Coming together as members of Family for Every Child led two Changemakers, ChildLinK in Guyana and CBRJ in Jamaica, to partner on a project called ‘OneLife Too’. The project aims to better integrate children with mild autism into mainstream schools by strengthening policies, systems, skills and services in their respective countries. As a result, autistic children can better participate in education and society, promoting a better understanding of neurodiversity and inclusion for years to come and improving the wellbeing of children living with disability.

In 2016, ChildLinK worked with the Guyanese government and over 15 other partners to form the Child Rights Alliance, coordinating national collaboration for the protection of children. ChildLinK and fellow Alliance member, the National Commission on Disability, looked to address the policy gap in Guyana for children with disabilities.

At this time, CBRJ were new members of Family for Every Child, visiting Guyana for peer learning. They were able to share their experience of integrating children with all forms of disability into mainstream schools in Jamaica. This led to CBRJ’s engagement in the OneLife Too project with ChildLinK, which began in 2018. The project will see 80 education officers and 80 representatives from organisations in both Guyana and Jamaica undertake training to improve their skills in providing educational support to children with mild autism. In addition, sixty children from these countries will be supported by ChildLinK and CBRJ to be integrated into mainstream schools, transforming their experience of education and showing that a more inclusive future is possible.

This project has led to a deeper understanding of best practice for supporting children with disabilities and demonstrated our Changemakersability to make change happen together. It has also enabled the local Changemakers at ChildLinK to secure an EU grant which will support their work for the next three years. The project, called ‘One Thousand Boys’, will build on the success they have already achieved by working with children with disabilities and migrant children to ensure they access the support they need to flourish.

If you would like to support projects like this, please become a Family for Every Child supporter today.