Welcome to the third installment of Organizational Spotlight! I hope you are enjoying reading about these incredible organizations as much as I am enjoying researching and writing about them! This week’s focus is Enabling Education Network (EENET), which is an NGO based in Manchester, United Kingdom that promotes regional networking and information sharing on inclusive education in developing countries. As part of their mission disclosed on their website, EENET “[focuses] on issues relating to quality, inclusive, enabling education, primarily in resource-poor contexts.” The organization provides documents, training tools, and other materials on its website that are related to educating students with disabilities. Their materials are available in a wide range of languages, including Arabic, Bahasa, French, Kishwali, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, and Urdu, and are open and available to the public. This availability and inclusivity, which is something to be admired, assists them in reaching and aiding as many people as possible.
EENET has worked on some amazing projects in the past, such as working with students from Tanzania and Uganda called “Promoting Young Voices”, in 2008. Through collaborating with Atlas Alliance, EENET encouraged children and young people in inclusive schools in these two countries to share their experiences of, and ideas for, inclusive education. Through taking photos, drawing pictures and maps, and participating in video interviews, these students were given the opportunity to explain what inclusive education meant to them and what made their schools inclusive or exclusive. To listen to the voices of some of these students and hear their stories, you can watch the video that EENET posted on their YouTube page as part of the “Promoting Young Voices” project.
On their website, EENET published a guide that gives its consumers ideas on how to properly use the video for training and advocacy purposes as well as a booklet filled with photos and drawings from the children that they worked with in Tanzania and Uganda. EENET is doing a wonderful job of making sure that the voices of these children get heard, or, in DOW’s case, seen, which is vital when working towards the accessibility of a strong and efficient education system for children and young people with disabilities, especially in developing countries. If we do not listen to the people who are attending these schools every day, we will never know what they need to be successful. Our assumptions of what they require are likely to be totally different from what they are actually in need of which makes their thoughts and opinions absolutely priceless.
Just like DOW, EENET believes in the importance of education and treasures the voices of those involved in the education systems of Tanzania and Uganda, or, in DOW’s case, Eswatini. Organizations like EENET let these children know that they are important and valued which is something that they might not be told or shown often. Their voices are essential when looking at the improvement of the education systems in not only their communities, but others worldwide as well. Also, similarly, at DOW we seek to tell the stories from our students’ perspectives, as they share their journey through the education system through pictures and videos to give us a view into their world. By hearing about the experiences of students regarding inclusive education, we can learn how to better their situations as well as those students who are struggling in other countries. They are the pioneers for ideas and projects worldwide to help bring us closer to education for all, no matter one’s income, intellect, or physical state. Through EENET’s projects as well as DOW’s work and commitment to its students studying in Eswatini and in the United States, education is on its way to being more attainable and beneficial for children and young people worldwide each and every day.
For more information about EENET, please refer to their website.