Learning Stories Vol. 2

In August 2018, the Open Society Foundations Early Childhood Programme and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) commissioned the development of a series of Learning Stories to capture changes and best practices of 10 organisations working with children with disabilities and special educational needs in Southern Africa. Each organisation was a grantee of the Open Society Early Childhood Programme and OSISA between 2016 and 2018.

The Learning Stories were developed between mid-August and early October 2018. At the time, grantees were in their final year of funding, and it was considered imperative to capture the learning from this set of grants to inform future practice and funding strategies.

This report provides insights into Open Society’s inclusion work in Southern Africa. It highlights the changes brought about for children and communities by the interventions of the 10 grantee organisations. It presents information on the ‘most significant change’ engendered by the grantees, offering a snapshot of how a wide range of early childhood development and education projects across the region promote disability-inclusive change in their respective communities or with decision-makers.

The Learning Stories capture changes at the level of the child and family, community, organisation or ECDE system brought about by grantees’ project activities in eSwatini,1 Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as through the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) (a regional network based in Botswana). SAFOD implemented initiatives in Lesotho, Mozambique and Zambia.

Digital stories

The Learning Stories presented here are complemented by two digital case stories. These provide a visual record of how the early intervention, education and development rights of children with disabilities are being promoted and realised through grant-supported activities of two organisations in Malawi and Zimbabwe. You can see these 10-minute illustrative cases of success, from the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) and the Chiedza Child Care Centre in Zimbabwe, on the Getting it Right USB stick provided with this book and the OSISA website.