Toward a More Inclusive Society: AISL Hosts Guest Speakers to Honor the UN’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities
On 3 December each year the UN celebrates the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Disability inclusion is a core facet of human rights, yet stigmatizing persons with disabilities persists in many places throughout the African continent. Learning about the importance of inclusion for all persons connects to the goal of an IB education, which is “to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.”
To raise awareness of the importance of disability inclusion, our secondary school hosted two guest speakers for Thursday’s advisory session this week:
Ms. Gertrude Lungu from the Bauleni Special Needs Project: Ms. Lungu spoke about the role of the Bauleni Special Needs School as well as the income-generating projects they support that assist the families of children who attend their school. Not only does this project support the education of children in the Lusaka area, but they extend their services to rural communities, too, by training people This school is located right on Leopard’s Hill Road after Crossroads when you are heading toward AISL.
Mr. Kenneth Habaalu from the Apters Project: Mr. Habaalu has been the director of Apters for the past 28 years. Apters uses paper, cardboard, flour, cereal boxes, and cornflakes (yes, cornflakes!) to make walkers, chairs, stands, and other mobility aids to assist children with disabilities (most of whom have cerebral palsy). The income from the sales of other craft items that Apters sells at local markets (such as the Dutch Reform Market) pay the salaries of the 10 permanent employees, all of whom are adults with disabilities (some of whom benefited from Apters technologies as young children!). AISL has been sending its used paper to Apters for more than a decade, and we would like to increase our support of the incredible work they do.
The third option students had for this special session was to learn about disabilities in Africa and the stigmatization that unfortunately is often associated with it. If students preferred, they could focus their independent learning on invisible disabilities, such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, ADD, and OCD, to name a few. Curated video playlists for these topics were shared with students on the Different Not Less libguide (password is the same as for parent portal if you’d like to watch any of the videos).
Following these sessions, we will be exploring how students' understandings have evolved as a result of these interactions and explorations.
“It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.”- Martin Luther King Jr.
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