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Sightsavers receives Innovative Practice prize in Zero Project Awards

January 2020

Sightsavers has received an Innovative Practice Award from the Zero Project for our early childhood development and education project in Malawi.

The Zero Project Awards recognise innovative practices and projects supporting people with disabilities around the world.

Thanks to funding from Comic Relief and Dutch charitable fund Stichting Dioraphte, Sightsavers has been supporting the training of special ‘caregivers’ in Malawi who work in pre-schools to ensure children with disabilities can learn and play alongside their peers. Children with disabilities are often excluded in educational settings because teachers and caregivers lack confidence, experience and expertise in catering to children who have diverse needs. A simple and effective solution is to provide special training to teachers.

One of the caregivers that we have trained, Materson Speak, travels to the education centre every morning on a specially adapted bicycle, picking up one of the children, Theresa, on the way. When Materson first met Theresa, she was unable to walk and her family carried her on their backs. After some special physiotherapy sessions and support, Theresa was able to start walking. Materson says: “I feel good when I see Theresa moving around because I know I had a stake in making that happen.”

Having access to early childhood development and education programmes can make a huge difference to a child’s prospects and increase their chance of attending primary school. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Sightsavers can continue this vital work in Malawi ensuring that more children get the support they need to truly thrive.

See our video below for more about our work in Malawi.

Find out more about the Zero Project here.

Lesline, who uses a wheelchair, with her classmates at her inclusive school in Cameroon.

Educating children with disabilities

Sightsavers is working hard to ensure all children have the chance to go to school.

Our education work

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