Building an Inclusive Pre-school in Mbeya

In Tanzania, current services for disabled children are severely lacking and poorly resourced. AbleChild Africa and Child Support Tanzania (CST), our partner organisations, provides early childhood development to children both with and without disability.

Child Support Tanzania currently caters for children and families which are typically excluded from the local education system. These include families who are living in poverty, and children with disabilities or complex health needs. Currently supporting over 100 children in their current premises, CST wish to expand their facility to become a purpose built pre-school for children across Mbeya.

In partnership with AbleChild Africa, Article 25 will design and build a disability friendly pre-school which is custom built to the needs of all children in Mbeya. The proposed school will benefit from spacious classrooms and improved water and sanitation facilities, providing the children with an encouraging learning environment, thereby increasing enrolment and reducing dropout rates.

With careful attention paid to building orientation, proper shading, window size and placement, using local resources and techniques, a considerate and contextual design can create a comfortable environment for both the students and staff.

Article 25 takes great pride in collaborating with local communities. Not only will our building utilise local resources and craftsmanship, but will also serve as a training programme for local people, so locals can use the skills they have learnt for future construction projects in the region.

The impact of this inclusive school in Mbeya will not only improve the quality of education in Mbeya, but the region as a whole. Access to safe water and sanitation facilities will curb the spread of infectious diseases in an area where up to one-third of deaths in children under five are related to poor hygiene. The provision of safe drinking water will benefit the entire community, with the ancillary benefit of acting as an incentive for parents and community members to visit the school regularly and participate in the advocacy activities carried out by our partners. Finally, in a region with little resources for those with disabilities, this school will act as an example of reducing the stigma around disabilities and promoting inclusive education in Tanzania.