Children living with disabilities are often discriminated against in families and at school, in terms of their right to education. A problem that the Deecliq Project seeks to correct (Decide on an education of children with disabilities through free choices and an inclusive quality approach) which intervenes in the Kolda region. Vélingara is the first stage of an awareness-raising caravan that this project has organized in the 3 departments of the region.
Par Abdoulaye KAMARA – The classrooms of the elementary school in the village of Sinthiang Koundara, located in the department of Vélingara, do not have an access ramp. Jean Sène, coordinator of the Deecliq project (Deciding on education for disabled children through free choices and a quality inclusive approach) in Kolda, made the observation last Friday, while the caravanners of Ong Iscos (Institute trade union for development cooperation), which runs the project in the Kolda region, were there to raise awareness among teachers, parents, students and political decision-makers about the possibility, for children living with a disability, of studying normally, of succeed in school and succeed in life. A lack denounced by Mr. Sène, who insists: “This shows to what extent our school authorities and political decision-makers do not put children with disabilities at the heart of their actions.” To better touch the sensitivity of the crowd, which had invaded the courtyard of this school, Jean Sène’s team began with the screening of a film, which offers a relative as a model, to have shown its determination to give a chance to his daughter born with a physical handicap, in studies but also in life. In the end, the very fulfilled girl runs a fruit catering and processing business. A social success which proves, according to Mr. Sène, that “there is not a tiny life which does not deserve educational attention. Education for all is possible, as is the education of children living with a disability. The cry of the heart that we launched is: to learn together in diversity ”. And then, to call on everyone, who came to listen to Deecliq’s plea, to act as a relay, with refractory parents, to bring these children to school, to local and administrative authorities, for a change in behavior favoring their education. To the teachers, Mr. Sène asked to be “patient with these children in their own right, to support their education”.
Sinthiang Coubdara is the 2nd caravan organized in the department of Vélingara, after that of the village of Tonguiya, the day before, in the commune of Linkéring, on the border with Guinea Conakry. These Vélingara localities constitute the first stage of an awareness campaign for this project, in the 3 departments of the Kolda region. To achieve its mission, the project trained 36 teachers from the region on the perception of disability and inclusive education, as well as 12 members of the regional federation of associations of people with disabilities.
For a period of 24 months, the Deecliq Project has as a financial partner, the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, and operates in 5 regions of the country, namely Dakar, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kolda and Sédhiou.