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Benin

In Benin, Humanity & Inclusion is working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and promote their full participation in the country’s economic and social life.

Young boy holding a slate in one hand and also writing with chalk on a board.

This young boy returned to school after participating in community-based rehabilitation sessions that helped him walk again. | © R. Binard / HI

Our actions

Humanity & Inclusion works to improve the vocational and economic inclusion of people with disabilities in Benin through awareness-raising, training and advocacy. Our program supports the creation of inclusive businesses and develops guidance and financial support mechanisms to promote access to employment for people with disabilities. Our teams work with the authorities, companies and training centers to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in political debate and to support advocacy actions aimed at securing their inclusion in the workplace.

HI also supports organizations of people with disabilities to build capacity and sustainable structures. With the aim of helping people with disabilities participate fully in society and in the development of public policies, our teams carry out accessibility assessments, strengthen the capacities and skills of disability organizations and support their development at the local and national levels.

HI’s teams also work with the authorities and schools to ensure that children have access to education by improving educational policies and strategies at the national level and ensuring that teachers have the knowledge and skills required to provide quality teaching and support for all students.

To ensure that populations with specific needs are taken into account, HI trains humanitarian actors to analyze priority needs and improve the impact of their assistance. Our teams support organizations of people with disabilities and civil society organizations fighting violence against women and girls, especially those with disabilities through training and the sharing of good practices.

Lastly, HI works with a demining training center in Benin (CPADD - Center for advanced training in post-conflict demining and decontamination operations). The training modules are developed to improve the security of weapons stockpiles and conventional weapons and to limit the risk of accidental explosions that cause hundreds of casualties worldwide every year.

Areas of intervention

Latest stories

West Africa: Inclusive education is first step towards full participation of children with disabilities
© Studio Cabrelli / Handicap International
Inclusion

West Africa: Inclusive education is first step towards full participation of children with disabilities

Since 2012, Handicap International has been improving the school enrolment and attendance of 170,000 children with disabilities in nine West African countries through the “Promoting the Full Participation of Children with Disabilities in Education” (APPEHL) project. Sandra Boisseau, who coordinates APPEHL from Dakar, Senegal, explains what the organization is doing to remove obstacles to education for these children.

Background

Map of HI's interventions in Benin

Benin has had a stable democracy since 1990, but the economic situation is still fragile, with almost half of the population living in extreme poverty. A large majority of the working population depends on the informal economy and farming.

The Republic of Benin is a West African country located in the Gulf of Guinea, with Porto-Novo as its political capital and Cotonou as its economic capital. Benin's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and the informal trade of re-export and transit to Nigeria (which accounts for about 20% of GDP). The informal economy is thought to represent 65% of total activity and concerns more than 90% of the working population. 

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic severely affected major sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, transport and trade, and slowed the country's economic growth.

In Benin, people with disabilities are still highly stigmatized, with disability perceived as a curse or a punishment. This perception is gradually changing, thanks in particular to the awareness-raising and advocacy work carried out by organizations of people with disabilities. However, access to education, employment or adapted care remains difficult and people with disabilities are still not taken into account in development initiatives.

Number of HI staff members: 23

Date the program launched: 1999

Where we work
 

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