June 8, 2017 - Meeting with James + IDRC

Social Justice Toolkit project activity:

The voices and experiences of the African youth with learning difference,a case study of Rwandan youth with learning differences.

Project elements



Project activity:


Documentation of the   voices and experiences of the young people  with learning differences in Rwanda.

The activity aims at mapping the barriers faced by young people with learning differences in Rwanda (Africa) in accessing formal education system through  sharing experiences,  inclusive store telling and empowering to raise their voices for inclusion.



Activity target group:


Young people with learning differences and Youth organizations Rwanda.

The activity will target 35 participants composed of young people with learning differences, Parents, caregivers and young organizations in Rwanda.20 youth with learning difference,10 parents, caregivers ,and 5 youth led organizations’ representatives.


Activity partners:


UWEZO Rwanda/African youth with Disabilities Network.

The project activity implementation will be supported by UWEZO which is a youth with disabilities led organization that represents the African youth with disabilities Network (AYWDN) and hosts the headquarters of the AYWDN. UWEZO will mobilize youth with learning difference,representatives of youth led organizations and parents and care takers of young people with learning differences.


   - draft for common understanding

   - Young people with learning differences in Rwanda

   - Mapping barriers - what does this mean?

       - understanding challenges young people face

           - why are they not in school?

           - why are they where they are?

           - what are the barriers, how to overcome them?

           - understanding young people in their own language

   - mechanisms

       - video

       - recorded sound

   - JUTTA: material for design challenges

       - engage youth to create materials and resources to address challenges that emerge

   - young people talking about stories and environment

   - JUTTA: social media systems have barriers

   - JUTTA: cyclical systems of exclusion - social media, development tools for video, have barriers for kids with learning differences

       - identifying barriers that exist in tools

   - how to carry out inclusive storytelling - tools to carry this out

   - after identifying barriers, we'll figure out how to resolve them

   - understanding young people with learning differences in Rwanda

   - might need more training internally - how do we understand "inclusive storytelling"?

       - what would inclusive methods look like?

   - how do youth-serving organizations incorporate inclusive storytelling?

   - processes to facilitate inclusion

   - JUTTA: information gathering / research...

       - what are the youth groups doing (in general, and with youth with learning differences)?


- JESS: expanding design guide

   - chats as a whole team - share lessons learned


- inclusive research methods

   - JUTTA: stay away from the term "research methods"

       - providing youth groups with tools that are generally beneficial to them

- can we provide youth groups with inclusive open data tools?

- Twine - accessible authoring / accessibly storytelling

- "inclusive designer" rather than "researcher"


- African Youth Disabilities network


- UWEZO: Rwandan youth w/disabilities group

   - empowerment (income generation, etc)

       - monitor / supervise

   - have accountability, offices


- JUTTA: avoiding paternalism

   - "degrees of organizations", spectrum of youth organisations

       - "for youth" (native)

       - "for youth" (foreign charities)

       - "of youth"

   - youth with learning differences not recognized by the fors, or the ofs

  • therefore we want to be flexible, start where you can, be respectful of local issues, of groups that already have knowledge 

- "within the disability movement, there is an opposition"

   - power relationships

   - inclusion of psychosocial disabilities

- anti-child labour groups often intersect with those with learning differences


- JAMES: how do we best support them? we don't want to have a big group that we aren't able to support... try to balance out


- literacy programs (adult literacy)


- question of age - what do we mean by "young people"?

   - Jutta: "kids who disengage from education because of a learning difference, and find themselves not well-accomodated in other activities that might engage them in pseudo-academic activities"