Work on an inclusive pre-school for children with disabilities and able-bodied children in Mbeya, Tanzania, is well underway, with the humanitarian architecture charity Article 25 overseeing the project. The charity, which was founded by the renowned architect Maxwell Hutchinson, needs to raise a further £34,000 to complete phase one of the construction.
98% of children with disabilities across Africa are not in school. Despite the best efforts of the Tanzanian Government, which introduced a ground-breaking policy in 2010 that ensured children with disabilities had a right to education, just 5% are currently in school – simply because many schools are not designed to accommodate their needs.
Working with charities Child Support Tanzania and Able Child Africa to build a new campus on a government-donated site, Article 25 has designed the scheme, which includes well-lit, accessible classrooms for 160 children; a dining hall; music rooms; computer rooms; physiotherapy spaces; a hydrotherapy pool; a sensory garden; outdoor play area and a sports field. The design is intended to become the model for future schools aspiring to be inclusive of all children, no matter their ability.
David Murray, Managing Director of Article 25, commented:
“Disability is not inability! It is absolutely inspiring to see the work going on at this inclusive pre-school in Tanzania. To turn our drawing board dreams into a befitting reality for these children, we need to raise a further £34,000 to fully unlock the learning potential and legacy in this community.”
“We are really proud of the work done so far, and the fantastic team of staff and volunteers working so hard to make this project a success. We hope the school shows others in Tanzania what can be achieved, so all children, no matter whether they are able-bodied or disabled, have access to education.”
Engineering partners on the project include Engenuiti (structural); Hoare Lea (M&E), WSP (civil). To make a donation, please go to www.article-25.org/tanzania.
Further information about the project can be found in this short film.