Government of Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Harper Government partners with Queen's University to help children and youth with disabilities in Bangladesh

May 10, 2013

Kingston, Ontario  — Children and youth with disabilities in Bangladesh will have better access to education, health, employment, and community activities thanks to a partnership between the Harper Government and Queen's University. Today, Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced support for the Access to Health and Education for all Children and Youth with Disabilities (AHEAD) project.

Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, delivers remarks at an event with Queen's University on May 10 in Kingston, Ontario.

"The Harper Government is committed to increasing the quality of life of children and youth as an international assistance priority. Through this partnership with Queen's University, Canadians can take pride in the progress being made to help ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, especially children and youth," said MP Brown. "By tapping into the expertise of Queen's University, Canada will help Bangladesh provide assistance and support for persons with disabilities, with a special focus on children and youth."

This investment will help Queen's University improve the skills of rehabilitation workers and teachers to integrate children with disabilities into their communities and classrooms in Bangladesh. The project will aim to increase access to health, education, and protection services for as many as 13,000 children and youth, particularly girls, with disabilities in Bangladesh.

"We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada for making the AHEAD project possible for the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) at Queen's University," said Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University. "ICACBR has a 20-year record of service to some 18 nations with some of the most vulnerable populations on the planet. None of this would be possible without visionary organizations like CIDA."

The project will be funded through CIDA's Partners for Development Program.

Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada's commitment to international development investments such as improving the health and education of children and youth in developing countries. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation. The amalgamation will help achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.

For more information, please visit CIDA's University Partners page.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA


CIDA's Partners for Development Program aims to leverage the development expertise and initiative of Canadians by funding the most meritorious proposals put forward by Canadian organizations to deliver development results on the ground. Following a 2011 call for proposals, Canada is partnering with Canadian universities to implement targeted development projects around the world for up to five years.

These selected Canadian universities will work with institutions and organizations in developing countries to ensure that the results will directly benefit people in need. Their projects will stimulate sustainable economic growth, secure the future of children and youth, increase food security, and improve the health of mothers, newborns and children.

Below is the successful project that was announced today as a result of this call for proposals.

Queen's University

Access to health and education for all children and youth with disabilities in Bangladesh

Local Partners: Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Bangladesh Health Professions Institute

This project will increase access to health, education, and protection services for as many as 13,000 children and youth with disabilities in Bangladesh. It will:

  • Help approximately 2,200 health and rehabilitation community workers improve their capacity to provide quality gender-sensitive services;
  • Help youth with disabilities find employment;
  • Increase access to education for approximately 3,000 children with disabilities;
  • Improve the capacity of approximately 1,200 teachers to include children with disabilities in their classrooms;
  • Educate as many as 6,500 community members on disability issues; and
  • Contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.