The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are 240 million children with disabilities globally and they are 47% more likely to be out of primary school. This percentage is higher in low and middle income countries where World Vision operates. Once enrolled, students with disabilities are more likely to drop out of school than students without disabilities.
World Vision’s mission is to address the needs of the most vulnerable children, including children with disabilities. Support to education is a priority for World Vision globally. In 2020, World Vision invested over $160 million in education programmes in over 50 countries to serve 4.3 million children.
World Vision has different programming models that cover different ages – Go Baby Go (birth to 3 years old), Learning Roots (3-6 years old) and Unlock Literacy (Grades 1-3). Youth programming (IMPACT + and Youth Ready) focuses on the development of life skills and supports a return to education or transition into employment or self-employment. The challenge for World Vision has been to provide a quality education to children with disabilities in contexts where the system is largely excluding them. This paper outlines our experience so far and the direction we are taking: