One of the basic rights promoted by the Sustainable Development Goals is inclusive education. While there are different categories of children who may not be able to access education, one group particularly affected is children with disability. To highlight this issue, the WE RING THE BELL CAMPAIGN was begun in many countries throughout Africa and Asia. It is a day where bells are rung by school children to call attention of their parents and other stakeholders to ensure that children with disability are assisted with all they need to access quality education.
Hope for the Village Child Foundation carried out its own campaign this year on the 22nd March. Seven government schools took part in the campaign with over 700 children participating. In addition to enjoying the ‘noise-making’, the students themselves were made more aware of the issue of inclusive education.
In addition to the ringing of the bells and sounding of other instruments of attention, there were some speeches reminding those drawn to the event by the sounds to be mindful of the children with disability in their communities. Sometimes children, especially those with severe disability or those unable to move on their own, are kept isolated in homes while their siblings have the opportunity to attend school. Government representatives pledged their support to increase the school attendance of children with disability.
Of special interest for those who attended the event at Gona Isa Primary School was listening to parents of children with disability who have been treated with discrimination and even cruelty, causing the children considerable pain. The pupils from the school who listened were inspired to show more kindness to those who are different from themselves.