John Kadiwaku Ntonta, East Eagle Foundation – #WhatsYourPeace?
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an estimated 10 million individuals have disabilities. They are victims of discrimination and exclusion and are the most vulnerable group in the society.
In the area of education, the most recent surveys show that 33% of people with disabilities did not attend school and 45% are illiterate.
East Eagle Foundation (EEF) is an organization that works to defend and promote the rights of disabled people in the DRC. In collaboration with other organizations working alongside people with disabilities, United Nations agencies and the Ministry of National Education, several projects have successfully supported inclusive education for children with disabilities and created an enabling environment for all girls and boys of school age. EEF’s work includes: sensitizing communities to change their lack of understanding for the experience of the handicapped, training educational staff on cross-protection and inclusive education, ensuring schools support disabled children from poorer families, and constructing latrines or adapting school infrastructure to be accessible to children with disabilities.
To commemorate the International Day of Peace this year, EEF partnered with UNICEF and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, to host a ceremony on the theme of, “how education contributes to consolidating peace “. Several authorities were involved in the event, including Representatives of UNESCO and UNICEF, the representative of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, and leaders of non-governmental organizations and schools.Students presented their songs, poems, works of theater, at the event.
Disabled students presented their experiences and talked about the exclusion they experience at school, in the classroom, and in the communities in which they live. They also explained how and why conflict exists between children with and without disabilities in the classroom. At the end of their Scenette (play), they raised awareness and advocated that the school be a place where all children study together— without conflict, and with equal opportunities.
They also asked teachers and school principals to make the school an inclusive environment and contribute to consolidating peace so that all the students benefit from quality educations and achieve the overall goal of “education for all”. Lastly, more than 2000 children, boys and girls, have benefited from school kits as part of EEF’s strategies for promoting education.
This information does not reflect the views of UNICEF or the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.Click to read other submissions