Inclusion training with Ndinogona

(an uHambo foundation initiative)

At the beginning of 2019, Siyakwazi undertook an exciting ‘partnership’ with uHambo Foundation South Africa, an NPO established in 2010 to bring about social change for all children with mobility disabilities in South Africa.

The main goal of this partnership was to add to the philosophy that Siyakwazi has developed with its ‘inclusive hub’ approach with ECD Centres. “We want ECD Centres to not only promote school readiness, but to include children of all abilities in their learning programmes, and provide a resource of information and support for parents/ caregivers of children with disabilities,” explains Cathy Mather-Pike, Director at Siyakwazi.

uHambo Foundation implemented two specific programmes with Siyakwazi in ECD Centres in kwaNzimakwe. Namely, their Let’s Talk Disability which is an awareness campaign that speaks to the community about what disability is and isn’t and how an inclusive environment can allow for participation from all.

Swinging in a blanket supports positioning

The Ndinogona programme was implemented across 5 ECD Centres which Siyakwazi work with. A total of 277 children 0-5years were supported, of which 10 children have disabilities. Nontuthukho, Siyakwazi’s Inclusive Hub Coordinator, was trained by uHambo on the Ndinogona programme in order to bring the learning and support to these ECD Centres within the year. The programme follows three main themes and has over 100 activities which are scalable across all ability levels. “Some of the favourite activities that ECD practitioners are implementing are the ‘opposite cards’, animal & number puzzles, bowling activity, threading, shapes using dough, to name a few,” explains Nontuthuko.

The bowling activity supports gross motor development. For children who are unable to stand unassisted the activity is modified and they are assisted from a seated position.

Parents are also getting involved with the training and invited to join the training with practitioners. “It’s important that parents are participating in their children’s learning, because they are the ones who are responsible for providing stimulation at home.”

The partnership developed with uHambo has greatly assisted Siyakwazi in supporting inclusion in ECD Centres and the programmes implemented will continue to inspire and support future work with these ECD Centres as well as new ones.

Before working with the Ndinogona programme I didn’t know what it meant to include every child. I felt sorry for children with disabilities and I would take them aside and treat them separately.

After doing the Ndinogona 10 steps I see that children with disabilities can do all the activities that the class are doing, they just sometimes need adaptation or extra support. The programme has also helped me identify what delays children are having early on.

Practitioner at Madabalaza ECD Centre