SERVE and the Dublin Province of the Redemptorists have worked with the Association of People with Disability (APD) in Bangalore, India since 2008. In 2018 and 2019, with funding from Misean Cara, we supported APD to implement a pioneering education project to tackle stigma around disability. APD developed a training and awareness programme to educate non-disabled school children about the challenges faced by people with disability, the rights they are entitled to and to show what is possible when PWD receive support from organisations like APD. At the heart of the programme was the belief that effort invested in children and young minds can achieve long lasting outcomes and the idea of focusing on children is the right step towards an inclusive society. The Disability Awareness for School Children programme worked with 50 schools and trained 3,400 students and 280 teachers.
This was a pilot programme – the first time APD have done awareness training for school children at this scale. SERVE and the Dublin Province of the Redemptorists are in the process of securing more funds to expand the programme over the next three years with the target of reaching 10,000 school children and teachers in the Bangalore area by 2023.