The European Union (EU) in Egypt, along with its partners, commemorated the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)”, celebrated annually on the 3rd of December. This comes in line with the EU’s strong commitment to support the inclusion and full participation of PwDs in society.
The EU along with its institutional partner the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and its implementing partners' institutions Handicap International and Drosos Foundation celebrated this occasion through a jointly-organized event at the Warraq El Hadar Youth Club in Giza where several actions for supporting PwDs have taken place. The event was organized under the theme “Together, to empower persons with disabilities” and featured activities for PwDs including sports, games and a talent show; in addition to a panel discussion on empowerment and inclusion.
“Over the past years, the EU has supported the empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Egypt through a number of important interventions that amount to 8.3 million euros in grants,” said Ivan Surkoš, Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt. He reiterated that working with civil society is an integral part of the EU's development endeavours in partner countries.
The EU supports Egypt and PwDs in a number of different ways. The EU, in collaboration with UNICEF, works to improve workforce performance in inclusive primary schools in the context of the programme “Expanding Access to Education and Protection for at Risk Children in Egypt”. This programme developed with the Ministry of Education a model for the inclusion of children with disabilities in public schools that have proved to be sustainable and successful in enhancing enrollment and completion of primary education among the most disadvantaged children. Over 55 schools in Alexandria, Sohag, Gharbia and Matrouh Governorates have been equipped to accommodate all learning styles and provide quality education for all children. This includes identification of students with learning disabilities using a variety of tools, improving the knowledge and skills of teachers, providing appropriate learning aids and meet accessibility standards.
The EU support to Egypt's PwDs is in line national strategic plan for pre-university education 2014-2030 aiming at increasing access to education for the most vulnerable and socially excluded children by providing inclusive education. It is worth noting that Egypt has announced 2018 as the year for PwDs and the EU helps in reaffirming the Egyptian Government’s commitment to spare no efforts in supporting the full integration of children with disabilities.