strong actor and advocate for the rights of PWD in Sierra Leone. This will be achieved through the following immediate objectives: 1. Higher number of students enrolled at or graduated from the OTC 2. Enhanced capacity for outreach and advocacy 3. Organisational development (improved management, organisation and governance)
As the initiative is to improve the fulfilment of educational and livelihood rights for YWDs, the primary target group consists of three groups; the student body (enrolled, graduated, external and potential), the teacher body (staff and volunteer) and management at the OTC. Working with all groups secures an immediate specific result for the participating students (enhanced skills). In the future, it is the expectation to increase the student base to 100, with a 50/50 gender division. A secondary target group consist of external actors that are involved either through cooperation with the OTC or as targets for awareness raising and advocacy. This includes families of PWDs, local communities, local government/official authorities, other DPOs, former students and other educational institutions in the area.
Despite legislation in Sierra Leone being more and more inclusive of PWDs and educational plans focusing on improved access to education for children with disability, a vast gap exists between policy and actual implementation. Especially in the rural districts like Kenema, access to education is little to none for youth with disability. The Opportunity Training Centre (OTC) is one of very few providers in the area providing youth with disability a possibility to obtain basic vocational education and life skills for free, which can help them create an independent future. As one of the oldest Disabled Persons Organisations in Sierra Leone, the OTC has become a strong voice towards government regarding fulfilment of the rights for people with disability. At district level, it is seeking to reach the able community and district government in order to raise awareness on the marginalised situation of the youth with disability and the possibility of training that OTC offers. To reach the project’s objective on inclusion and awareness of people with disabilities’ situation, particularly in relation to access to education, the project partners will focus on improved education, empowerment of the youth, outreach and awareness raising among rights-holders and on advocacy towards duty-bearers. The rights-holders in this project are the persons with disability (primarily youth) in the Kenema area, their families and the communities as a whole, and activities will aim to raise their knowledge on the socio-economic rights of persons with disabilities, especially the right to education. Duty-bearers such as local, regional and national authorities, ministries and others stakeholders and decision-makers will be the target for advocacy related activities, aiming to increase their sense of responsibility for service delivery and inclusion of this marginalised group.