11 reasons why 2018 was a great year for inclusion

In 2018, we came 11 steps closer to our vision to create a world for all. Find out how.
children clapping hands in sign language

1. More ophthalmologists for Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia 

Our investment in the training of national ophthalmologists bears fruit: 35 ophthalmologists completed their training, 63 are in training, 21 will graduate by 2020. Within 3 years we doubled the number of ophthalmologists in Mozambique. In Burkina Faso, a residency training programme for ophthalmologists was launched in 2015 and similar programmes were initiated at the Universities of Jimma (2006) and Gondar (2010) in Ethiopia.

2. We are close to eliminating Trachoma in Tigray Region / Northern Ethiopia

In a powerful partnership with Sightsavers/DFID and RTI/USAID we are making great progress in eliminating trachoma in the Tigray region (Northern Ethiopia): 4.1 m individuals got treatment with Zithromax antibiotics, 28,900 lid-surgeries were performed, we are also improving water, sanitation, and hygiene, with a focus on school children. In 2019 an evaluation will provide evidence on our progress.

3. Affordable Spectacles for everyone in Uganda 

The National Intervention on Uncorrected Refractive Errors (NIURE) is a sustainable programme providing locally adapted high-quality spectacles to poor people. 40-50% of the population have access to adequate refractive services, as compared to 20% when the programme started. We have initiated a degree programme for optometrists; the programme is being successfully integrated into Ugandan Health System; a public private partnership was initiated.

4. More access to eye health in the Democratic Republic of Congo

We engaged in infrastructure development by building up a network of eye hospitals in the province of Katanga, Lualaba and Kasaï:  Our four eye hospitals in Lubumbashi, Likasi, Mbuyi Mayi, and Kolwezi provide permanent eye care services, enable the integration of eye care services at all echelons of health care in the provinces concerned and perform regular outreaches to people in dire need. 

5. Our Call to Action led to a new Inclusive Education Initiative hosted by the World Bank

Following our Call to Action endorsed by over 200 organizations including Global Partnership for Education & Global Campaign for Education, World Bank committed that all World Bank-financed education programs will be disability-inclusive by 2025 and announced a new Inclusive Education Initiative (IEI). The first governments to join the IEI with funding are UK, Norway and Finland.

6. We are doing important pioneer work in the field of Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Development

We developed the first baseline study on disability-responsive education financing #CostingEquity and are currently working on the first baseline study on disability-inclusive investment in early childhood development. This way, we make the problem visible and get major state actors on board.

7. We are pushing on government levels for Community Based Rehabilitation services 

We showcase the importance of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) for inclusive community development and involve governments and encourage them to adopt CBR as part of their social and development programmes. Our success speaks for itself: Mozambique is planning to roll out a national strategy for Community Based Rehabilitation.

8. Empowerment in disability-inclusive economy

Over the past three years we launched 10 new programmes involving 27 mainstream organizations for livelihood and economic empowerment that are disability-inclusive. Simultaneously we launched the first Disability Inclusion Lab specializing in coaching and training local and international NGO’s, companies and governments on how to make their programmes inclusive and develop practical solutions to overcome the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating equally in development and society.

9. We initiated the first global award on women with disabilities

158 women with disabilities from 52 countries were nominated for the Her Abilities Award. The award winners in three categories (Health & Education, Rights, Arts, Culture & Sports) will be announced on December 3 – the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The award significantly strengthens our positioning and visibility – and holds huge potential.

10. We expanded to three new markets in Europe

We are working in South Tyrol (Italy), Switzerland and Germany now.

11. We launched a unique philanthropic campaign for inclusive education: One Class For All

With “One Class For All” we implemented an integrated, ambitious thematic initiative engaging various internal stakeholders from programme, advocacy, fundraising and systems. We built up a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals in the DACH-region and raised € 4.2 m till date.