Stories: Promoting Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Care and Development for Burundian Refugee Youth - Tanzania

Levels of Learning - Early Childhood Development
Inclusive Education
Inclusive Education - Special Needs

This story was collected as part of INEE's 20th Anniversary commemoration to highlight how education in the midst of crisis and upheaval has made a difference for our members and those they work with (learners, youth, teachers, caregivers, etc.). For more stories, click here.


Promoting Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Care and Development in Burundi 

Name: Lugano Maclean 

Organization: BABAWATOTO

Location: Tanzania

Babawatoto Organization is working in Burundian refugee camps located in Kigoma region, Nduta and Mtendeli western Tanzania working to provide 960 displacement affected ECCD children with quality education in a safe learning environment.

BABAWATOTO uses INEE minimum standards as our guide, leading our ECCDiE program implementation despite the challenges on the ground. The standards are useful in this context.
Babawatoto ECCDiE program has made a difference to children enrolled in its ECCD centres both Nduta and Mtendeli camps. It has given them the opportunity to participate in interactive activities which stimulate children early child development.

This has been seen in a 3 years old girl (NIZEYIMANA BERNISE) who was not able to talk and even walk since she was born. Through community awareness campaigns, which insisted on inclusive education and young girls education, Nizeyimana‘s parents decided to enroll her where she met her peers. Nizeyimana’s parents did give up on her that she will not walk and speak like other children of her age. 

Nizeyimana’s parents bought her a working assisting wheel, teachers engaged her in different activities aimed at stimulating her physical, linguistic, cognitive, emotional and social development. After three months, Nizeyimana started to show physical improvements as well as in communication, where she started to pronounce words like; in Kirundi “impa amazi” (Can I have some water), “Nda muhinja” (am hungry), and “Shaka kuiwese” (I want to go the washroom)

Her Parents are very happy to see their daughter's developments, and have asked Babawatoto to keep engaging her in activities for her recovery.

COVID -19 affected the continuous children and development learning; some children did relapse on their early development before school Closure. Some children dropped out. 

Repatriation activities by UNHCR and the Tanzania Government caused incentive workers turnover, school dropouts and inadequate playing and learning materials have been spotted as challenges.


The views expressed in this blog are the author's own