Home de la Vierge des Pauvres (HVP) Gatagara, Gikondo branch – a center that works in favor of people with disabilities, together with Kicukiro District officials have discussed ways to advance service in partnership for the sake of a sustained education among children with intellectual disabilities.
During a stakeholders meeting with local government authorities held on February 20, 2022 under the project ‘Enhancing access to quality education, inclusion and community well-being for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in KICUKIRO district, City of Kigali’ – the management of HVP-Gatagara Gikondo highlighted existing challenges in education of children with intellectual disabilities that still need to be tackled.
“Among persisting challenges include some parents’ backward mindset about the rights of their children with disabilities, where awareness is needed; Some other people in general still perceive those children as if they are not able to adapt to normal living conditions like access to education. Another challenge that we face is having insufficient classrooms comparing to the number of children that we would wish to have in the school. So, that is why we are addressing District officials to see if possibly they can include those needs under their plans,” said Jean Pierre Nteziryayo, the Director of HVP Gatagara, Gikondo branch
“We are gratified with the contribution of Kicukiro District to our daily activities. But as we are aiming to extend our service, we would like the District administration to keep supporting us through classrooms building and hiring equivalent teachers to make sure we expand the service to as many children as possible,” He added.
HVP-Gatagara Gikondo targets having more six classrooms, as of the next academic year, with 12 corresponding teachers as the center aims to give service to a bigger number of children with intellectual disabilities.
Speaking to the media during the event, Adalbert Rukebanuka, Kicukiro District Deputy Executive Administrator (DDEA) said: “We appreciate the service of HVP Gatagara Gikondo branch, that is why we have graced this opportunity to talk about what the District administration can do to keep supporting their service. They are valuable stakeholders of the District, we can contribute in solving their challenges or help them find more supportive partners through advocacy”.
Since March 2020, HVP Gatagara with sponsorship of European Union (EU) through Christian Blind Mission (CBM), has been implementing a 3-year project entitled ‘Enhancing access to quality education, inclusion and community well-being for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in Kicukiro, City of Kigali’, with objective to contribute to the realization of human rights (civil political economic, social, and cultural rights) of persons with intellectual disabilities in Rwanda.
Accorging to Andre Nsekambabaye, Project manager at HVP Gatagara Gikondo, the project is showing signs of attaining its targets.
“We currently have 133 schoolchildren, with a target of 180 children as a maximum, under the ongoing project which will climax next year. In fact, I can see we are doing well with our objectives,” he said.