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Our Story | Sani Foundation


Who We Are


Sani Foundation was founded by family members of a person with an intellectual disability upon seeing the limited services available to persons with IDs in Zambia and the poor quality of life which results from this.


Sani Foundation is an NGO duly registered as a company limited by guarantee with the Patents and Company Registration Agency (PACRA) and as disability person’s organisations with the Zambia Agency of Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD). The Foundation is a member of the Down Syndrome International (DSi) and the Africa Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AFRINEADS) Network.


Our vision


To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with intellectual disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.


Our mission:


We are a non-governmental organisation that is working to facilitate the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities by designing evidence based models and advocating the benefits of an inclusive society.


Our values:



Why we do it



People with intellectual disabilities are amongst the most marginalised groups globally. They experience social exclusion on a much greater scale than persons with other disabilities and this experience is intensified within contexts of poverty such as those on the African continent.


While disability correlates with disadvantage, not all people with disabilities are equally disadvantaged. One specific area is that school enrolment rates differ, with children with physical impairments generally faring better than those with intellectual or sensory impairments. Additionally, those most excluded from the labour market are often those with mental health difficulties and IDs.


Additionally, community attitudes are the greatest barrier to participation, involving stigma and low expectations of the person’s capacity to participate and contribute. However, the conviction that people with intellectual disabilities do not have the capacity to work in regular employment settings was challenged as far back as the late 1960s by researchers such as Marc Gold; who developed a conceptual framework of instruction that demonstrated that people with very high cognitive support needs could learn to complete quite complex employment tasks.