The Stories for Inclusion project evolved from a partnership between the Niketan Foundation and Biblionef.
Niketan provides education and support to children and young people with disabilities at family, community and school level in Bangladesh, while Biblionef helps underprivileged children worldwide to discover the joy of reading by giving them new, inspiring children’s books.
As part of the project, various activities and interventions made towards creating larger disability and inclusion awareness in basic schools in Ghana. These activities were:
A two-day workshop was held in October 2022 with a total of 18 participants. Participants included principals and teachers from selected schools, local authors, editors and publishers, representatives from the Adenta Municipal Education office and Special Education Department. The workshop sought to promote inclusive behaviour and understanding around disability through children’s books and storytelling, and to encourage teachers to use the storybooks to talk openly to children about disability.
Els Heijnen-Maathuis, a Niketan team member with experience working with inclusivity, trained participants on how to deliver inclusive instruction and encouraged writers, illustrators, and publishers to embrace diversity in their storybooks.
The books used and distributed to various schools for the project were Runa, Sosu's Call, The Lucky one, Mulgheta and Community Through Your Senses.
A Trainers of Trainers workshop was held in January 2023 with a total of 31 teachers from four schools.Also present at all the trainings were the Head of the Special Needs Department of the Municipal Education Office, Mrs Gloria Agbeko and three of her staff, and the Training Officer for the Municipality, Mrs Felicia Azizem.
The teachers were taken through how the books should be used in the classroom with the Activity guides and were educated on terminology that should not be used in class to refer to children with disabilities.
The team visited the schools to interact with children and teachers, and to find out whether the books have impacted them and the overall evaluation of the project.