In May 2015, Lidra Remacka, Sustainability Frontiers Member, Canada, conducted a field consultancy on disability amongst internally-displaced Muslim children living in camps or camp-like conditions in Rakhine State in the wake of inter-community violence in Myanmar in 2012. The consultancy was undertaken on behalf of Save the Children Myanmar, and involved both participatory research and training.
The research focused on the prevalence of disability and the composition of the disabled child population in the Rakhine displaced community; also, on the economic, environmental, social, religious and cultural barriers children with disabilities face in terms of participation and learning and on ways such barriers can be minimized. It further looked at provision for children of disability in the Myanmar state education system and ways of bridging the gap between Education in Emergency provision for the disabled and what the regular system provides. A diverse range of research methods were used including surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participatory activities with children. In engaging with children, Lidra utilised origami, puppetry and photo voice techniques to foster an expressive, safe and playful research environment.
Findings of the research were captured in a final report, to be published by Save the Children Myanmar, making practical programmatic recommendations for service providers for advancing and better resourcing inclusive education, paying particular attention to cultural prejudices inhibiting the participation of children with disabilities in community activities. The field consultancy concluded with the development and end-May facilitation of an inclusive education training program for service providers, a program that will be fed into an improved inclusive education teacher education package.