Obuntu bulamu, a peer to peer support school intervention to improve inclusion of children with disabilities in regular primary schools in Uganda

October 2019 to September 2023
school experience
children with disabilities
randomized control trial
peer support
Research fields
Medicine and Health Sciences
Social Sciences

In Uganda children with disabilities are often excluded from school. In our 3 year study we will test if the "Obuntu bulamu" intervention can improve inclusion of children with disabilities in regular primary schools in Uganda. "Obuntu bulamu" is an Ugandan concept, closely related to the South African concept of "ubuntu" and is accepted and consistent behaviour that signifies a shared set of values, which promote well-being, togetherness and unity. The intervention is based on findings of a pilot project with children with disabilities in primary schools in Uganda (2017-2018), and doctoral research on social inclusion of children with spina bifida in Uganda (2011-2016) of the applicant. The intervention engages peer to peer support at 3 levels: the child with a classmate, the parent with a peer parent, and the teacher with a peer teacher and consists of training, in class mentoring, and awareness raising activities. We will measure if the intervention will improve attitudes of teachers and peers and participation of children with disabilities at the end of every school year. The applicant has over 15 years research experience in Uganda and has a well established network of colleagues in academic, rehabilitation, government and humanitarian organisations. She will be based at Ghent University and collaborate with the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit to implement the study.