Safe and Inclusive Schools project continues

Funding from 2020 Holiday Campaign will bring latrine improvements as part of Safe and Inclusive Schools Project

While COVID-19 has made it impossible for Canadian partners to travel to be part of the Safe and Inclusive Schools project in person, the work is continuing.

Funds are available, thanks to the FHF Holiday Campaign, and two modified latrines are currently under
construction at Mitoone Primary.

These latrines will provide safer access and more comfort for all pupils, but particularly for any pupil with physical challenges, due to a seat and hand bars.

Stage 5 of this important project is continuing with Carolyn Francis, Liz Townsend and Carolyn Thorne working by distance with Kenyan partners.

Here is a recap of the project.

The Safe and Inclusive Schools Project 2017-2021

Farmers Helping Farmers (FHF) in consultation with Kenyan educational colleagues, initiated
the Safe and Inclusive Schools (SIS) Project in early 2017. The overall purpose was to explore
what safe and inclusive schools might look like in the schools currently or previously twinned
through the FHF School Twinning program and more specifically to promote the use of
 positive discipline in line with Kenya’s law that forbids the corporal punishment of
 the social inclusion of children with disabilities and other special needs in these same
schools, as mandated in Kenyan policies.

In the 2017 Stage 1, workshops were held involving teachers, district staff, pupils and some
school management members (parents) and an action plan developed by the Kenyan partners
and an evaluation process to determine the impact of Stage 1. The specific objectives of stage 1
were as follows:
 Raise awareness and take action in implementing Kenya’s law to reduce corporal
 Raise awareness and take action in implementing Kenya’s disability policies to be more
inclusive of special needs pupils;
 Explore new ways of teaching and learning;
 Empower pupils, parents and communities to stop corporal punishment and include
pupils with special needs;
 Develop advocacy strategies.

All 43 participants in stage 1 indicated the SIS Project should continue and that this would be
measured through respond to a follow up questionnaire /survey carried out by   Kenyan
interviewers. The project leaders for Stage 1 were Wendy MacDonald, Dr. Elizabeth Townsend
and Carolyn Francis.

Stage 2 (2018) of the project involved follow up interviews conducted with participating schools
with the goal of receiving feedback from the Stage #1 Kenyan workshop participants. These
interviews were conducted in the participating schools by a Kenyan engaged for the task. The
objectives for this phase were to:
 Determine what follow-up action was taken by participating schools
 Assess what if any impact Stage 1 had on in-school practice
 Determine if any follow work was desired
The results of these interviews indicated progress had been made and there was a strong desire
for further work to continue in the area.  

Stage 3 (March 2019)

This current stage further explored the two major areas, which initiated the SIS project with the
additional focus on practical ideas, which would enhance the creation of safe and inclusive schools.

Further, this stage explored with the lens of creating effective learning spaces for ALL
pupils in three areas - positive discipline, inclusion, and accessibility. A draft guide, Positive
Discipline and Learning for All, was introduced to workshop participants who were from current
and previously twinned schools in Mukurwe-ini and Meru. Strategies included in the draft
guide were demonstrated and practiced with the participants. The multi-day workshops were
led by Dr. Carolyn Thorne, Dr. Elizabeth Townsend and Carolyn Francis.

Stage 4 (October 2019)

The draft guide, Positive Discipline and Learning for All, was revised and made available on the
FHF – PEI and the FHF- Kenya Facebook page. This manual provided some basic information
and strategies to assist schools and teachers in creating Safe and Inclusive Schools.

Stage 5 (ongoing)

We look forward to continuing this important work as the pandemic allows.

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