Supporting young children with disabilities

During the earliest years of life, love, good nutrition, protection, and stimulating activities such as play, singing and early learning give young children the best possible chance of reaching healthy brain development. Yet, millions of young children around the world, in particular those with disabilities, are deprived of these critical experiences and are growing up in unsafe and unstimulating environments.

Within this project, H&M Foundation and UNICEF support young children, in particular those with disabilities. The initiative aims to scale up existing UNICEF early childhood development programs in Bulgaria, Peru and Uganda to make them more accessible and tailored to the needs of children with disabilities and their families. Around 20,000 family members and caregivers will be reached with support to help them provide young children with the good nutrition, stimulation and protection they need through health, education and social services.

The initiative is worth 30 million Swedish krona (USD 3.7 million) and another aim is to reach more than 9,000 young children with disabilities with specialized early childhood development services during 2017-2020.

“Through our new partnership with UNICEF, we hope to transform the lives and futures of thousands of young children with disabilities.”

— Diana Amini, Global Manager at H&M Foundation

The support provided to UNICEF’s early childhood development programmes through the partnership will help better assess babies and young children for disabilities and developmental delays, improving their chance of receiving specialised early childhood development care at the earliest opportunity. Creating a more inclusive support system aims to reduce discrimination that young children with disabilities may face.

Giving young children with disabilities the best chance of reaching their optimal development also helps considerably reduce the costs of special education, unemployment and institutionalization.

“Through our new partnership with UNICEF, we hope to transform the lives and futures of thousands of young children with disabilities. We hope this initiative inspires the private sector to invest in children’s early years – helping them reach their full health, happiness, wellbeing and learning ability”, says Diana Amini, Global Manager at H&M Foundation.

1

pilot package including health, education and protection interventions will be designed and field-tested in Bulgaria, Peru and Uganda to meet the needs of children with disabilities.

29.000

young children with disabilities, family members and caregivers will benefit from enhanced access to better care.

1

evaluation-tool will be created to identify and collect data on children with disabilities in Bulgaria, Peru and Uganda.

  • Total donation: 30 million SEK
  • People reached: In total 29,000 children, family members and caregivers.
  • Partners: UNICEF

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