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Project information

A future for children with disabilites in Zambia

Every child has the fundamental right and the ability to learn, irrespective of their individual differences and needs. Our inclusive education project will enhance life chances for 750 children with disabilities and support their families in the Eastern Province of Zambia

April 2019 - April 2021

Charity information: Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire logo
  • Need


    Circa 600,000 school age children have disabilities in Zambia. 43% have never been to school. Families do not see the value of educating them. Taboos and stigma arising from traditional beliefs result in families hiding their disabled child, compounding isolation from society and feeding discrimination against them. Lacking the skills to fulfil their potential and flourish in life, disabled children are left behind the development process.


    The project will enable access to primary education for 750 disabled children and support primary schools to make physical adaptions helping to create an inclusive environment. It will also teach teachers to become better educators. Working with policy makers, schools, teachers, families and community groups, the project will raise awareness of disability issues, reduce discrimination and give access and a voice to children with disabilities, thereby securing them a positive future.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve enrolment, retention and learning for children with disabilities


    » Conduct health assessments of children in 30 project schools and communities to ascertain if a child has a disability and the level of support needed
    » Provision of assistive devices, medical support and rehabilitation as necessary. Children may also be referred to an appropriate medical facility

    What success will look like

    750 children with disabilities will receive assistive devices, school education and opportunities for social interactions

    Aim 2

    Improve accessibility of primary school education


    » Establish 30 child to child clubs to combat stigma; disabled and non-disabled children engaging in activities such as drama and music
    » School accessibility adaptations: wheelchair ramps, accessible toilets and other adaptations to allow children with disabilities to access schools
    » 90 teachers plus 10 Ministry of Education officials will be trained in inclusive teaching techniques, disability awareness and child protection
    » Schools will be provided with specialist education materials to support children with disabilities during lessons

    What success will look like

    Up to 30 schools will receive infrastructural adaptations; 100 teachers and education officials will receive training on inclusive methods

    Aim 3

    Increasing awareness and policy environment for inclusive education


    » Sensitisation workshops for parents and communities to raise disability awareness, reduce stigma and change attitudes
    » Sensitisation workshops for Government Officials, CSOs and DPOs to sensitise on disability and inclusive education to influence inclusive policies
    » 30 Parent Support Groups for parents and their children to discuss issues about child's care and education; parents livelihood training

    What success will look like

    750 parents of children with disabilities involved in 30 support groups; 20 government officials trained in inclusive education; 5 Disabled People Organisations in advocacy

  • Impact


    Mobilising and working with communities and key government officials to support change in attitudes towards disabled children and increase their access to education. Trained teachers for better learning outcomes and strengthened school committees promoting disabled children's rights, will assist in persuading government officials to invest in future inclusive education services thereby achieving universal primary education after the project ends


    Lack of governmental involvement and support will be mitigated by investing in teacher training, accessibility and community involvement through parent groups and working with all young children to demonstrate the positive impact of inclusive education. Parents holding back their disabled children will be supported by outreach work and awareness raising amongst families and communities about the right to education access for every disabled child and their natural ability to learn


    Donors will receive annual progress reports, including case studies and an end of project evaluation. There will also be an opportunity to network with other donors at a project focussed events to celebrate achievements

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £615,421

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      Amount Heading Description
      £286,430 Human resources Front line, region and programme staff support
      £14,850 Health Assessments Health assessments for children in 30 project school and community areas
      £21,533 School accessibility Adaptations for primary schools
      £33,827 Teacher training 100 teachers/educators
      £95,689 Activity costs Capacity building, learning materials, parent, child and community awareness
      £45,432 Office costs Rent, utilities, telephone, internet, computers, stationary
      £47,267 Monitoring and Evaluation Partner monitoring visits, base line study and project evalutaion, Visability and Awareness
      £70,393 Administration Audit, indirect costs, bank charges

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Swedish Postcode Lottery £179,000 Conditional
    Peter Cundill Foundation £225,000 Guaranteed
    Stavros Niarchos Foundation £200,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Eastern Province of Zambia is a rural area. The province has the lowest literacy rate among all provinces at 54.4% (Census 2010). Disability increases poverty just as much as conditions of poverty heighten the risk of disability. 76.6% of the Zambian rural population live in poverty (2015 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey) By working in Eastern Province, which has an estimated population of over 1,800,000 people, we will continue to reach communities most in need.


    The project directly benefits 750 children with disabilities to enrol and stay in 30 schools; 750 parents, with support to develop sustainable livelihoods;100 teachers and educators; 10 head teachers and 5 community support workers will be trained in inclusive education methods. Other
    beneficiaries: 20 policy makers, 3 Government Ministries, local and national Disabled People's Organisations and Civil Society Organisations, non-disabled children in project schools.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The project builds on 10 years' experience of delivering inclusive education programmes in Zambia. Since 2008 we have supported 24,000 disabled children to access mainstream education in 15 countries across Africa and Asia. Our Inclusive Education programmes won the 2016 award for 'Innovative Practices on Education and ICT' from the Zero Project, which recognises the most effective solutions to problems faced by persons with disabilities

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Cheshire Homes Society Of Zambia

    Our partners have extensive disability experience, good reach and credibility in the local communities, & strong relationships with local authorities

    Southern Africa Regional Office, Zambia

    Leonard Cheshire staff in Lusaka have solid experience delivering inclusive education projects and will provide overall project oversight.

    Leonard Cheshire International Head Office

    UK based staff will provide technical expertise, capacity building, financial control and accountability to the donors and monitor progress.