Ryan’s Rays’ mission is to improve access to education for children living with disabilities in developing countries. Currently, Ryan’s Rays’ focus is on Inclusive Education within Ethiopia – still one of the poorest countries in the world - through a strategic partnership with Christian Horizons Global.
It is estimated that there are over 8 million children living with disabilities in Ethiopia. Currently, less than 2% of these children have access to any kind of education. These numbers are concerning for a country which subscribes to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and includes ideals of supporting persons with disabilities in its constitution and education policies.
For those children with disabilities who do have access to education, they are often faced with teachers who are untrained in Special Needs Education (SNE) and lack relevant resources and school materials.
The situation of disabled children in Ethiopia is often referred to as “bleak”. Lack of education consequently results in lack of skills needed for employment later in life. Often children with disabilities are neglected or abused by their families, peers and communities due to the social stigma associated with disabilities. Disability in Ethiopia is often perceived as a curse resulting in the marginalization of both disabled children and their parents.
Although there is much work to be done to ensure inclusion of disabled children in Ethiopian society, the country has made some positive moves forward in recent years. Disability advocates continue to work hard to change attitude s around disabilities throughout the country and there is a growing focus on the importance of inclusive education.
Partnership with Christian Horizons Global
Ryan’s Rays has partnered with Christian Horizons Global, specifically Christian Horizons Ethiopia, to carry out our mission to improve Inclusive Education within Ethiopia. Christian Horizons Ethiopia is a well-established nongovernmental organization serving the Oromia Region of Ethiopia since 1992. The Christian Horizons Ethiopia leaders and their activities are well recognized for service delivery, accountability, and transparency by the government and the communities they serve.
Christian Horizons Ethiopia has had the opportunity to provide inclusive education to over 2,500 children in Ethiopia. From the first renovation of an inclusive classroom in 2006 until today where that school is a model for inclusive education, donors have allowed Christian Horizons to make a difference in more than 110 classrooms in Ethiopia. Today, Christian Horizons continues to strengthen the Ethiopian school system through training teachers, renovating classrooms and training communities in the value of communities where all belong.
For information on the impact Ryan’s Rays has made in Ethiopia to date, please click here.