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New partnership launched to support inclusive education for Filipino children living with disability

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Project ACHIEVE has been launched today to support children living with a disability in the Philippines.

ChildFund with the support of The Generations Foundation, Orro, and in partnership with Community’s Hope and Initiative for Lasting Development (CHILD Inc), is implementing the new program to promote inclusive and responsive education for Filipino children living with disability.

Filipino children face many challenges, further exacerbated by the difficulties this current pandemic brings. For young people with a disability, the situation is exceptionally difficult. They are among the most vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect, and discrimination.

Children living with disability are often robbed of their right to learn and denied the chance to participate in matters that most affect them.  In the Philippines, there are around five million school-aged young people living with a disability, but only one child with a disability among every 300 learners in school.

The shift to virtual learning, as part of the COVID-19 response implemented by the government, has exacerbated the challenges children with disability experience in accessing inclusive and responsive education.

Project ACHIEVE (Advancement of Children’s Inclusive Education through Virtual Engagement) will reduce the equity gap for non-grade children with disabilities, both those in school and those who have been unable to enrol in mainstream education in the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines.

The three-year project will ensure that young learners with disabilities have improved literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional learning skills. This will be realised through the following activities:

  • 300 school-age children with disabilities will be given access to appropriate content, platforms, and assistive devices for distance and blended learning.
  • 150 parents and caregivers will be equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to support their children’s continued learning.
  • 50 Special Education (SPED) teachers will be trained to deliver a curriculum designed to implement the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan, developed by the Department of Education (DepEd)to ensure children’s rights to education are upheld during the pandemic.
  • 5 ChildFund partner communities will take part in community-managed inclusive education programs and services.

The DepEd’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan, developed in response to the pandemic and resulting in a sudden shift in learning methodologies, recommends some adaptations for learners with disabilities, mainly in the form of learning materials and assistive devices.

“Project ACHIEVE is an opportunity to empower children with disabilities and break down barriers that prevent them from accessing equitable learning opportunities and participating in their communities.

“However, for a learning environment to be genuinely inclusive and responsive to their needs, there should be a deeper understanding of the obstacles to their participation,” said Dong Wana, ChildFund Philippines Director for Program and Sponsorship.

Mr Wana added: “With the support of CHILD Inc, our local partner in the Visayas, we can ensure that those children in our target areas, and who are living with disability, can have improved literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional learning skills.”

Ms Katharine Walters, Chief Impact Officer of The Generations Foundation said: “We know that children with disabilities, especially those who belong to marginalized groups due to economic, social, and cultural factors, can face significant barriers in accessing education.

“The pandemic has only exacerbated this inequality, which is why we are partnering with ChildFund on this whole-of-community program approach.”

Mr Rodd Cunico, Group CEO of Orro said: “With operations in the Philippines, as well as Australia, we are delighted to be able to support improved access to quality education for Filipino children with disabilities.”

He added: “As a digital infrastructure company, we see Project ACHIEVE’s use of appropriate and scalable technology platforms as a key contributor to inclusive education, both during the pandemic and beyond.”

ChildFund Philippines and The Generations Foundation, along with other advocates and champions, will continuously work to foster an environment where children living with disabilities have the support and tools they need to become lifelong learners and thrive.

  • Partnership set to grow rugby for development and gender equality initiatives in Oceania and beyond
  • ChildFund become first ever charity partner for the women’s edition of a Rugby World Cup
  • Rugby fans will have the opportunity to opt in to donate when purchasing match day tickets
  • Appointment builds on record-breaking success of previous partnership for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan where £2 million was pledged by rugby fans to support ChildFund’s rugby for development programmes and Typhoon Hagibis disaster relief
  • Rugby World Cup 2021 hosted by New Zealand set to take place 8 October – 12 November 2022 in Auckland and Whangārei

 

World Rugby has announced the appointment of international development agency ChildFund as the principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022, a first in the history of the premier women’s 15s event.

Rugby fans will have the opportunity to engage with and support the work of ChildFund Rugby, ChildFund’s dedicated rugby for development unit, via an opt in mechanism to donate when purchasing match day tickets, with funds raised through the partnership supporting the expansion of rugby for development programmes in Oceania. With a focus on gender equality initiatives, ChildFund works with partners, including Oceania Rugby, to provide vulnerable girls and women with opportunities to learn skills to overcome challenges and be active leaders in their communities.

World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Alan Gilpin said: “We are delighted to be extending our association with ChildFund, this time as principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2021. The tournament will showcase rugby’s unstoppable women as they compete at the highest level.

“Importantly, it will also generate an incredible legacy by supporting a new generation of female players and leaders in Pacific Island nations through ChildFund’s significant contribution to rugby for development programmes in the Oceania region.”

Through a ground-breaking partnership at RWC 2019, a record-breaking £2 million was pledged by rugby fans globally to ChildFund, providing more than 25,000 children from disadvantaged communities in Asia with the opportunity to take part in ChildFund’s Pass It Back programme across Asia, teaching life skills through rugby with the support of Asia Rugby.

Funds raised were also used to support local communities in Japan with the rebuilding effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Hagibis during the tournament.

ChildFund Rugby’s development programmes not only promote the right to play in communities where children have little or no access to organised sport, but provide important learning opportunities around leadership, problem-solving, gender equality, relationships, conflict-resolution, and planning for the future.

With a strong focus on gender equality, a strategic objective shared by World Rugby, over half of all participants and rugby leadership roles are female, challenging gender stereotypes.

ChildFund Alliance Chair Simon Whyte said: “ChildFund is excited to again be partnering with World Rugby to change children’s lives through sport.

“Over 31,000 children and young people have benefitted from their involvement in ChildFund’s rugby for Development programs, which are highly successful in providing critical learning opportunities for children facing significant challenges linked to poverty and inequality.

“As part of this, 6,000 children have participated in Reconnect, a COVID-19 early response initiative developed by ChildFund which supports positive responses among young people to the challenges of the pandemic.

“ChildFund’s rugby for development programs also support global efforts to achieve gender equality, reduce inequality, and end gender-based violence, reflecting targets within the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

ChildFund Ambassadors Honey Hireme-Smiler and Emily Chancellor, former and current New Zealand and Australian players, will be on opposing sides when the tournament commences. However, they are on the same team in recognising the importance of organised sport in girls’ and boys’ lives, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Hireme-Smiler, former New Zealand Black Fern, said: “I am extremely passionate about supporting younger girls as this was how we were raised within our whanau (family). The ways in which ChildFund makes an impact on the lives of vulnerable children – whether through health and wellbeing, education, or sport – is so inspiring.

Wallaroos player Emily Chancellor, who shared her rugby skills with children in Laos in 2019, added: ChildFund Rugby’s development programmes are incredibly important for young people in developing communities, because they combine education with team sport. Learning through play is a really valuable way to build confidence and resilience.

“I’m also proud to support an initiative which has such a strong focus on gender equality and is creating an equal playing field for girls and boys alike.”

Funds raised during the tournament will allow ChildFund Rugby to expand its contribution to rugby for development programmes for children and young people in Oceania, support female leadership initiatives, and support the creation of strong rugby women’s networks around the globe.

ChildFund Australia CEO Margaret Sheehan said: “Well designed sport for development programs are a proven way to achieve positive social outcomes, such as building resilience, youth leadership and gender equity. We are proud and excited to be part of this major global initiative to improve the lives of children and young people as communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

For more information, visit www.childfundrugby.org