Disability Education Access Rights Project (DEAR)


Start Date


Completion Date:

On-going to 2013

Programme Partners:

Power International (lead)

Zambian Federation of the Disabled (ZAFOD)

Zambian Association of Parents of Children (ZAPCD)

Zambian Open Community Schools (ZOCS)

POWER4Good Ireland (P4G)

Programme budget


Programme funders:

European Commission 516,580

Other funders (including Vitol, Equitable Charitable Trust): €172,193


Zambia:  Western, North-Western and Northern provinces


Summary of programme.

The goal of this project to improve access to education for children with special needs in Zambia.

The specific objective is to reduce barriers to education for children with disabilities in community schools in 3 provinces of Zambia.

Anticipated outputs are:

·         Community schools in 3 provinces addressing their barriers to children with disabilities: Up to 3,600 children with disabilities will access better quality education through these schools.

·         Parents of children with disabilities empowered to realise their children's rights to education and support their children's development: Up to 3,600 families will become active in parent groups providing a place for parents of children with disabilities to meet and share experience and to build a network of social support. Many will have better parenting skills and be more active in their child’s early learning and social development.

·         Increased institutional capacity of civil society actors to support and monitor the education of children with disabilities. CSOs will have additional capacity to support and provide advice to parent groups. They will have capacity to audit accessibility of individual schools, and the skills to monitor delivery of education for CWD at the national level.

·         Model established of more aware communities and more open schools and education authorities for replication elsewhere in Zambia.


Key project activities:

·         a small but detailed survey in up to 10 selected community schools and their communities;

·         access auditing of 180 community schools for children with disabilities;

·         practical support through small grants to the community schools to implement their Accessibility Action Plans,

·         using the media to make public these consultations/audits, thereby raising awareness and advocating for change,.

·         facilitating the establishment and mobilisation of community-based networks of parent groups,

·         training 1,500 parents through parent groups including in issues including children’s rights, better parenting, social mobilisation to advocate for the rights of children and lobby for services.

·         encouraging and supporting the establishment of early learning groups (ELGs) within the wider parental groups, and equipping these ELGs with basic furnishings, toys and books, as well as providing resources of parent education materials and training; and through local expertise/community members (school staff, doctors, village-heads etc) who understand the importance of early intervention and learning, providing support to the parents to develop these and other essential parenting skills.

·         Parent Advisory Clinic (Mobile), staffed with advisors/councillors specialising in the area of education for children with disabilities, providing independent and accurate advice across a range of education issues to parental groups.  

·         building skills of ZAFOD, ZAPCD  and ZOCS;

·         developing and disseminating learning.



Results & Impact

These will be posted soon.