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Guinea-Bissau is part of the Africa West Cape regional program. HI ran inclusive education projects until March 2022 to ensure that children with disabilities had access to education. The association maintains a presence in the country with a view to developing new projects and strategic partnerships.

Group of children sitting at desks in a classroom, their hands in the air

Group of children sing together during a Portuguese language class. | © M.Moreiras / HI

Our actions

HI first worked in Guinea-Bissau from 2000 to 2006. Its actions were focused on functional rehabilitation, with the creation of an orthopedic center, the economic inclusion of people with disabilities and the fight against mines and explosive remnants of war. In 2015, HI resumed its activities in Guinea-Bissau in the sectors of civil society support, inclusive education and HIV and disability.

Between 2020 and 2022, HI worked at the national level to ensure access to education for children with disabilities, supporting the creation of a Directorate General for Inclusive Education. HI also worked to improve the accessibility of school canteens and carried out awareness-raising activities on disability issues. The program worked in the regions of Bissau, Cacheu, Oio, Bafatá and Biombo.

Latest stories

African States against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas
© HI
Explosive weapons

African States against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas

From 27th to 28th November, Handicap International (HI) is organizing a regional conference on the bombing of civilians. The Conference will take place in Maputo, Mozambique and aims to bring together some 20 States, 10 African civil society organizations and international NGOs. The goal is to raise awareness of this vital challenge among African countries and to encourage them to take action on the world stage to protect civilians from the devastating impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

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

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.


Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. Affected by chronic instability, the country faces many challenges.

Guinea-Bissau is a West African country on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, bordered to the north by Senegal, and to the east and south by the Republic of Guinea. Guinea-Bissau has a surface area of 14,000 square miles. The main cities are the capital Bissau, Cacheu, Bafata and Gabu.

Political instability has had a serious impact on the Guinea-Bissau economy. The country’s growth is driven by the food-producing agricultural sector and by cashew nut production, which remains the cornerstone of the economy. This economic concentration has had direct consequences for the poorest members of the population in terms of inclusion and food security.

Because of past conflicts, weapons circulate in large numbers in Guinea-Bissau and each household owns at least one firearm. Initiatives to reduce the number of weapons in circulation have had little success so far.

Guinea Bissau is prone to natural disasters. Floods on low-lying land threaten to reduce the amount of land available to grow rice and vegetables, while rising sea levels and the lack of anti-salt dikes threaten the country’s mangrove crops. Cashew nut yields, the country’s main source of wealth, could also be hit by phytosanitary risks and the reduction in farmland caused by climate change.

Number of HI staff members: 3

Date the program launched: 2000

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