Agnes Mukashyaka

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Unlocking Opportunities for Children and Youth with Intellectual DisabilitiesRwanda

Agnes Mukashyaka is a mother of a son with an intellectual disability. She is currently the Coordinator of Izere Mubyeyi Organization and one of its founding members. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and a diploma in Special Needs Education. Throughout her career, Agnes has worked with different reputable organizations involved in inclusive education, social integration, and the development of persons with disabilities. She has undertaken responsibilities that strengthened her experience and high command of leadership, particularly in working collaboratively with diverse communities, government officials, development partners, the private sector and civil society at the local, regional and international levels.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Unlocking Opportunities for Children and Youth with Intellectual Disabilities

This project worked to overcome societal stigma and unlock opportunities for children and youth with intellectual disabilities in the city of Kigali. By implementing a range of activities, the project addressed these challenges comprehensively. Firstly, community awareness campaigns advocated for the rights and potentials of children and youth with disabilities, challenging prevailing misconceptions. These materials were used in various campaign sessions, reaching approximately 15,308 people, Secondly, local administration leaders and community health workers were actively involved in mobilizing parents and identifying children with disabilities, enabling parents of children with disabilities to connect with one another. Moreover, the project fostered community resilience by implementing homegrown solutions to support parents in meeting the specific needs of their children with disabilities. The project successfully enhanced the collaboration framework with local administration authorities, engaging them in different activities to promote social inclusion of persons with disabilities. This resulted in increased participation and advocacy for the rights of children and youth with intellectual disabilities in Rwanda, as evidenced by the attendance of 19 representatives from different organizations during the project launching meeting.

Agnes also shared insights on the Impact Award grant process as a panelist for the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel, “Alumni Spotlight” which you can read more about here.

“I appreciated the gaps that were identified along with the project implementation with regard to the collaboration between stakeholders. The project findings highlighted that there is a need to strengthen our collaboration as stakeholders to harmonize the use of existing resources and experience to achieve more in the benefit of the persons with disabilities in Rwanda." – Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Agnes was a participant in the IVLP Project Advocates for the Economic Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Mississippi Consortium for International Development.

Agnes' exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "The IVLP experience rebuilt my hope for the bright future of children with disabilities. From IVLP, I learned that collective efforts are the best way to go while leveraging the outcomes of different initiatives in the benefit of persons with disabilities. The IVLP taught me that social inclusion starts in community minds which allow them to understand and apply policies aiming at transforming the lives of the vulnerable in order to achieve sustainable development together. "

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Louisville, KY; Cleveland, OH

"I opted to engage with [my] community to advocate for the rights of children and youth with disabilities, and [to] empower them until they are able to prove [to] the world that disability is not inability." - Agnes Mukashyaka

Country: Rwanda

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