Disability inclusion is a priority in the Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) 2020-2025 for all of the sectors in which USAID/Rwanda works: Agriculture and Economic Growth; Health; Democracy and Governance; and Basic Education.
The Mission intends to improve the socio-economic status of persons with disabilities (PWD) by changing attitudes and eradicating stigma; improving access to health, nutrition, and education; supporting access to justice for PWDs; improving advocacy capacity of DPOs; and supporting employment and economic empowerment of youth with disabilities.
Examples of USAID activities that are disability-inclusive:
USAID Soma Umenye activity
USAID Soma Umenye aims to improve literacy outcomes for all children in early grades, including students with disabilities and special learning needs.
Soma Umenye is producing accessible reading materials, including videos of the 54 Andika Rwanda stories in Rwandan Sign Language. Soma Umenye also plans to produce Braille versions of the Andika Rwanda stories.
Soma Umenye is supporting the Government of Rwanda (GOR) to validate a standardized Kinyarwanda braille code, and is collaborating with the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) to finalize the Rwanda Sign Language dictionary over the coming year. The dictionary is a prerequisite for Rwanda Sign Language to become an official language in Rwanda.
USAID MurekeDusome activity
USAID MurekeDusome aims to increase the participation of children with disabilities in community reading interventions, and increase the number of their parents in support of their children’s at-home reading.
In five (5) model districts, MurekeDusome is building the capacity of Community Education Workers to identify children with disabilities in their communities and welcome these children into local reading clubs. MurekeDusome has also empowered youth with disabilities to facilitate workshops and home visits for parents of children with disabilities.
USAID Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) activities
The local partners implementing OVC/DREAMS programs are organizing training for caregivers on many topics, including disability inclusion to create an inclusive and enabling environment for children and Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) with disabilities.
The OVC and AGYW activities refer beneficiaries to additional services based on the type and level of disability. Over the past year, under Caritas/Gimbuka, one OVC deaf-mute was enrolled in a specialized school and eight (8) AGYW were referred to Gahini specialized hospital to receive rehabilitation services.
USAID DutezeImbereUbutabera(DIU) activity
USAID/DIU trains professionals in the justice sector to promote equal rights and access to justice for persons with disabilities. DIU conducted outreach to civil society organizations, law enforcement, civil and public service, national human rights institutions, development agencies, universities, and private sector companies to boost their skills and ensure better access to justice for persons with disabilities.
USAID HingaWeze activity
HingaWeze aims to provide economic opportunities to all targeted populations, including people with disabilities.
People with disabilities are encouraged to join cooperatives and associations and provided with grants. Over two thousand persons with disabilities have benefited from interventions to improve agriculture productivity through access to inputs and training, and facilitate better access to market and improving nutrition.
USAID HugukaDukoreAkaziKanoze (HDAK) activity
HDAK trains youth with disabilities on technical and employability skills, provides Saving and Internal Lending Communities services, and supports youth to start Income Generating Activities.
USAID UmurimoKuri Bose (UKB) activity
USAID UKB is a newly-awarded 2-year activity that will build on the HDAK’s skills-based training. When UKB launches officially in early December 2020, it will promote an inclusive and enabling environment for employment and economic empowerment of over one thousand youth with disabilities by equipping them with employable skills and promoting disability inclusion practices both in the classroom and the workplace. UKB will also advocate against discrimination and stigma toward people with disabilities.
Activity under design with a strong disability component:
Rwanda Inclusive Nutrition and Early Childhood Development (ECD) Activity:
The new 5-year (2021-2026) Inclusive Nutrition and ECD Activity under design will have a disability inclusion component.
The activity interventions will mainly include nutrition, Maternal and Child Health, ECD, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Social Behaviour and Communication, Physical Rehabilitation, and support for Inclusive Services for Children with Disabilities.
The State Department – Economic/Political Office
This office manages a grant that was awarded to Humanity and Inclusion in 2018 to “Promote Inclusive Access to Services and Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Rwanda (PIASO)” with the following specific objectives:
Increased capacity of major local actors to refer persons with disabilities to adequate quality services in Nyamasheke and Rutsirodistricts.
Expanded community mobilization for the inclusion and autonomy of persons with disabilities, as well as their families, within communities.
Increased capacity of persons with disabilities to engage in livelihood activities and 11 small disabled persons organizations from Nyamasheke, Rutsiro, and Kicukiro districts received sub-grants to improve their livelihoods.