With funding from Norway, USAID and the Central Emergency Response Fund, UNICEF Mozambique implemented several interventions to respond to the needs of children with disabilities affected by multiple emergencies in Cabo Delgado.
This article was originally posted on UNICEF by Juliet Muzondo and Kristel Juriloo on March 15, 2023
Mozambique - In humanitarian interventions, the needs of children with disabilities are often overlooked. Previous years’ cyclones and other natural disasters, and ongoing conflict in northern Mozambique have displaced 1 million people, 50 per cent of them children. Already overwhelmed schools and healthcare facilities are struggling to provide services to everyone in need, particularly to children with disabilities.
In Cabo Delgado, 314 children with disabilities (174 girls) were provided with customized wheelchairs and other assistive devices.
In Cabo Delgado, two Support Units for Children with Special Educational Needs were established in Pemba and Montepuez districts. The Support Units supported 3,103 children with disabilities (1,546 girls) with access to quality inclusive education. 314 children with disabilities (174 girls) were provided with customized wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Two technicians from the Provincial Directorate of Cabo Delgado and 4 teachers from the districts of Pemba and Montepuez were trained in Sign Language and Braille.
In Nampula, an assortment of assistive devices was procured for the Nampula Inclusive Education Resource Center.
In Nampula, 150 managers/facilitators of early childhood development centers and community-based preschools were trained to support 41 schools to include five-year-old children with disabilities in an accelerated school readiness programme. An assortment of assistive devices was procured for the Nampula Inclusive Education Resource Center (CREI).
In Pemba and Metuge districts, 500 teachers were trained in the basics of inclusive education.
In Pemba and Metuge districts, 500 teachers (240 men and 260 women) were trained in the basics of inclusive education, reaching 2,238 children with disabilities (1,116 girls).
Joint work involving the Provincial Directorate of Education and the Provincial Directorate of Health was carried out in schools to identify children with disabilities. 500 children with disabilities were identified and various assistive devices were purchased to support them, including 25 children with disabilities who received custom-made wheelchairs procured from South Africa.
In addition, to support access to health care services, rehabilitation staff from the 11 provincial hospitals, government health service staff, mobile brigades, community health committee members and volunteers in selected districts received training on disability inclusion and how to identify/refer children with developmental delays and disabilities to health services. A local NGO TV Surdo developed a sign language training package to teach health workers how to interact with patients with hearing impairments.
The interventions were implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Human Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS), IOM, AIFO, Light for the World, and Humanity & Inclusion.
UNICEF Mozambique continues to build the capacity of government, humanitarian actors, and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities in responding to the needs of children with disabilities affected by emergencies. No child should be left behind in humanitarian interventions.