Integration through education

In southern Africa, many children and young people with disabilities have no chance to learn to read and write – all the more regrettable when you consider that for people with physical impairments in particular, a sound basic education is the only route to a happy and autonomous life. The Simunzele residential school and our work placement scheme with partner companies offer young people with disabilities an opportunity to embark on a fulfilling career.

The Simunzele residential school in Zambia

Far too often, disabled children in Africa have no access to education. The situation is particularly fraught in rural areas, where long travel distances to school and teacher shortages are the norm. One project addressing precisely these issues has been the boarding school for disabled children in Simunzele, Zambia, which operates with the cooperation of the local Basic School. The children are looked after by three ‘matrons’ and two other staff members who oversee safety and building maintenance as well as the garden project: here the little ones learn how to plant, water and harvest fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and aubergines. The school takes an inclusive approach, integrating children and young people into its normal lessons while offering special tuition.

Work placements with partner companies

Evonik Industries, which is based in Johannesburg (and is also a shareholder in Borussia Dortmund football club) has become an outstanding partner and supporter to us. Viwe and Simamisa, who we also introduce in our Life Journeys project, are just two of those who have completed one-year internships here. Both of them also work at our offices in Soweto and are making strong progress using our computer hardware and software.