In Guinea-Bissau, Humanity & Inclusion continues to run programs under the operating name "Handicap International."
In Guinea-Bissau, Handicap International is working in collaboration with national stakeholders to improve living conditions for people in disabling situations and to ensure their social and economic inclusion.
Handicap International has been working in Guinea-Bissau since 2000. Our first operations were in the fields of functional rehabilitation, the economic inclusion of people with disabilities, and the fight against mines and explosive remnants of war. From 2008 to 2014, Handicap International suspended its activities in the country due to the political instability and security risks. New projects were implemented in 2015, initially in the field of education. Handicap International employs 13 staff and one expatriate to carry out its work in Guinea-Bissau.
Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. Over the last 20 years, there have been several coups d'états and the country has suffered from chronic instability. The presidential elections in 2014 put an elected democratic government into place, and the government has since implemented numerous reforms. However, the country's needs are immense: Guinea-Bissau has a high prevalence of diseases associated with malnutrition, mainly affecting pregnant women, which explains the high levels of maternal and infant mortality. Furthermore, the health services are highly under-developed and under-staffed, and the personnel often have little training. The same is true for the education sector, and only 64% of children completed their primary education in 2010.
Handicap International promotes the inclusion of children with disabilities in schools, as well as ensuring that these children benefit from schooling adapted to their needs. We work with both national and regional education authorities to provide them with the technical expertise required to development an inclusive education policy.
Handicap International works to improve the early identification of children with disabilities both in schools and communities in Guinea-Bissau. The organization also combats stigma surrounding disability, and raises awareness among communities of the importance of fighting violence against children.