アフリカ障害者の10年 African Decade of Persons with Disabilities
アフリカアフリカ Africa 1970年〜80年代アフリカ Africa 1990年代アフリカ Africa 2000アフリカ Africa 2001アフリカ Africa 2002アフリカ Africa 2003アフリカ Africa 2004アフリカ Africa 2005アフリカ Africa 2006アフリカ Africa 2007 1アフリカ Africa 2007 2アフリカ Africa 2007 3アフリカ Africa 2007 4アフリカ Africa 2008 1月アフリカ Africa 2008 2月アフリカ Africa 2008 3月アフリカ Africa 2008 4月アフリカ Africa 2008 5月アフリカ Africa 2008 6月アフリカ Africa 2008 7月アフリカ Africa 2008 8月アフリカ Africa 2008 9月アフリカ Africa 2008 10月アフリカ Africa 2008 11月アフリカ Africa 2008 12月アフリカ Africa 2009 1月アフリカ Africa 2009 2月アフリカ Africa 2009 3月アフリカ Africa 2009 4月アフリカ Africa 2009 5月アフリカ Africa 2009 6月アフリカ Africa 2009 7月アフリカ Africa 2009 8月アフリカ Africa 2009 9月アフリカ Africa 2009 10月アフリカ Africa 2009 11月アフリカ Africa 2009 12月アフリカ Africa 2010 1月アフリカ Africa 2010 2月アフリカ Africa 2010 3月アフリカ Africa 2010 4月アフリカ Africa 2010 5月アフリカ Africa 2010 6月アフリカ Africa 2010 7月アフリカ Africa 2010 8月アフリカ Africa 2010 9月アフリカ Africa 2010 10月アフリカ Africa 2010 11月アフリカ Africa 2010 12月アフリカ Africa 2011年1月アフリカ Africa 2011年2月アフリカ Africa 2011年3月アフリカ Africa 2011年4月アフリカ Africa 2011年5月アフリカ Africa 2011年6月アフリカ Africa 2011年7月アフリカ Africa 2011年8月アフリカ Africa 2011年9月アフリカ Africa 2011年10月アフリカ Africa 2011年11月アフリカ Africa 2011年12月アフリカ Africa 2012年1月アフリカ Africa 2012年2月アフリカ Africa 2012年3月アフリカ Africa 2012年4月アフリカ Africa 2012年5月アフリカ Africa 2012年6月アフリカ Africa 2012年7月アフリカ Africa 2012年8月アフリカ Africa 2012年9月アフリカ Africa 2012年10月アフリカ Africa 2012年11月アフリカ Africa 2012年12月アフリカ Africa 2013年1月アフリカ Africa 2013年2月アフリカ Africa 2013年3月アフリカ Africa 2013年4月アフリカ Africa 2013年5月アフリカ Africa 2013年6月アフリカ Africa 2013年7月アフリカ Africa 2013年8月アフリカ Africa 2013年9月アフリカ Africa 2013年10月アフリカ Africa 2013年11月アフリカ Africa 2013年12月アフリカ Africa 2014年1月アフリカ Africa 2014年2月アフリカ Africa 2014年3月アフリカ Africa 2014年4月アフリカ Africa 2014年5月アフリカ Africa 2014年6月アフリカ Africa 2014



Gender in Africa
ケニア共和国 Republic of Kenya 大統領選挙と騒乱
アルジェリア民主人民共和国アンゴラ共和国ウガンダ共和国エジプト・アラブ共和国エチオピア連邦民主共和国エリトリア国ガーナ共和国カーボヴェルデ共和国ガボン共和国カメルーン共和国ガンビア共和国ギニア共和国ギニアビサウ共和国ケニア共和国コートジボワール共和国コモロ連合コンゴ共和国コンゴ民主共和国サハラ・アラブ民主共和国サントメ・プリンシペ民主共和国ザンビア共和国シエラレオネ共和国ジンバブエ共和国スーダン共和国スペイン領カナリア諸島スワジランド王国セーシェル共和国赤道ギニア共和国セネガル共和国ソマリア民主共和国タンザニア連合共和国チャド共和国チュニジア共和国中央アフリカ共和国トーゴ共和国ナイジェリア連邦共和国ナミビア共和国ニジェール共和国ブルキナファソブルンジ共和国ベナン共和国ボツワナ共和国マダガスカル共和国マラウイ共和国マリ共和国南アフリカ共和国南スーダン共和国モーリシャス共和国モーリタニア・イスラム共和国モザンビーク共和国モルディブ共和国モロッコ王国リビア(旧 大リビア・アラブ社会主義人民ジャマーヒリーヤ国)リベリア共和国ルワンダ共和国レソト王国

○2007年までのニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 〜2007年
○2008年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 1
○2008年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 2
○2008年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 3
○2008年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 4
○2009年1月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年1月〜6月
○2009年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年7月〜9月
○2009年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年10月〜12月
○2010年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年1月〜3月
○2010年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年4月〜6月
○2010年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年7月〜9月
○2010年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年10月〜12月
○2011年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年1月〜3月
○2011年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年4月〜6月
○2011年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年7月〜9月
○2011年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年10月〜12月
○2012年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年1月〜3月
○2012年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年4月〜6月
○2012年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年7月〜9月
○2012年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年10月〜12月
○2013年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年1月〜3月
○2013年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年4月〜6月
○2013年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年7月〜9月
○2013年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年10月〜12月
○2014年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2014年1月〜3月

* 主としてアジア経済研究所の「障害と開発」メーリングリストで紹介された記事を収録しています。
  アジア経済研究所 森壮也
◆2014/04/01 New Vision We need specialist employment for PWDs
◆2014/04/01 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Senate Endorses Disability Bill
◆2014/04/08 Daily News Set aside budgets for disabled people, councils urged
◆2014/04/08 Daily News Disabled people call for inclusive education system
◆2014/04/08 AllAfrica.com Namibia Excels at SA Disabled Champs
◆2014/04/08 Capital FM Kenya Safaricom website legible for the visually impaired
◆2014/04/09 Nigerian Tribune ‘Societal attitude is what creates our disability’
◆2014/04/09 HumanIPO Safaricom revamps website, now accessible for visually impaired
◆2014/04/09 AllAfrica.com South Africa: Thaba-Nchu School for Visually Impaired Gets Computer Lab
◆2014/04/13 AllAfrica.com Zimbabwe: Charlene Relates Her Miss Deaf Ordeal
◆2014/04/14 Egypt SIS (press release) International conference of handicapped inaugurated
◆2014/04/16 The Standard Digital News Visually impaired groom weds his college sweetheart after courting for four years
◆2014/04/16 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Town Field Primary Visits WCR Deaf School
◆2014/04/16 Daily News Egypt TE Data launches M3ak service for the disabled
◆2014/04/16 AllAfrica.com Swaziland: Trendy Fashion for the Disabled and for Plus-Sized Ladies
◆2014/04/19 AllAfrica.com Zambia: Proving Disability Is Not Inability
◆2014/04/21 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Disability Rights Training for Law Enforcement Officers/ Legal Practitioners On the Way
◆2014/04/21 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Townfield Primary Visits WCR Deaf School
◆2014/04/22 Daily News Tap your talents for self-advancement, disabled counselled
◆2014/04/24 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Failure to Access Sexual, Reproductive Healthcare Haunts Disabled People
◆2014/04/25 spyghana.com Ngani Witches Camps Gives To Deaf Pupils
◆2014/04/26 South African Broadcasting Corporation Tsenoli calls for more professional deaf soccer players
◆2014/04/28 Daily News School for the deaf gets 16m/- ICT equipment
◆2014/04/29 AllAfrica.com Gambia: GFD On Disability Rights
◆2014/04/30 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: CCBRT Helps Over 1,200 Disabled Children Join School
◆2014/05/01 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Exercise Unearths 221 Neglected Disabled Children in Kibaha
◆2014/05/01 Vibe Ghana Disability Federation appeals to government to pass legislation
◆2014/05/03 AllAfrica.com Zambia: Living With Disability in Zambia
◆2014/05/03 AllAfrica.com Rwanda: Bridging Communication Gap for Deaf Is His Calling
◆2014/05/03 AllAfrica.com Botswana: Lessons From Botswana Disability Administration
◆2014/05/04 Sierra Express Media Disability is no in ability - blind boy to represent Sierra Leone in international Quranic competition
◆2014/05/05 New Zimbabwe.com Dealers use disabled vendors to avoid arrests
◆2014/05/06 South African Broadcasting Corporation Disability group gives IEC the thumbs up on special voting
◆2014/05/06 Nyasa Times Chakwera, Atupele sign disability social contract with Fedoma
◆2014/05/07 GhanaWeb Persons with disability advocacy project begins in Volta Region
◆2014/05/07 The Standard Digital News Cherono, Kiptum to meet at Deaf Marathon in Kisumu
◆2014/05/08 GhanaWeb Goldstar Airline to airlift over 500 disabled to Brazil
◆2014/05/08 AllAfrica.com Africa: View On Disability - Research Could Inform DFID Strategy
◆2014/05/09 spyghana.com 60 kva Generator For Orondo School For The Deaf
◆2014/05/09 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Handicapped of Dar's Uhuru Mchanganyiko Prove Their Potential
◆2014/05/09 AllAfrica.com Liberia: The Rejected Ones - Deaf & Dumb Struggle for Education in Bassa
◆2014/05/09 AllAfrica.com Togo/Gambia: Deaf Scorpions Set for Another International Outing in Togo
◆2014/05/09 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Wadsu Approves Gambia Deaf Sports Association As Affiliate Member
◆2014/05/12 GhanaWeb Assemblies mismanaging disability funds - Report
◆2014/05/12 spyghana.com How The Hearing-Impaired Became Part Of The VGMA
◆2014/05/12 spyghana.com Hearing impaired featured on Ghana Music Awards
◆2014/05/14 spyghana.com District Assemblies Accused Of Borrowing Disability Money
◆2014/05/14 AllAfrica.com Liberia: Disabled Youths Get New Voice
◆2014/05/15 GhanaWeb Provide sign interpreters at hospitals - Deaf Association
◆2014/05/17 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: 'Disability Has Made Me a Strong Activist'
◆2014/05/18 Ghanasoccernet 2014 World Cup: Ghanaian fans buying match tickets meant for the disabled, Brazilian ambassador reveals
◆2014/05/18 Nigerian Tribune World of deaf okada riders who love Pasuma’s music
◆2014/05/18 The Swazi Observer Newly ordained Anthony LaNgwenya to establish church for the deaf
◆2014/05/19 GhanaWeb Goldstar Airlines to establish multimedia to support disabled
◆2014/05/19 Ahram Online A way forward for the disabled
◆2014/05/19 AllAfrica.com Rwanda: Depression the Leading Cause of Disability in Youth, Says Report
◆2014/05/19 AllAfrica.com South Africa: Mother and Disabled Daughter Face Deportation After Going to Hospital
◆2014/05/19 AllAfrica.com Liberia: Disabled Want Admission to Ul
◆2014/05/20 Nigerian Tribune Deaf and dumb remanded in prison for illicit drug deal
◆2014/05/20 Voice of America Deaf South African TB Activist Carries Petition to World Health Assembly
◆2014/05/20 Nigerian Tribune Deaf and dumb remanded in prison for illicit drug deal
◆2014/05/21 New Vision Provide Constitution for visually impaired - Government
◆2014/05/23 South Africa.info SA second at World Cup of Disabled Golf
◆2014/05/26 Nigerian Tribune Police arrest woman who stole deaf, dumb woman’s baby in Kwara
◆2014/05/27 GhanaWeb SCOAN donates to the Savelugu School for the deaf
◆2014/05/27 The Swazi Observer Miss Deaf gives birth to baby boy?
◆2014/05/29 THISDAY Live Wamakko Empowers 1,000 Disabled, Destitute Persons in Sokoto
◆2014/05/29 AllAfrica.com Southern Africa: Disabled Women Claim Their Space at Summit
◆2014/05/30 AllAfrica.com Somalia: First Somali Deaf Graduated in U.S.
◆2014/06/02 GhanaWeb SCOAN donates to the Savelugu School for the deaf
◆2014/06/02 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Disabled Teenager Dies in Shack Fire
◆2014/06/03 Nigerian Tribune Physically- challenged bags 3 years imprisonment for drug trafficking
◆2014/06/03 The Seattle Times Girl disabled by polio left in forest in African chaos
◆2014/06/04 AllAfrica.com Zimbabwe: Book Reveals Plight of Disabled Children

■Child-friendly text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Word/PDF)
■International Rehabilitation Review, December 2007 - Vol. 56, No. 1, SPECIAL EDITION
This annotated bibliography lists a selection of 130 novels, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, materials from philosophy, anthropology and folklore, and literary criticism, in which disability, deafness or mental disorders play some significant part, from East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, available mostly in English or French.
■座談会「視覚障害者が高等教育機関で学ぶ スーダンと日本の経験を語る」(2007年8月9日)
■座談会「大学における視覚障害者支援の現状と課題 スーダンで今求められていること」(2008年6月21日)
■立命館大学生存学研究センター報告12「視覚障害学生支援技法 増補改訂版」

【Related Sites】
○スーダン障害者教育支援の会 http://capeds.org
○アフリカNOW 78号 特集:アフリカ障害者の10年〜アフリカの障害者の取り組みは今
2007年10月20日発行 一部500円(送料実費) 必要な方はAJF事務局こちらへ
  • 座談会:視覚障害者が高等教育で学ぶ〜スーダンと日本の経験を語る
  • 視覚障害者の情報保障の技術と課題 斉藤龍一郎
  • 後紛争国ルワンダにおける障害者の現状 曽田夏記
  • アフリカ障害者の10年 African decade of persons with disabilities 中西由紀子
  • 日本から「アフリカ障害者の10年」を支援する 宮本泰輔
  • アフリカの現場から〜ルワンダ On the spot in Africa / Rwanda 加藤悦子
  • 『見る・つくる・知る おしゃれなアフリカ』シリーズを完成して 白鳥くるみ
  • 書評:”Witness to AIDS” Book Review: “Witness to AIDS” 米良彰子
○アフリカNOW第83号 特集 アフリカにおける民主化の課題

* アフリカにおける平和の定着と民主化の課題  武内進一
* ケニア:2007年選挙後暴力を裁く特別法廷の設置  永岡宏昌
* 【資料】ケニア選挙後暴力究明委員会報告(要旨)


アフリカの現場から−ガーナにおける障害者の社会参加促進活動  南口美佳

* 「POP AFRICA アフリカの今にのる?!」参加して考えたこと  茂住衛
* 【映画紹介】エンタングル・イン・トーキョー パート1:罪の報酬  川田薫

○アフリカNOW第85号 特集 在日アフリカ人・コミュニティと共に生きる
頒価500円(+送料) 必要な方はAJF事務局(info@ajf.gr.jp)に連絡下さい

特集1 在日アフリカ人・コミュニティと共に生きる
小島美佐さんに聞く 在日アフリカ人ファミリーとして誇りを持って生きてい
在日アフリカ人コミュニティへのHIV/AIDS予防啓発活動に取り組んで 川田薫
特集2 アフリカの障害者と障害者運動の現状
The situation of disabled people in Zimbabwe by Alexander M. Phiri
The situation of youth with disabilities in Uganda by Aggrey Olweny
アフリカの現場から:ガーナ 小中学校における性教育とエイズ予防啓発 宮本
書評:小倉充夫著「南部アフリカ社会の百年」 近藤帝
ひとつの結び目として・活動日誌 AJF事務局

○障害と開発 途上国の障害当事者と社会
森壮也編 アジア経済研究所



○『アジア経済 Vol.49, No.2』 「貧困のミクロ経済分析−貧困の罠を用いた文献理解」
伊藤成朗 ¥1,050 B5判 平均104頁 2008年2月



○アジア経済研究所叢書4 貧困削減戦略再考
- - 生計向上アプローチの可能性 - -

山形辰史編 ¥4,620円(本体 4,400円 + 税5%) A5判 280頁 2008年3月27日 [amazon]



アフリカと政治 紛争と貧困とジェンダー 改訂版
戸田真紀子著 お著の水書房 2,400円+税 2013年9月 [amazon]

天理大学の戸田さんが、新著「アフリカと政治 紛争と貧困とジェンダー」を送ってくれました。

序章 アフリカを勉強する10の理由
第1部 アフリカの「民族紛争」の神話と現実
 第1章 アフリカの「民族」とは何か
 第2章 アフリカの民族紛争の「神話」
 第3章 突出する紛争犠牲者
 第4章 選挙民主主義が紛争を生み出す矛盾
 第5章 ナイジェリアの宗教紛争
第2部 ジェンダーから見るアフリカ
 第6章 アフリカの女性と「人間の安全保障」
 第7章 女性だけが背負う重荷
終章 立ち上がる草の根の人々とその声


Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa




山田肖子編著 岩波書店 ジュニア新書 245p 2008年3月

○アフリカのろう者と手話の歴史 - A・J・フォスターの「王国」を訪ねて
亀井伸孝著 明石書店 A5判 254p 2006年12月

○亀井伸孝(2009)「第5章 言語と身体の違いを超えて関係を構築する−アフリカ のろう者コミュニティにて−」
箕浦康子編著『フィールドワークの技法と実際II 分析・解釈編』ミネルヴァ書房所収

○亀井伸孝(2009)「第17章 アメリカ手話とフランス語の接触が生んだ手話言語−フランス語圏西・中部アフリカ−」
梶茂樹・砂野幸稔編著『アフリカのことばと社会 多言語状況を生きると言うこと』三元社所収

亀井伸孝著  岩波書店 2009年6月19日  日本語  819円 (税込み)  新書判/縦組/240ページ ISBN978-4-00-500630-4 C0236

○「理解と進歩のためのアフリカ言語学: 第6回世界アフリカ言語学会議(WOCAL 6)参加報告」
 『アフリカ研究』(日本アフリカ学会): 45-47.

亀井伸孝・米田信子著 2009


We need specialist employment for PWDs

New Vision-

We need specialist employment for PWDsPublish Date: Apr 01, 2014 newvision

By Muhammed Kakooza

According to my research on “the economic and social integration for the disabled, “the Lebanese project on the economic and social integration is considered as a model experience not only in the Arab world, but also in other countries such as Uganda can learn from it.

It was developed to integrate the disabled in the society both economically and socially by developing their functional capacities and skills. Moreover, it addresses the community and business men on the culture of integration and the diversity. It sheds light on the capabilities of the disabled people.

The area of expertise of the Lebanese project is in advocacy to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and ensure their integration and participation in decision-making processes and promote equal opportunities and also in community-based development projects including physical rehabilitation, inclusive education, and vocational rehabilitation.

It is estimated that disability affects the lives of more than 600 million people globally; the majority living in developing countries.

Some estimates suggest that roughly 15 to 20 percent of poor people in developing countries are disabled. Their numbers are rising due to conflict, malnutrition, accidents, violence, communicable and non-communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, ageing and natural disasters. World Bank studies have revealed that Ugandan households with a disabled head are 38% more likely to be poor than households headed by a person without a disability.

Therefore, with the help of the Government and all disability organisations in Uganda, let us benefit from the Lebanese experience and we implement it in Uganda to fight unemployment among the disabled people. The Government should establish a centre under the disability ministry to help the disabled people find suitable job opportunities in the job market.

By doing that, they could carry out statistical surveys to find out the number of the disabled people who are unemployed in partnership with the disability people’s organisations hence coming up with a strategic plan for their employment either in public or private sector.

Necessary measures should be put to establish a good relationship between the disabled people and private sector in providing an appropriate means of transport for the disabled to and from their work place. Below is a proposed mechanism for employment of the disability people:

1. Receive job applications from disabled people at the above proposed centre ( office) for assessment and necessary action;
2. Formation of team to search job opportunities for the disabled;
3. Study the work place and make a detailed job profiling;
4. Match the job opportunities with available job applications;
5. Conduction of selection process;
6. Follow _ up the employees at their work place to ensure their wellbeing;
7. Make required amendments where and when necessary;
8. The Government in partnership with disability organisations should foster the culture of integration in the private sector to make them understand the problems of disabled people. With a centre is in place, the private sector should be informed of the programmes within our endeavours to promote the centre’s plans and the ultimate goal to make private companies understand that they are partners

The writer is a Ugandan deaf person at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi



Nigeria: Senate Endorses Disability Bill


Africa: Crimea - What Lessons for Africa?
Nigeria: Speak Up - Making the Best of Power...

Abuja - THE Senate has passed the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2014 into law after it went through third reading in the house.

Senator Nurudeen Abatemi sponsored the bill.

Presenting the Bill for the clause by clause consideration, Senator Adamu Gumba, noted that over 10 percent of Nigeria's population was disabled.

He added that these people were confronted by several challenges, including marginalization occasioned by discrimination on the basis of their infirmity.

Gumba stressed that the bill sought legal protection against any form of discrimination they suffer either directly or indirectly. He disclosed that without the necessary legislative protection, it will be very difficult to address their plight.

“The legislation would seek for the establishment of an Agency that would cater for their needs such as healthcare, employment opportunities, and easy access to both public and private establishments,” Gumba said.

He revealed that the Sixth Senate had passed the bill into law but President Goodluck Jonathan withheld assent hence the need for this version of the bill.

The Senator averred that the current initiative took cognizance of the positions and attempts to propose a very small Agency that would be cost effective, stressing that almost all the Board Members of the Agency will be on part time basis.

The law-maker thanked his colleagues for the support accorded the Senate Joint Committee on Sports and Social Development, Women Affairs and Youth Development in carrying out the assignment and the Senate for the opportunity given to them.



Set aside budgets for disabled people, councils urged

Daily News

Published on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 01:50

DISTRICT and municipal councils countrywide have been urged to set aside a budget for people with disabilities unlike the current trend where only women and youth have a budget share.

Speaking with children with disabilities and public at Soko Kuu grounds, Ngarenaro Ward Councillor, Isaya Doita said disabled persons should as well enjoy as it is the case for women and children who enjoy 10 per cent budget share.

It is high time for municipalities and councils to recognize the need for people with disabilities and set aside their budget share too, to cater for their various economic and development needs," he said.

He added that should they enjoy the share, they will be able to come up with economic development projects which will see them run their affairs fully, compared to the current situation as majority of them are looked at as beggars.

However, he said, time has come where every ward should identify people with disabilities and have their correct number for proper budgeting to support them in their economic projects.

"It is our duty as councillors to know the people with disabilities in our respective areas and identify their needs and ensure they get their health, education and legal rights," he said.

The regional social worker, Ms Blandina Mkini, said the government will ensure that rights for people with disabilities are adhered to and still penalties await those who break them.



Disabled people call for inclusive education system

Daily News-
DailyNews Online Edition
Published on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:17

TANZANIA has to promote an inclusive education system through which multi disabled students can excel as it has been their dream for so long.

Tanzania League of the Blind (TLB), Vice-Chairman, Mr Robert Bundala said recently that the system must recognise and respond to diverse needs of students, accommodating different styles and rates of learning so as to ensure quality to all through appropriate curricula, organisational arrangements, teaching strategies, resource use and partnerships with local communities.

Mr Bundala said that if that is done, then the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training can pride itself of implementing Big Results Now (BRN) strategy.

He said such facilities for the disabled should be made available right from nursery schools to university level. The Persons with Disability Act 2010, stipulates that such people have equal rights to education, training in inclusive settings and the benefits of research as other citizens and that every child with a disability has equal rights to be admitted to public or private schools.

It further provides that a child with disability shall attend an ordinary public or private school except where a need for special communication is required and that in ordinary schools they shall be provided with appropriate disability related support services or other necessary learning services from a qualified teacher or a teacher assigned for that purpose.

Against that background, Mr Bundala said the country falls far short of its own law and that means children with disabilities suffer a lot in pursuing education from nursery level and that is why not many can make it to university stage. He challenged the ministry to discharge its responsibilities and see if the disabled students do not turn out to be better than those without disabilities.

He said that accomplishment of that duty will highly reduce discrimination against the disabled in the society. "Inclusive education helps to reduce discrimination, enhance cooperation, creativity, capacity building, improved communication skills, awareness of disabilities, improved support and care.

But, we have a big problem as the society discriminates us and this is caused by our lack of education. We implore the government to execute the law so that we get our fair share," said the vice- chairperson.

The TLB Chairman in Hai District, Mr Abraham Marima, said he cannot comprehend why the policy causes them a predicament while the law was enacted in 2010; it is very clear and could help many immensely.

Tanzania ratified a United Nations Agreement on right of quality education for the disabled ... the law to that end was enacted since 2010 but much to our bewilderment up to now there is no implementation of the same.

We are really facing challenges socially, especially the visually impaired persons," said Mr Marima. Hai District Social Welfare Officer, Mr Michael Mahundi said there is still a big challenge in identifying disabled people despite the enactment of the law, as it has to be properly interpreted.



Namibia Excels at SA Disabled Champs


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A NAMIBIAN team of 21 athletes and four guides excelled to win a total of 49 medals at the SA Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Stellenbosch last week.

The team won 37 gold medals, nine silver medals and three bronze medals to make their mark at the National Championships which saw the best athletes from South Africa and other Southern African countries in action.

Besides that, Namibian athletes broke nine South African records while four athletes qualified to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

Namibia's seven female athletes led the way with some fantastic performances as they all won gold medals in all their events.

Lahja Ishitile won three gold medals in the women's U20 T11 category in the 100m, 200m and 400m, while she also set new South African records in each event.

Johanna Katjikuru won three gold medals in the women's U20 T12 category in the 100m, 200m and 400m, while Anna Kambinda won two gold medals in the women's T11 100m and 200m.

Rosa Mandjoro won three gold medals in the women's U20 T13 in the 100m, 200m and 400m, while Johanna Benson won three gold medals in the women's T37 category in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Albertina Johannes won a gold medal in the women's U20 T46 200m event, while Chanel van der Westhuizen won gold medals in the women's F57 category for javelin, shot-put and discus.

Amongst the men, Ananias Shikongo, Johannes Nambala and Elias Ndimulunde led the way with three gold medals each.

Competing in the men's T11 category, Shikongo won gold in the 100m , 200m and 400m with all three times breaking the existing South African records.

Competing in the men's T13 category, Nambala did likewise, winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m, once again in three new record times.

Ndimulunde won three gold medals in the men's T46 category for the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Aihuki Eliakim won two gold medals in the men U20 T12 category for the 400m and 800m while he won a silver medal in the 200m.

In the men's T12 category, Martin Aloysius won gold in the 400m and two silver medals in the 200m and long jump.

In the men's U20 T12 category Ihenba Mukengo won gold medals in the 100m and the 200m and a bronze medal in the 400m, while Simson Khariseb won two gold medals in the men's T45 100m and long jump.

In the men's U20 T11 category, Tobias Moses won three silver medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Katjikuru Kaurumbua won a silver medal in the men's U20 T12 400m, while Elifas Iiyambo won a bronze medal in the men U20 T12 100m.

In the men's F44 category, Ethegaray Nduluwe won a silver medal in the discus and a bronze medal in the javelin, while Matheus Angula won a gold medal in the javelin in the men's F54 category.

Peter Balhao won gold medal in the shot-put and a silver medal in the discus in the men's F56 category, while Ruben Soroseb won a gold medal in the men's 72kg and over powerlifting category, in a new South African record.

"The team did very well considering that they did not have proper training, but they managed to pull themselves through the competition which had strong competitors from South Africa," the Secretary General of the Namibian Paralympic Committee Pena Kandjii said.

Despite their excellent results, only six Namibian athletes have so far qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.

According to Kandjii the Commonwealth Games organisers could choose which categories they will host and due to limited space only a few categories have been included.

The Namibian athletes that have qualified so far are the female sprinters Lahja Ishitile, Anna Kambinda and Johanna Katjikuru, and Johanna Benson who will only compete in the long jump.

Amongst the men, Ethegaray Nguluwe and Ruben Soroseb have qualified.

SKW 1 and Cohen 3 Retain Top Spots DEFENDING champions, SKW 1 and Cohen FC 3 retained their top spots in the National A and B Leagues respectively … see more ≫



Safaricom website legible for the visually impaired

Capital FM Kenya
Written by OLIVE BURROWS // April 8, 2014 // Comment

In the computer lab 17-year-old Nelson Otieno tells Safaricom Corporate Affairs Director Nzioka Waita what he thinks of their new website/OLIVE BURROWS

THIKA, Kenya, Apr 8 - Two big screens line the front of the tent. They can’t see what’s on them but they can hear and their seats barely contain them as they jump up and down.

“You need to come more often,” the Headteacher of Thika School of the Blind Jotham Makokha later tells the blind musician Denno (Dennis Karanja), “as you well know, those born blind aren’t usually very good dancers as they’ve never seen anyone move; so they need more practice.”

Co-ordinated or not, they celebrate; celebrate the new Safaricom website that has been reconfigured with them especially in mind.

In the computer lab 17-year-old Nelson Otieno tells Safaricom Corporate Affairs Director Nzioka Waita what he thinks of their new website.

“This one is much better. It’s better organised and while I can’t see the pictures, at least I have an idea of what they are,” he says.

And he goes on to demonstrate to Waita what he means.

He listens intently to the voice that comes through his headphones and uses the cursor keys to move between the various tabs.

On the homepage he moves to the shop tab, presses down the enter key and is taken to that page. Then he uses the space bar to check and select his price range for a phone, the operating system, manufacturer and style.

If there’s a photo on the page, his screen reader tells him what it is, “A man dressed in Masai regalia smiling at a phone in his hand after a successful M-PESA transaction,” I make out.

Together with Waita they check on the availability of a Nokia phone with a qwerty keyboard in the price range of Sh15,001 to Sh20,000.

“If the site can be accessed by those with visual impairments, it then means all the other customers can be able to access the site,” Waita later says of their latest endeavour:

Creating one of the first websites in the country that puts the needs of the visually impaired at the core of its development.

“There are over 300,000 persons with visual impairments in this country and we want them to compete effectively in the market place. That means allowing them to function with ease on the cyber sphere,” Waita explains.

And for Denno, just having the pictures on a website explained, is a big step forward, “If there are very many photos on a site then the screen reader will not be able to give me the actual look of the photo. Until now.”

And while making the website user friendly to the visually impaired is a big part of their latest renovation, Waita says it is not the only end.

“Our target is to make sure on a monthly basis we can serve up to two million customers. The site can figure out where you are, it can link you to the nearest shop, you can then search for a device, you’ll be told about stock availability and which shop, place your order, Lipa na M-PESA online, have your device reserved and picked at your location,” he continues to explain.

And to drive traffic to their website, Nzioka says Safaricom plans to spend Sh100 million on a digital campaign in the coming financial year.

“We would like more Kenyans to get information about our products and services over the internet. It’s two fold. One it makes the information available to a wider demographic but two it also serves our purposes of trying to build the internet culture among Kenyans,” he says.

Toward this end Safaricom has spent well over Sh15 million over the past few months widening its online demographic to include the visually impaired.

And it’s at the celebrations of which that the Children of Thika School for the Blind now recite: “We were mteja but we are now connected thanks to Safaricom.”



‘Societal attitude is what creates our disability’

Nigerian Tribune-
09.Apr.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Oluwaseun Raheem

From left, Principal, Training Centre for the Blind, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Mr Yemi Omotonbaje; a staff in Oyo State Ministry of Health, Mr Felix Adedeji; Special Adviser, Oyo State Government, Prince Paul Adelabu and Vice Principal, Oluyole Chesire School, Ibadan, Evangelist James Olu Kayode, at a recent outing at Ilawo, Osun State.

The able-bodied in the society have contributed positively to the current state of physically-challenged people in developing countries, especially in Nigeria. The stigma attached to these physically challenged people, which is that of individuals with no realisable ambition nor intellectual relevance, has really sunk deep into the mentality of the physically-able people, making this mentality a stereotype.

On the contrary, the physically-challenged persons are gradually emerging as major players in their fields, coming out tops, while many among the able bodied are left behind.

It seems the disabled have rejected defeat and imbibed a strong zeal and determination to become a success in their career in all life’s phases. Their watchword, “what the physically fit can do, we can do much better ” has gone miles developing in them, determination, confidence and assurance of being equal to others in every aspect, shunning inferiority complex amongst others.

Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Oyo State on Disability Matters, Prince Paul Adelabu, who is physically impaired in both hands, spoke extensively on the life-changing contributions of the so-called disabled in the country using his own self as a portrait. He stated that most persons with “disabilities” as tagged by the society are not what they are in the real sense. Such people, given the necessary training, can do what an able person can, and even better. “People with disabilities are therefore capable of doing more than what able persons can do but with differences in the mode of performance. That’s why there are political appointees, administrators, journalists, even teachers on wheel chairs,” he said.

He further stated that the negative societal attitude towards the physically -challenged is what creates disability. “The society is our disability. If only they can change their attitudes to the physically- challenged, knowing full well that anybody could fall a victim, then there is no disability.”

Adelabu urged the society to see disability issues as global and general happenstance which could happen to anyone. “These people should be associated with, cared for, embraced and assisted with infrastructure that provide ease in doing things. If these could be done, definitely the appellation, ‘disability’ will be eliminated.”

Elucidating on the role of the Oyo State government on disability matters, he stated that the government had contributed much in the provision of free education to these people by creating special institutions that aid in knowledge acquisition and quality training. He added that the government also gave feeding allowances, and had recruited special teachers for special schools.

Furthermore, he stated that the Oyo State government, under the leadership of Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, had also created job vacancies in every sector for persons with disabilities. “We search for employment everywhere for these people. Senator Ajimobi said there must be a special quota in every sector for persons with disabilities, so, there’s no recruitment we do without involving them. Vocational training centres are also made available for the non-educated physically -challenged, plus community-based vocational centres for the community members. These entitlements are given in every local government.”

Speaking on the experiences that preceded his achievements in life, he said he was born disabled with his two hands deformed. It was not easy for him coping with the deformity at the young age as he started crawling six years after he was born. “My own deformity is miraculous because I was born as a twin, but my twin brother had nothing of such.” He had to be trained on how to use his hands to do things. All these, for him, contributed to schooling late.

Despite this, he went through the normal educational processes till he joined the local government service where he worked for 10 years.

“I then became the first Nigerian principal with disability for the Federal Rehabilitating Centre of Persons with Disabilities. Also, I was the founder and initiator of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities. I also had to plant all other state chapters, including Abuja, which are all doing well. I have also travelled nationally and internationally for conferences regarding disability matters. So, my name is a household name when you talk about leaders, pioneers and advocates of the disabled. One of the things that motivated me to knowing that I could be great in life were the books of great men that I read. One was Zik’s words, which says that 3S= S, that is ‘ service, sacrifice and suffering equals success’. I also went into several activities while I was still young, various educational clubs that gave me ability to be vocal and brought out my residual abilities. ”

The special adviser also spoke as regards his marital life, “Everybody has been designed a partner from God. Although some of the family members of my wife refused, but she had to make her decision. She saw in me gold, a man with a bright future, a person that will be caring and peaceful as a result of my deformed hands which makes me unable to box her during quarrels; unlike marrying an able-bodied man who might do otherwise. Also, I had the economic empowerment; I was capable to be a family man in terms of finances to take care of her and our offsprings. Today, she has no cause to regret.”

He advised able women to see beyond the man they are engaged to, especially the disabled, in terms of not looking at their physical appearances, but the potentials they have got in terms of financial capability, potency to produce children and care for them. “It’s beneficial to ladies marrying persons with disabilities because there’s assurance of peace of mind and cooperation. The disabled man appreciates what you do for him because he can’t, likewise the woman. You hardly see disabled people running after women, going to parties or being unfaithful to their spouses.”

In addition, he promised that if there was any man who married a disabled woman or vice-versa and they were jobless, he was ready to assist in providing job opportunities for them.

Nigerian Tribune spoke in an interview with Evangelist James Olu Kayode, the Administrative Vice Principal of Oluyole Chesire School, an integrative institution for both the physically-challenged and able bodied. Evangelist Olukayode is with physical impairment of poliomyelitis, said that disabilities in individuals were caused either by adventitious or congenital means. Adventitious could be through accidents or sudden happenings, while congenital disability from child birth was accompanied by antenatal misdeeds. He said it was therefore important for the society to know that everyone had the risk of being disabled.

He decried on the fact that persons with disabilities were often viewed by the society as second class citizens, never-do-wells and sub-human. This, he believed emanated all the way from history and he made references from the Bible, saying in essence that the stigma was all over the world.

He admonished the government to do more in promoting welfare and living standard of the physically-challenged by making available, amenities like social security, special educational materials, provision of adequate disability allowance, free education and lots more should be accrued to them. “This will help them stretch beyond their limitations, hence providing them with a destination in life. There are countries where people are secretly wishing they were disabled so as to take the entitlements given to persons with disabilities,” he said.

The evangelist, who served as Chairman of Joint National Association of the physically-challenged for eight years, described the factors and conditions that preceded his achievements. He narrated that, he was struck with poliomyelitis that made him lose his two lower limbs at the age of two. Even with this, his parent had the hope of him surviving the incident and was well taken care of by them. They gave him the best they could in terms of education, not minding his state.

“My disability limited me at the beginning. I started school rather later than my colleagues did, but with determination, the grace of God, parental support and encouragement from other people, I knew I could get to greater heights. I was raised the same way my siblings without disabilities were raised. I never attended any special school all my life. I went to regular schools, so, I had to compete with non-disabled children. I think I’m in this position today because my parents were determined I was going to make it. They planted in me a determination of seeing myself as someone who could make it. I grew with the belief that God is the only caretaker and raiser of children. These are the secrets to my achievements today.

Nevertheless, he said “graduates with disabilities should be respected than a professor who is physically fit because the graduate has gone through more difficult times to acquire a degree than the professor.” He cited instances of when he was in his university days at UNILORIN. He said it was very difficult getting to the lecture halls as physically fit people would get in before him while he was still behind trying to get his way in. “Because I was sociable, I had friends who would have reserved a seat for me but still, I pulled through.

“My family is doing pretty good. I met my wife at United Secondary School, Ijokodo, Ibadan, where we were both teachers. She is a God-fearing person; she said she was convinced that I was the man for her, coupled with the abilities she saw in me.”

He admonished the physically-challenged to be hardworking and determined no matter the challenges and intimidation that comes their way.



Safaricom revamps website, now accessible for visually impaired


Visually impaired students on Safaricom's new website

Kenya’s leading operator Safaricom has revamped its website, making it fully accessible to the visually impaired, the first of its kind in Kenya.

Apart from meeting the digital inclusion aspiration by targeting this group, the website is in line with the company’s vision of transforming lives, and boasts other features such as accessibility on desktop, mobile, tablets and feature phones.

“In Kenya today, there are more than 300,000 people who are visually impaired or blind, and can therefore not benefit from the wealth of information on the internet,” said Safaricom director of corporate affairs Nzioka Waita.

Waita was speaking at the Thika School for the Blind, where the website was officially launched and the guests got to know the problems the visually impaired encounter in their quest for information through Susan ’s story on http://youtu.be/5blD5Ma2nyI


Safaricom’s yuMobile acquisition “still under discussion”

Safaricom still considering yuMobile deal

“According to the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation, only five per cent of all published works are currently available in formats accessible to the visually impaired persons community. With this move, we are making it possible for our customers who suffer visual impairment access all Safaricom content, just like our sighted customers.”

The Safaricom website complies with guidelines and standards as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI).

By conforming to the guidelines, www.safaricom.co.ke has attained AAA rating from inABLE - a non-governmental organisation that empowers the visually impaired through assistive technology - towards its Non-Visual Accessibility Certification.

The National Council of Persons with Disabilities has also certified the website is fully accessible to persons with visual disabilities.

“Accessibility is an ongoing process because everything changes like a moving target. Technology changes, the needs of users change, and information providers also change. Therefore, as businesses engage in new designs, it is good business practice to engage in universal designs for accessibility,” inAble executive director Irene Mbari-Kirika said.

“inABLE is very excited about the partnership with Safaricom to make its current and future digital assets accessible.”

Waita said: “We have profiled our customers and have mechanisms and tools in place that are able to see if the customer calling has a special need. This enables our staff members to interact with them while remaining cognizant of the customers’ special needs.”

The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities which entered into force in 2008 requires accessibility be taken into account in the design of new information technologies and systems.

The current Safaricom website is ranked in the top 20 most visited websites, just after social and news sites.



South Africa: Thaba-Nchu School for Visually Impaired Gets Computer Lab

9 APRIL 2014

Pretoria - The Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, says education is a weapon to fight poverty.

Speaking at the handover of an accessible computer laboratory to the Bartimea School for the Blind and Deaf in Thaba-Nchu, near Bloemfontein on Wednesday, the minister urged the learners to educate and empower themselves.

"Use this [lab] correctly to empower and educate yourselves ... as education is the best weapon to fight poverty," said the deputy minister.

Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu and the MTN Foundation have partnered to establish accessible computer laboratories with specialised equipment that is responsive to the special needs of visually impaired and hearing impaired learners.

Many schools for learners with disabilities have the challenge of a lack of resources and infrastructure.

"Today we are giving you a computer lab to include you in the global world. [This lab] makes you connected to the rest of the world. We never had those things but we dreamed of you having them one day," she said.

The deputy minister urged the learners to look after the lab.



Zimbabwe: Charlene Relates Her Miss Deaf Ordeal


Zimbabwe: Kudos to Zimplats for Showing the Way

In November 2011, Charlene Chidyamakuni made a bold decision to leave her job in Johannesburg where she worked as a clerk.

The decision was bold given the constraints she encountered in securing a job in Zimbabwe where deaf people face challenges in securing employment.

But being gifted with a model's frame, she braved it and journeyed across the Limpopo to Harare to prepare for the Miss Deaf Zimbabwe finals that were to be held on December 1 2013.

Little did Charlene and her mother know that they were to encounter a nightmare.

"We got into camp at around 7am on the day and had to go for the whole day without food," she gesticulated to her mother who translated for her.

"Later on in the day we were offered a cup of tea and a slice of bread which was to be all the food there was for the day until the end of the event."

Charlene won the crown but ironically, it brought her more misery than joy as all the blissful promises turned to be pie in the sky.

"For winning the crown, I got a fashion voucher worth US$100 but up to now even that has not materialised. My mother has had to go up and down following up on the dress and when we finally got the chance to see the dress we were shocked by the place we were taken to. The dress itself was another nightmare," she said.

Charlene's mother said they started noticing something was amiss when the organiser of the pageant Madeline Yohane disappeared on the night of the event.

"We even failed to get photos taken. She seemed in such a hurry and did not explain to us what was happening. As the parents we had been promised dinner if I am not mistaken, but the hotel told us we had to buy even drinking water," she said expressing disappointment.

Yohane refuted allegations that contestants went without food on the day of the event in December claiming that they all had lunch comprising tea and sandwiches.

She said she was disappointed that the clothing voucher offer had not materialised as expected and said she hoped standing offers from the Czech Republic mission would be coming through.

Charlene and her twin brother Shelton who is also deaf were born on May 13, 1986.

Their mother and late father managed to send them to school at St Giles and later Emerald Hill where they both proved to be exceptionally intelligent.

At Emerald Hill, Charlene won modelling titles while Shelton showed great talent in art.

Their mother said the twins were also very brave children.

"At one time when I had travelled to Zimbabwe leaving them with their father in South Africa, robbers broke into the house and packed stuff they wanted. Charlene and Shelton were tied by electric codes and the robbers threatened to take Charlene with them when they were done," she said.

"One of the robbers was Zimbabwean. The intruders who apparently did not realise the two children were deaf, kept forcing them to talk. But, despite the threats, they both did not to cry."

She said Charlene does not want people to feel pity for her and makes sure her mother does not try to communicate with her in public where people will learn of her disability.



International conference of handicapped inaugurated

Egypt SIS (press release)
Monday, 14 April 2014

Communication and Information Technology Minister Atef Helmy inaugurated on Sunday the annual CIT for People with Disabilities Conference.

During his speech, the minister revealed conducting the first experiment to convert the CIT headquarters to a high availability headquarters of the visual disabilities services through using a new software to be a role model in all ministries and government bodies during the coming period.

On the sidelines of the conference, an exhibition will showcase the IT companies' innovative ideas and projects directed to the handicapped.

The event is organized with the sponsorship of the European Union (EU), the Arab League, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Telecom Egypt (TE).



Visually impaired groom weds his college sweetheart after courting for four years

The Standard Digital News
Updated Wednesday, April 16th 2014 at 10:34 GMT +3

Visually impaired Benson Wachira and Winfred Wanjiru during their wedding ceremony at Mihuti PCEA church in Mukurweini, Nyeri County.
[Photo: Lydiah Nyawira/Standard] By Lydiah Nyawira

Nyeri, Kenya: An elegant bride walks down the aisle flanked by her parents towards her college sweetheart who stands at the altar, patiently waiting with a smile on his face.

He stares blankly ahead, trusting that the angel being brought to him is the love of his life.

Visually impaired Benson Wachira, 29, and his bride Winfred Wanjiru, 25, have been courting for four years and looking forward to this day when they would show the world that lack of sight was no obstacle to love.

The joyful atmosphere filled the church as the couple exchanged marriage vows and ululations rocked the air.

Perhaps the joy was tenfold because when Wachira lost his sight in 2006 after a short illness, he never expected that his life would ever be ‘normal’.

“My life instantly changed when my world went dark and I lost my sight but today I have my sights set on the most wonderful woman I would ever ask God for as a wife,” Wachira said.

College students Their love life began when Winnie, as her friends call her, spotted a group of 25 visually impaired college students in the dining hall at Machakos Teachers Training College where she was also studying.

“I noticed that they didn’t have anyone to serve them and I made up my mind to bring them their meals from the counter.

As I served them every day, I eventually became friends with Ben,” says a beaming Wanjiru.

See Also: Romance in polygamy: Can a man love his wives equally? With a bright smile, she explained how when he asked her out for a date the first time she said “No” but after a while she began to see him as a kind-hearted gentleman despite his blindness.

“We started taking long walks and I would read to him some of the books which were not in Braille to help him study and I realised he was just a normal man who was smart, generous and I could relate to him,” quips Wanjiru.

When the time came to tell her family that she had indeed chosen a visually impaired groom, Wanjiru had no problem and her parents did not see it as a big deal.

“My parents were very supportive and even gave us their blessing but some of my friends were not as supportive.

But my heart and mind were made up.

I am the happiest bride today,” she said.



Gambia: Town Field Primary Visits WCR Deaf School


Officials from the Town Field Primary School in United Kingdom (UK) last Thursday visited the School of the Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) in West Coast Region as part of their quest to partner with them.

Speaking at the occasion, Alex Rigg, the head of the delegation, who also doubles as the manager of Hearing Support Base Town Field, described the partnership with the school as vital and timely, noting that the deaf should be given an equal opportunity, like others in society. She added that, "once they get the required education, they would participate immensely to the development of the country." "Our visit is to partner with the school as well as to see for ourselves what some of their needs are," she said.

She commended the staff of the school and the community of West Coast Region for their affiliation with the school, whilst urging them to see the deaf as partners in development. Rigg assured them that they would maintain their support towards the progress and advancement of GADHOH.

For her part, Fatoumatta E Baldeh, officer-in-charge of the Special Need for Education (SNE) in the West Coast Region noted that as an officer responsible for monitoring of SNE, her first priority is to promote the welfare of the deaf, stressing that disability should not be seen as inability.

The relationship between the Town Field Primary and GADHOH, she added, marks another milestone in the WCR education sector, as the partnership will create more avenues for both parties.

She stated that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) attaches great importance towards the education of the disabilities and continues to support in promoting the well-being of the disabilities in the country. Baldeh thus called on the stakeholders to rally behind the MoBSE in their quest to promote grassroot education.

Karamo Sanyang, the head of the school, Binta Cham, Lamin Kinteh and Fatoumatta Jallow also spoke at the occasion



TE Data launches M3ak service for the disabled

Daily News Egypt-
Sara Aggour / April 16, 2014 /

The company hired 10 employees with hearing disabilities to serve similarly disabled clients

TE Data, the internet service provider by Telecom Egypt (TE), launched a new, free service titled M3ak (Arabic for “with you”) to help customers with hearing disabilities.

During the Q4 2013, the internet company hired 10 employees with hearing disabilities and provided them with adequate training for the position of customer service agents.

According to communication manager at TE Data Mervat Abu Shady, customers with hearing disabilities can request technical assistance through video conferences with trained TE Data agents and use sign language to communicate.

“We noticed that people with hearing disabilities spend a lot of their time surfing the internet and chatting because it is an easier form of communication,” Abu Shady said. “We decided to offer this customer service to our disabled clients as well do with the 19777 call service.”

Abu Shady said the service is completely free and does not consume from customers’ internet quota.

The communications manager pointed out that this is the first phase of the project, adding that the company has intentions to increase the number of agents if the service proved successful.

“This way, we hire and offer job opportunities for Egyptians with hearing disabilities while at the same time benefit the client,” Abu Shady said.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) cited Telecom Egypt’s CEO Mohamed El-Nawawy as saying: “Last year, TE appointed 30 visually disabled persons at Telecom Egypt’s customer service centre and the national directory of the country”.

- See more at: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/04/16/te-data-launches-m3ak-service-disabled/#sthash.XeSuXxj8.dpuf



Swaziland: Trendy Fashion for the Disabled and for Plus-Sized Ladies


Nomcebo Dlamini dresses plus-sized women for a living. She aspires to own a business that will specialise in dressing plus-sized people, especially women as well as disabled people.

Dlamini said she saw the gap in the market after observing that most clothing (retail) shops chose their ranges and focused on normal and lean women. As a plus-sized woman who is also disabled, she knows of the huddles and challenges plus-sized women face when it comes to dressing themselves.

"My dream is to dress people like me so they can be comfortable in their bodies and have the confidence to lift their heads high. Looking good is feeling good and as a plus-sized woman who is also disabled, I know what would make another woman like me feel good and also look comfortable in, " she said.

She also sews school uniforms and choir uniforms for churches, depending on her orders. She does not have an assistant yet as the company is not yet registered and is at infancy stage, with not many orders to work on.

"I just want to show the world that despite my size and my disability, I can make something for myself using my hands. Sewing is something that I like and making a living out of it is my dream," said Dlamini.

Her wish is to have her company registered and fully operational soon, and she hopes to eventually have a sewing school where she can empower and train people like her to sew.

Dlamini studied psycho-social support and also did a two-year course in dressmaking.

This article is part of the GL News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summits underway across the region, offering fresh views on everyday news.



Zambia: Proving Disability Is Not Inability

19 APRIL 2014

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ABILITY beyond disability - this is how we should see the disabled people in society. Gone are the days when persons with disability were thought to be a nuisance and an object of pity to the Zambian society.

The notion that their work was only to beg by the street corners or when they were not considered as part of mainstream society.

This week I bring the life of Evangelist Nick Vujicic and I believe he will encourage and inspire persons with disability that there is life beyond disability and that every life come with a purpose and mission.

Vujicic was born December 4, 1982 in Serbian Australian and born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs.

As a child, he struggled mentally, emotionally and physically, but eventually, came to terms with his disability, at the age of seventeen, he started his own non-profit organization called Life without Limits.

As an evangelist and motivational speaker Vujicic presents motivational speeches worldwide, on life with a disability, hope and finding meaning in life.

He also speaks about his belief that God can use any willing heart to do his work and that God is big enough to overcome any and all disabilities.

Nick Vujicic was born to Dushka and Boris Vujicic as a healthy baby despite the fact that he was born without arms and legs; he had no legs, but two small feet, one of which had two toes. Nick has two siblings, Michelle and Aaron.

Initially, a Victoria state law prevented Nick from attending a mainstream school due to his physical disability in spite of a lack of mental impairment.

However, Vujicic became one of the first physically disabled students integrated into a mainstream school once those laws changed.

However, his lack of limbs made him a target for school bullies, and he fell into a severe depression.

At age eight, he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bathtub at age ten; his love for his parents prevented him from following through.

He also started in his music video "Something More" that God had a plan for his life and he could not bring himself to drown because of this.

Nick prayed very hard that God would give him arms and legs, and initially told God that, if his prayer remained unanswered, Nick would not praise him indefinitely.

However, a key turning point in his faith came when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability.

Vujicic realised he wasn't unique in his struggles and began to embrace his lack of limbs. After this, Nick realised his accomplishments could inspire others and became grateful for his life.

Nick gradually figured out how to live a full life without limbs, adapting many of the daily skills limbed people accomplish without thinking.

Nick writes with two toes on his left foot and a special grip that slid onto his big toe. He knows how to use a computer and can type up to 45 words per minute using the "heel and toe" method. He has also learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave, in addition to participating in golf, swimming, and even sky-diving.

During secondary school, he was elected captain of MacGregor State in Queensland and worked with the student council on fundraising events for local charities and disability campaigns.

When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group and in 2005 Vujicic was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award.


Vujicic speaking during the session "Inspired for a Lifetime" at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 30 January 2011.

Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a double major in accountancy and financial planning.

As motivational speaker Vujicic has been travelling internationally and focusing on teen issues. Having addressed over three million people in over 24 countries on five continents and he speaks to corporate audiences, congregations, and schools.

Vujicic promotes his work through television shows and through his writing. His first book, Life without Limbs: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.

He markets a motivational DVD, Life's Greater Purpose, a short documentary filmed in 2005 highlighting his home life and regular activities.

The second part of the DVD was filmed at his local church in Brisbane one of his first professional motivational speeches. He markets a DVD for young people titled: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries: Youth Version.

Nick Vujicic lives in Los Angeles, California, United States and on February 12, 2012, he married his fiancee, Kanae Miyahara, and by the grace of God on February 13, 2013, their son Kiyoshi James Vujicic was born weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces.

This is true love. This is better than any fairy tale or movie. Nick has had such an amazing life. Prince William and Catherine Middleton are just another famous rich couple. Nothing special about them. But Nick Vujicic has given hope to millions of people around the world.

In almost every nation, they know and love Nick Vujicic. In China Nick Vujicic is known as Lectra Zhe Hu.

If wealth was measured by how many people cared about you. Nick would be the richest man on earth.

So who is the lucky lady that gets to marry such a great man, Kanae Miyahara is a beautiful angel sent by God from Japan.Miyahara has a sister that is a teacher and she comes from a well respected family.

According to Vujicic, had he been born in a third world country, his condition would have been considered a curse or a shame by his parents and he would have been killed at his birth, last week i communicated to him and he sent me this email;

My name is Nick Vujicic and I am thankful to have been born 30 years ago with no arms and no legs.

I won't pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my adversity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose.

I reside now in California with my wife, Kanae, and we both love seeing people's lives changed for the better or touched in some way. It is my hope that your life is positively impacted by my story.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Pastor Nick told me that it was a shock to his parents that he arrived without limbs.

There is no medical reason for it. My parents did their very best to keep me in the mainstream school system and give me every opportunity to live to the fullest. I was blessed to have a brother and a sister as my best friends too.

We later moved to Brisbane, Australia, where I lived for 14 years before I made the move to California. At age eight, I could not see a bright future ahead and I became depressed. When I was ten years old, I decided to end my life by drowning myself in a bathtub. After a couple attempts, I realised that I did not want to leave my loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from my suicide. I could not do that to them.

I wasn't depressed my entire childhood, but I did have ups and downs. At age thirteen I hurt my foot, which I use for many things like typing, writing and swimming.

That injury made me realize that I need to be more thankful for my abilities and less focused on my disabilities.

When I was fifteen years old, I sealed my faith in God and from there it has been an amazing journey.

A janitor at my high school inspired me to start speaking about my faith and overcoming adversity when I was seventeen. I spoke only a dozen times to very small groups over the next two years.

Then I found myself in front of three hundred sophomore (grade 10) students and I was very nervous.

My knees were shaking. Within the first three minutes of my talk, half the girls were crying, and most of the boys were struggling to hold their emotions together.

One girl in particular was sobbing very hard. We all looked at her and she put her hand up. She said, "I am so sorry to interrupt, but can I come up and hug you?"

She came hugged me in front of everyone, and whispered in my ear, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am."

Her gratitude inspired me to go across 44 countries and speak 2,000 times.

I realised that we all need love and hope and that I was in a unique position to share that with people around the world.

While majoring in both accounting and financial planning at a university, I also worked on developing my abilities as a speaker. I worked with a speaking coach who helped to cultivate me as a presenter. He especially worked on my body language as my hands flew everywhere at first!

I spoke on motivational topics after creating the company, attitude is altitude. I also launched a non-profit ministry, life without limbs, to spread my messages of faith and hope around the world.

Whoever you are, wherever you're from and whatever you are dealing with, I hope that you will be inspired by my story and my message.

I share with you my thoughts on faith, hope and love to encourage you and to help you overcome your own challenges.

Dream big my friend and never give up. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. Take one day at a time. Embrace the positive attitudes, perspectives, principles and truths I share, and you too will overcome.

An evangelist who was born without limbs and has inspired millions of people through his testimony of faith and determination announced the birth of his son on Wednesday.

Nick Vujicic, president and CEO of Life without Limbs, and his wife, Kanae, celebrated their first anniversary on Tuesday, and their first child arrived just one day later - the day before Valentine's Day.

May this life change many Zambian more especially persons with disabilities, parent with children with disability because Nick has told us that his parents supported him from day one but most children with disabilities in Zambia are been hidden in homes and their future is not known.

For your letters please send to us on P.O. BOX 34490 Lusaka, Zambia or use our South African Address Johannesburg Project Office, P.O. BOX 1981 New Castle, and 2940 Republic of South Africa.

The author is Regional Disability policy Analyst for SADC and Inclusive Development Advisor for Centre for Disability Development Research, Law and Policy, Johannesburg



Gambia: Disability Rights Training for Law Enforcement Officers/ Legal Practitioners On the Way


A two-day training workshop for the law enforcement agents and the legal practitioners was yesterday 16 April, 2014, kicked off at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi. This was organized by the Gambia Federation of disabled and sponsored by the UNDP.

The training is meant to equip the participants with critical understanding of disability as a human rights issue, and also empower participants how to identify and deal with the disability rights dimension of their work.

This workshop further aims to educate and raise awareness about critical issues affecting people with disabilities in the Gambia, through the lens of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Speaking at the training workshop, the executive director of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, Mr. Ebrima Dibbasey, stated that this training would no doubt be very vital to the lives of the disabled persons, and the right of the person with disability, adding that the GFD is the umbrella body of all persons with disability. He pointed out that the Ministry of health and social welfare has been rendering support to them and also supporting their programs.

He added that he had hope that the information gathered from this training would be properly disseminated to the entire population, noting the turn up of the invitees had shown that the Gambian population has respect and concerns for the persons with disability.

Sulayman Colley, the president of the Gambia Paralympic committee, in his few remarks, advanced that disability is everyone's business, and the things surrounding disability are really unacceptable, and said it is only us who can change it.

He said we should help each other to effect changes, and all the stakeholders have a role to play in creating an enabling environment for persons with disability. He remarked that while one may be alright today, who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Also speaking at the training, the director of the Social Welfare, Fanta Bai Secka, also emphasised that it is important to value the existing relationship between the GFD and the training of the law enforcement agents and legal practitioners, which she said is very important and would be effective.

She elucidated that everyone is equal before the law, and the right of the disabled should be respected, noting that the disabled people in the Gambia are Gambians and everyone is at risk of being disabled; that a person can become a disabled at every second.

She urged persons with disability to sensitize the public and build partnership with the stakeholders. She added that the government of the Gambia has always been supportive of persons with disability.



Gambia: Townfield Primary Visits WCR Deaf School


Visitors from the Townfield Primary School in United Kingdom (UK) last week were guests of the Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) West Coast Region Chapter in their quest to partner with their school in Brikama Jamisa. Alex Rigg, head of the delegation, who also doubles as the Manager of Hearing Support Base Townfield, said partnering with the school is vital and timely. She noted that the deaf should be given an equal opportunity like others in the society, adding that once they got the required education, they would be able to participate immensely in the development of the country.

"Our visit is to partner with the school as well as to see for ourselves what some of their needs are," she said. She further commended the staff of the school and the community of the West Coast Region for their affiliation with the school and urging them to see the deaf as partners in the development, while assuring inflicting support towards their progress and advancement.

Fatoumatta E. Baldeh, office in charge of the Special Needs for Education (SNE) in the West Coast Region, said as the officer responsible for monitoring SNE, her first priority is to promote the welfare of the deaf and other visually impaired persons. She said disability should not be seen as inability.

"The twining today between the Townfield Primary and GADHOH is yet another historic day in the history of the region's education sector as the partnership will create more avenues for both parties," she said.

She said the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education( MoBSE) attaches great importance towards the education of the disabled and assured the ministry's continued support in promoting the welfare of the disabled in the country. She called on the stakeholders to put all hands on deck in order to support the cause of the disabled.

Karamo Sanyang, head of the school, in his welcoming remarks, also described the day as historic and timely. He said the school begins operation in 2006 as a one classroom school and that it later expanded and becomes bigger thanks to the intervention of their Dutch partners who built a both nursery and primary in November 2009.

Bintou Cham, the school's adopted mother, thanked the visitors for choosing the school as a partner. She said this is a dream come true since the school is facing some constraints that are affecting its day to day running. Lamin Kanteh and Fatoumatta Jallow, both parents, commended the visitors and appealed to them to help them with a transport, feeding and the provision of staff salary which are the most serious constraints facing the school and are hampering the education of the students.

In attendance were parents and representatives from the Regional Education Directorate of West Coast Region.



Tap your talents for self-advancement, disabled counselled

Daily News
DailyNews Online Edition
Published on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 01:54

THE First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete, has urged people with disability not to despair because of their status, but should use their talents to improve their economic and social well-being.

Speaking with people with special needs at Rasbura in Lindi municipality on Sunday when she visited them and celebrated Easter with them, Mama Kikwete advised them to tap their talents for their future advancement.

She donated foodstuff, including rice, meat, sugar, cooking oil, onions, soft drinks and tomatoes. “Usually I do spend such festivals with orphans and various needy groups, but this time around I have decided to celebrate Easter with you,” she said.

Earlier, the centre’s Director, Mr Saimoni Mnimbo, had thanked Mama Kikwete for taking her time to enjoy Easter with people with special needs and for the donation of foodstuff.

Lindi Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Chairman, Ally Mtopa, commended the centre, which is owned and run by the Catholic Church for accepting all needy people, regardless of their denomination.

One of the people living at the centre, Mohamed Chitawala, called on the government to address medical challenges they are facing, saying they do not have a dispensary at the centre and when they attend public health facilities, they face difficulties in getting proper and timely treatment.



Tanzania: Failure to Access Sexual, Reproductive Healthcare Haunts Disabled People


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MAJORITY of people living with disabilities (PWDs) in the country hardly receive disability-focused services, and thus unable to access sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) and family planning (FP), it has been observed.

There is need, therefore, to ensure availability of appropriate infrastructure and equipment to facilitate provision of such services to PWDs.

This could be achieved by mainstreaming disability in the national SRH/ FP agenda and budget to address the needs of this group.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam by the Head of Research at Marie Stopes Tanzania (MST), Ms Mengi Ntinginya, while presenting a paper titled; "Barriers and Facilitating Factors for People with Disabilities to Access Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: Feasibility Study, 2013".

Ms Ntinginya explained further that there is need for more research on specific disability issues to improve understanding of PWDs' SRH needs and barriers they face in accessing SRH/FP services.

She made the presentation on the sidelines of the 28th Annual Joint Scientific Conference organized by the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) that started on Tuesday and set to end today.

The study, which was conducted in Korogwe, Lindi, Mtwara and Rufiji district councils in May, last year, was aimed at collecting baseline information on barriers that PWDs face when accessing SRH / FP services in order to understand the best way to reach them with quality healthcare services.

Focused on mainstreaming service delivery for youth of both genders, the study included PWDs in the groups of intellectual, physical, hearing, visual and people with albinism.

"Service providers blame pregnant women with disabilities together with their partners. They think a woman with disability is not supposed to become a mother.

"As a result, some women with disabilities are scared to seek FP methods at health facilities with fear that service providers may sterilize them," a woman living with disability in Korogwe District is quoted as saying during the study.

Ms Ntinginya went on to explain that stigma and discrimination are the core barriers for PWDs in accessing SRH and FP services.

Others were long distance to health facilities, inaccessible infrastructures in addition to financial constraints.

"Service providers have no awareness on disability and specialized skills required to deliver SRH/FP services to PWDs and they also lack appropriate systems for capturing data around disabilities in client registers, for those accessing such services," she stated.



Ngani Witches Camps Gives To Deaf Pupils

By Daily Guide Ghana

Leaders of Allege Witches

Some of the suspected witches, INSET: Bags of Cereals donated

INMATES of the Gambaga and Ngani Witches Camps in the Northern Region have given back to society what has been invested in them through an ongoing programme by Louis Dreyfus Foundation - an international non-governmental organization which supports them in the cultivation of crops.

The suspected witches have donated large quantities of cereals to the Savelugu School for the Deaf in the Savelugu/Nanton District of the region, for the upkeep of the students.
The items included bags of maize, millet, soya beans, valued at several thousands of Ghana cedis, being part of the proceeds from the crops they had cultivated in their localities.

The said witches hoped the donation would go a long way to improving the nutritional needs of the students of the school.

Mr. Sampson Laar, Programmes Manager of Go Home Project, a non-governmental organization working to reunite the suspected witches, called on government and other stakeholders to contribute towards the upkeep of the less privileged and vulnerable in society.

He said the donation was to complement government’s efforts at providing the needs of the students as well as equip them with the necessary skills to contribute meaningfully to nation building.

The Manager of Louis Dreyfus Foundation, financiers of the project, in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Emmanuel Wandat, commended officials of the Go Home Project for effectively impacting skills and knowledge on good agronomic practices to the inmates which had yielded good returns.

He disclosed the foundation’s resolve to empower the vulnerable through education, advocacy and provision of inputs as a means to achieving food sustainability and poverty reduction and promised more support for the two camps this year.

Mr. Wandat revealed that under the empowering vulnerable farmers’ project in Ghana, 100 farmers, comprising 80 women and 20 men, were targeted and were engaged in the cultivation of 125 acres of maize, 50 acres of millet, 25 acres each of soya beans and beans for the poultry industry in the area.

He said his outfit supplied the beneficiaries with seeds, pesticides, fertilizer, knapsack sprayers, local birds and exotic cockerel, poultry feed, vet services and hen coups.

Madam Gertrude Daasah, headmistress of the school who received the items, thanked the donors for their kind gesture and called on other NGOs and individuals to emulate the donors’ kind gesture.

She promised to use the foodstuffs for the purpose for which they were donated.

Madam Daasah appealed to the government and other benevolent organizations to assist them with infrastructure and other logistics.

The school, which was established in 1978, currently has over 300 students but lacks major facilities that could enhance teaching and learning.



Tsenoli calls for more professional deaf soccer players

South African Broadcasting Corporation
Saturday 26 April 2014 16:16
SafaLechesa TsenoliTshepiso MokoenaSowetoDisabilityDonate a Soccer Boot CampaignFootballDeafness

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lechesa Tsenoli says there is a need to identify deaf children who are talented in soccer.

The Minister was speaking at the Donate a Soccer Boot Campaign organised by the Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation in Soweto. More than 200 deaf and hearing-impaired children from 11 schools in Gauteng received a pair of soccer boots.

Tshenoli says they require assistance from the South African Football Association (Safa) in ensuring that deaf soccer players can be seen in the professional ranks soon.

"I told people here that we were approached by Safa and we are saying to them that we will provide support in the form of community works program, but we are saying they must include as a matter of policy , children with disability and it is going to be an interesting opportunity for us to fast track that."

Founder of the foundation Tshepiso Mokoena says the campaign is also aimed at overcoming the social stigma associated with deafness. "Deaf children are as capable as hearing kids, because there is this perception that when you are disabled your talents and capabilities are always overlooked because of your disability."



School for the deaf gets 16m/- ICT equipment

Daily News
DailyNews Online Edition
Published on Monday, 28 April 2014 01:39

PUPILS at Dar es Salaam's Buguruni Primary School that caters for the deaf have reason to smile following a donation of information technology equipment worth 16m/- by Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF).

The school is among 10 schools earmarked for the project that envisages assisting disabled pupils in the country with ICT equipment, including 10 computers and other related accessories according to their different requirements.

UCSAF Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Peter Ulanga noted that the Fund also focused on connecting other 25 primary schools with internet services, a project to be facilitated in collaboration with Avanti Communications company.

"We believe that the supplied ICT equipment together with internet connectivity will widen the pupils' ability to catch up with their studies for the nation to register professionals for social and economic development," Ulanga explained.

He said the government has through the fund begun its efforts to identify special needs primary schools nationwide in order to involve stakeholders and integrate them with Internet services.

Speaking at the ceremony to launch a satellite dish when UCSAF at the school, the guest of honour, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Professor Patrick Makungu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr John Mngodo said it was for the interest of the government that the schools enrol students from different parts of Tanzania.

"The aim is to offer the opportunity to a larger part of the community as the government wishes that ICT equipment provided to targeted groups is used for intended purposes," said Makungu in a speech.

He said the government through the Fund will bear the costs by paying for the internet services for one year adding that it is government's desire that the targeted schools would collaborate with district councils and municipalities to prove their commitment to stand on their own in terms of running costs.

Schools to benefit from the project include Buguruni, Uhuru Mchanganyiko, Mbuyuni, Kisiwandui, Mpilipili Maalum, Manyoni, Patandi Practical School, Dumila and Mtanga Maalum.

The head teacher at Buguruni school, Ms Winfrida Jeremiah, thanked UCSAF for the support, but decried frequent power interruptions, shortage of computer teachers and unsuitable computer rooms as some of the challenges facing the school.

She requested the government to assist in supplying solar panels for reliable power to solve the problem, rehabilitation of computer room and the need to train teachers for effective use of information networks.

Buguruni school has 271 pupils of whom 135 are boys and 136 girls. The day and boarding school was founded in 1974 with the aim of providing education to children with special needs.

The school is owned by the government in collaboration with the Ilala Municipality and the Tanzania Society for the Deaf.




Times of Zambia

Published On April 28, 2014 ≫ 241 Views≫ By Moses Kabaila Jr: Online Editor ≫ Columns

DISABILITY CORNERTHIS week we are looking at running disability programmes through cooperatives and encouraging persons with disabilities to form cooperative and create employment for themselves.

This is a very interesting topic and to appreciate it, we need to look back at the history of Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

The history dates far back as 1961 when the Northern Rhodesia Blind People’s League was born to the time of Zambia council for the handicapped.

Readers may recall that the idea of running farm centres for the disabled as cooperative is not new in Zambia, though the only question we should ask is why theUnited Nation independent party decided to take over the activities of the Zambia council for the handicapped from being a cooperative or a disabled people’s organisation run and managed by disabled themselves in which leaders were elected and not appointment by Government.

Over 30 years into the post-colonial period, there still is frantic search for alternative development paths and new roles for the State and civil society in meeting the continent’s socio-economic challenges for persons with disabilities.

The search for a new direction follows the stark failure of previous cooperatives and disabled peoples’ organisations and ideological models to propel Africa towards the structural and institutional transformations.

The search involves many Government created agencies, commissions and ministries for the purpose of service delivery to the disabled.

Until recently, the State appeared to have largely run out of steam and thinking of going back 30 years, a move which is restrogressive and against the spirit of disability Act number 6 of 2012, Part II.

The search talks about individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons; non discrimination; recognition as persons before the law; respect for physical and mental integrity; independent living; full and effective participation and inclusion in society.

If Zambia is to create an inclusive society, we should continue with what we have started and let disabled people’s organisation think of cooperative approach and not Government agency.

Further, PART III, clause 14 of disability Act provide for functions of the Agency which are to plan, promote and administer services for persons with disabilities; develop and implement measures to achieve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities by ensuring.

Disabled must obtain education and employment, participate fully in sporting, recreation and cultural activities and are afforded full access to community and social services provide and coordinate habilitation, rehabilitation, training and welfare services.

Disabled must operate schemes and projects for self employment, regular or sheltered employment, promote research into all aspects of disability; promote public awareness in all aspects of disability; cooperate with State institutions and other organisations in the provision of preventive, educational, training, employment, rehabilitation and habilitation services and other welfare services.

The Act should also recommend to any State organ or institution any measures to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities; consultation with relevant State institutions, organisations of persons with disabilities and other civil society organisations.

It should further take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability by any person, organisation or private enterprise; make representations on behalf of any person with disability before any State organ or institution and provide or procure legal assistance.

And register persons with disabilities, organisations of, and for, persons with disabilities and institutions rendering services to persons with disabilities; promote, directly or indirectly, the development of human resources in the prevention of disabilities and in the provision of habilitation, rehabilitation, education and training services and their general welfare.

Only if we have tried to implement above activities and programmes can we think that Government has failed its responsibilities of providing social services to its people.

Across the continent, sustainable rehabilitation of persons with disabilities is a challenge but with good laws, there is light at the end of the road so it will be wrong for any Government in Africa to promote cooperatives as a way of empowering persons with disabilities.

According to the definition by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), as well as the characteristics enunciated in the 1966 ILO’s Recommendation 127, the principal values and indicators for identifying a cooperative are:
- Self-reliance and autonomy of the cooperative enterprise and the adherence of its members to this principle;
- Group responsibility, nurtured by a spirit of mutual support;
- Equality among members in the operation and management of the cooperative enterprise;
- Equity in distribution of, and access to the benefits of the cooperative activity;
- Honesty in all transactions among cooperative members, and between the cooperative and third parties;
- Autonomy of action and choices; and
- Social responsibility
The practical expression and validity of these values are anchored in the universal principles of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

>From the foregoing, a cooperative can be described as: a distinct mutualist association, organisation or group with a varied capital and membership base, democratic in its management practice, and which is distinctly different from but this will not fit well with our disabled friend because it has failed before and chances are that it will fail again:
As against the foregoing merits, the co-operatives suffer from the following drawbacks and limitations, which prevent from securing benefits of such merits to the maximum extent: Disabled and other socially disadvantaged people (regardless of gender) should be encouraged and supported to become members of existing cooperatives, or to initiate new ones that are relevant to their potentials and needs.

The co-operatives are launched by economically weaker sections of society. The shares are generally persons may associate it these societies.

The resources of co-operatives are limited to the extent of capital contributed by the members and fund raising capacity from stated cooperative banks.

>From our experience donors are not ready to support cooperatives for the disabled which are completely independent from Government for the reasons of transparency and accountability.

The co-operative societies are not self sustainable because of their limited resources, are unable to secure the services of efficient managers.

They manage the society by its members who lacks managerial or professional skills and we must not risk again as country.

In efficient management may not bring greater success over a period of time but promote disability politic on how becomes a leader.

The other problem is that members are drawn from different sections of the society. There may be lack of harmony among them.

The members do not understand the working of the societies, so they start doubting each other. Some members lack interest in the affairs of the society and leave everything to the paid officials.

Co-operation brings an end to the feeling of individual self-interest.

But men are selfish by nature. Therefore, generally the members lack motivation to work more.

Most of the time ‘every body’ responsibility becomes no bodies’ responsibility therefore we advise that Government continue to run centres for the disabled and provided sheltered employment to the disabled not only in Zambia but Africa as whole stay blessed and looking forward to your feedback.

For your letters please send to us on P.O. BOX 34490 Lusaka, Zambia or use our South African Address.

[The author is Regional Disability policy Analyst for SADC and Inclusive Development Advisor for Centre for Disability Development Research, Law and Policy, Johannesburg. Project Office, P.O. BOX 1981 New Castle, 2940 South Africa]
Tell: +27343127894
Fax: +27343127894
Mobile: +27783093616
E-mail: cm@cddrlp.net
Website: www.cddrlp.net
Mobile +260966-0369



Gambia: GFD On Disability Rights


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The Gambia Federation for the Disabled (GFD), with support from the UNDP recently held a two-day training workshop on disability rights for law enforcement agents and legal practitioners, at the Paradise Suites Hotel, in Kololi.

The workshop is aimed at equipping law enforcement agents and legal practitioners on basic and general knowledge about handling persons with disability in the face of the law and human rights.

The director at the Department of Social Welfare, Madam Fanta B. Secka, said that The Gambia government, in collaboration with Social Welfare and the GFD has ratified the bill on disability rights in society.

He told law enforcement agents and legal practitioners that persons with disability always have special needs in society, which he added, most be taken into consideration. 2.4% of the Gambian population are with disability issues, that is, why the convention on disability rights needs to be ratified and enforced.

The executive director of the GFD, Ebrima Dibbasey gave an open and clear importance of the disabled in society and their value to live harmoniously with the abled person. He implored on the Gambian community, law enforcement agents and legal practitioners to understand and digest the knowledge gained from the session.

For his part, Sulayman Colley, the vice-chairperson, Board of GFD told participants that one cannot be born with disability, but can find oneself disabled in society. He further noted that "change can only be achieved by seeing the person with disability as an active person in nation-building."

For his part, Paul Ogenji, a human rights expert from the African Commission on Human and People Rights (ACHPR) spoke about the implementation of policies in the state. He noted that they should not only enforce them, but also give full participation in its development. He gave the trainees a clear distinction between human rights, human rights law and international human rights law in their various concepts, so as to guide and improve human rights convention on disability.




Times of Zambia

Published On April 30, 2014 ≫ 317 Views≫ By Diran Chama ≫ Latest News, Stories

THE Zambia Deaf Youth and Women (ZYDW) has called for stakeholder’s involvement in the implementation of the new convention on Human Rights for persons with disabilities and the Disability act.

Executive Director Frankson Musukwa said there was need for all stakeholders to take an active role in seeing to it that the new convention and Disability Act no 6 of 2012 on human rights were fully implemented.

Mr Musukwa said the implementation of the new convention and Disability Act would allow persons living with disabilities to demand the enjoyment of their human rights, protection and respect in society.

“It is now common knowledge that the deaf are missed out in the development of polices and plans of the nation. Therefore, there is urgent need for projects that will enable the deaf take part in policy making,” he said He said this during the official opening of the deaf human rights advocate training at Palace Hotel in Ndola yesterday.

Mr Musukwa said 25 youths and women from different parts of the Copperbelt were undergoing training in human rights and would become advocates in their respective areas.

He said the training of human rights advocates would help drive advocacy activities of the deaf in the country.

He said human rights advocacy and effective communication was key in the development of people living with disabilities as it would enable victims identify their needs.

And Copperbelt Province Human Rights Officer, Charity Sabi urged all person living with disability in the province to report problems they encounter to the Human Rights Commission(HRC) on time.

Ms Sabi urged all parents and guardians to take children living with disability to school without discriminating them.

She stressed the need to respect and uphold human rights and the dignity of persons living with disability.



Tanzania: CCBRT Helps Over 1,200 Disabled Children Join School

30 APRIL 2014

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THE Dar es Salaam-based Comprehensive Community- Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) supported more than 1,272 children with disabilities to join schools in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions last year.

Briefing reporters about a tour of various centres supported by CCBRT, the firm's Education and Livelihood Programme Manager, Mr Arbogast Kajuna, said they intended to increase children's enrolment in future.

He said the programme aimed to increase the number of children in schools as well as accessibility of the school environment for those with impairments.

"The CCBRT Education Programme focuses on integration of children with disabilities into mainstream schools.

He said access to education remained a major challenge for children with disabilities, yet it was essential to their future independence and participation in community activities.

Highlighting activities carried out last year, Mr Kajuna said 822 children were supported while 95 children with disabilities were enrolled for the first time.

Moreover, they visited more than 438 schools and 350 teachers were trained last year on disability issues and managing specific needs of children with disabilities in the school environment.

During the tour of Yombo Vocational Training College for the Disabled, Mr Kajuna said they supported children with wheelchairs, crutches, special seats and special desks to enable them study in a conducive environment.



Tanzania: Exercise Unearths 221 Neglected Disabled Children in Kibaha


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Kibaha - THE Kibaha Municipal Council in Coast Region conducted an exercise and identified 221 children with special needs and disabilities, who are not in schools.

According to the Council's Deputy Chairman, Mr Sloom Bagumesh, the municipality conducted the exercise with assistance from education coordinators and found out that there is a big problem of children being denied their right to education in the area.

"After the exercise, we managed to establish that most of these children are orphans, those living with parents with very low income and those with parents or guardians who believe that a child with disability cannot attend school," he explained.

Mr Bagumesh added that as a move to ensure that these children attend school like other children; committees have been formed in the areas where the exercise was carried out for further follow ups and assistance.

The number of children with special needs and those living with disabilities and their respective wards are as follows; Misugusugu (12), Msangani (13), Kongowe 'B' (16), Mbwawa (11), Visiga (17), Mkuza (23), Maili Moja (18), Picha ya Ndege (35), Tumbi 'A' (4), Kibaha (8), Pangani (13) Tumbi 'B' (15) and Kongowe 'A' 36.

Meanwhile, the Municipal's Social Welfare Department in collaboration with Pamoja Tuwalee Project has managed to provide entrepreneurship skills to 724 guardians of children living in difficult conditions, in a move to enable them produce for themselves and for the children as well.

The guardians have been able to join into Savings and Credit societies, following the trainings.

On the other hand, Mr Bagumesh, who is the Council's Chairperson for the AIDS Prevention Committee, urged men to respond positively towards testing for HIV/AIDS, the same way the women do.

He pointed out that 2,746 people have been tested in the municipality whereby 1,003 were men while 1,743 were women.

And 303 of them were infected by the virus; whereby 217 were women and 86 men. The municipality has allocated 46,476,000.00/- for AIDS projects in 2013/2014.



Disability Federation appeals to government to pass legislation

Vibe Ghana-
May 1, 2014 | Filed under: Latest news | Posted by: VibeGhana

The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) has appealed to the government to speed up passage of a legislative instrument that would spell out the road map towards full implementation of the National Disability law of 2006 (Act 715).

This, according to them, would enable society respect the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and treat them fairly in all aspect of life.

Mr. Samuel Quansah, the Western Regional Chairman of the Federation, made the appeal at a forum organized by the Federation at Fijai on Wednesdayto discuss issues militating against PWDs in the country.

The event was held on the theme, “The Role of the Assembly for PWD’s in the Advocacy for Total Inclusion and Total National Development”.

He said PWDs had been reduced to second class citizens often discriminated against and treated with contempt in their respective homes, communities and state institutions.

Mr. Quansah said PWDs continued to be marginalized despite the passage of the Disability Act, (Act 715), adding that there are still public buildings that are inaccessible to PWDs or do not have ramps.

The chairman expressed regret that some district assemblies deliberately fail to honour their obligation of releasing the two percent District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) allocated to district Federations as contained in the District Assemblies Common Fund Act, (Act 455).

He said sometimes members of the Federation had to demonstrate against such deviant assemblies before the funds were released to them.

“It is painful for society to treat disabled persons like that but what everybody must know is that disability is everybody’s share and anyone is potential of being disabled one day”, he said.

Madam Deborah Daisy Kwabiah, Sekondi-Takoradi Director for Department of Social Welfare, who chaired the function said a desk had been created at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for them and asked them to seek information concerning their welfare.

She appealed to PWDs to develop their talents meaningfully by acquiring entrepreneurial skills that would make them financially independent, instead of relying solely on government support.

During an open forum, the participants expressed displeasure over continued discrimination against them, especially in seeking employment and appealed to corporate institutions and government to treat them fairly. GNA



Zambia: Living With Disability in Zambia


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This week I wish to introduce one Zambian disability advocate; Noah Manda.

I met disabled Zambian advocate Noah Manda at an event titled "Challenges of Living with a Disability in Africa: Decent work for PWD," organised by The ILO-Irish Aid Partnership Programme, a group highlighting and creating discourse on African issues from Moving towards disability inclusion perspective. He spoke about the challenges of being a Person(s) with Disabilities (PWD). Below are excerpts.

Who is Noah Manda?

I was born in the late sixties in Zambia when polio was prevalent. The situation was further exacerbated by road traffic accident.

In 1970, at three years old, I contracted polio, suffered the resultant paralysis of my right leg and became elbow clutches -dependent PWD.

After years of treatment, I began my education late at 12 years old, because there were few nursery schools that would accept young PWD.

I later attended a special needs school for young PWD for my primary education.

Studying in a specialised school was better because the physical environment was more accessible, and I didn't receive questions from fellow students, as we were all PWD.

Receiving a secondary and college education was very challenging, as I had to cope with a very disability-unfriendly environment.

I experienced disability discrimination, including almost losing a term of high school because school wasn't interested in admitting a PWD with better grades than many of their students.

Access to school facilities has always been difficult and sometimes impossible for me because most schools don't have handicap-accessible amenities, including toilets. I'd have to restrain myself for the day.

Classrooms, libraries and dormitories weren't any better. I cannot measure the impact such situations like writing exams without being given extra time, and being lifted on steps by kind but untrained people and the associated injury risks, have had on my academic grades.

The inconveniences caused by very limited accommodation of PWD questions the saying, "Disability is not inability," because they directly impact one's grades, which are subsequently used to measure one's intellectual abilities.

Being a PWD and disability rights advocate has exposed me to numerous unchallenged human rights violations PWD endure.

Our society excludes and construes PWD in a demeaning way. Changes are occurring to positively impact African PWD - they have allowed few PWD like me to acquire an education and assume leadership positions - but improving the lives of PWD at the family, society, state and national levels is still needed.

My parents and Norwegian Zambia embassy partially sponsored and facilitated my education up until high school.

I then established a tuition centre for junior grades in order to raise money to take me to college where I received a technical skill in electronics and Celtel Zambia through the project Touching Lives, a corporate social responsibility project bought me electronic tool box to set-up a television (TV) and Radio Workshop repair.

This shows the relevance of coordinated efforts among different actors, which, if adopted by all sectors, including the employment and health sectors, will lead to more independence and positive societal impact for PWD.

The realities of PWD in Africa

As an Elder in my church, Security staff employee at G4S Zambia and a technician in electronics in Zambia, I am an exception.

In Africa, disabilities are often associated with evil spirits, curses and punishment for ancestral wrong doings.

There's little understanding that PWD are human beings, equal to everyone else and entitled to the same rights, privileges and opportunities.

PWD are often totally dependent on others who often mistreat them, with no means to effectively manage their disability and related needs, such as with mobility devices, medication and regular medical treatment.

Many PWD have no capacity to decide their fate and are abandoned in the rural areas and stay poor, helpless, neglected, and betrayed by family and community members.

Generally, PWD in Africa lack access to public and government facilities, including health centers, schools, and legal centers like police stations and courts.

Many are left homeless, live on the streets where they are more vulnerable, and endure unwanted conflicts and assaults.

Female PWD also endure sexual exploitation. Due to rape and defilement, many have contacted HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancies have resulted.

The additional burden of raising fatherless children alone increases their difficulties.

Many are unemployed because they are uneducated and vocationally unskilled.

Many with employment opportunities are destined for menial jobs.

This partly explains the large numbers of disabled beggars on the streets of many African countries' capital cities.

Current African disability trends

Fortunately, international civil society organisations have prioritized PWD, targeting the issue either directly or indirectly in African programs they support.

The current trend is associations and partnership formation, such as disabled-persons organisations, community-based organisations, and international partnerships with donors, the community and advocacy-based agencies.

The non-profit organisation at which I'm the executive director, Christian Action, Research and Education on Disability(CAREDISA Media Resources received financial and technical support in its disability and media advocacy project to PWD in Zambia from different actors such as Abilis Foundation from Finland and Celtel Zambia then.

Legislative and disability policy measures are underway. Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi have either enacted laws on disability or restructured their domestic laws to reflect disability needs.

Numerous policies and strategies have been generated to guide disability work in several African countries.

Many have included and captured disability performance data for Millennium Development Goals, and to report to groups including human rights committees.

International conventions like the UN Convention on the Rights of PWD (UNCRPD) have guided laws on disabilities in countries like Zambia and Malawi.

Much still needs to be done to implement and fine-tune these laws to reflect the authors' real intentions, but there's now a ray of hope.

The CRPD has led to the creation of numerous disability rights agencies sponsoring African disability work, including Disability Rights Fund, Open Society Institute's Disability Rights Initiative, and International Disability Alliance's CRPD Forum, all of which are targeting effective and full implementation of rights enhancement for PWD worldwide, based on the UNCRPD, with some offering technical support.

There are now enhanced conceptualisation of disabilities from a human- rights perspective, and national human-rights commissions have established units on disabilities in South Africa and Uganda.

On the horizon

CAREDISA, one of the first disability concern media nonprofit organisations providing positive portrayal for Zambian PWD, is dealing with employment, accessibility, discrimination, thus (church and disability) and education is our preference.

We also conduct public awareness campaigns on the UN Convention on the Rights of PWD, which Zambia signed and ratified.

African countries must enact, repeal, amend, revise and implement disability laws.

They should also design workable regulations and guiding policies, utilising the CRPD model. Many countries have no definition or understanding of disabilities.

Disability concerns are often sidelined during policy making. Consequently, the resultant service delivered is inadequate or inappropriate. Specialised policies must be generated and introduced in international environments for the policies to be effected.

In Zambia there is a National Policy on Disability and the PWD Act # 6 0f 2012 but implementation is challenging.

Affirmative action is also required by law, and statutes should be enacted for special groups and PWD.

The state should lead in employing PWD, and organisations that employ significant numbers of employees should be required to hire members of special groups.

PWD are often isolated, and conditioned to accept and not question anything, even things done to them.

Therefore, they must be empowered and encouraged to speak up for themselves and speak out against negative occurrences.

For example, a woman PWD told me, "There's a man who comes and rapes me daily, but who can I tell?"The man has since been arrested.

This happens because often PWD are not considered human, so crimes against them are ignored by law enforcement.

Crimes against PWD should be challenged, and their inclusion in mainstream society should be made essential.

Also, education and vocational skills training should be available to enable PWD become independent, self-sustaining and productive members of society.

If people want to help, they can promote, protect and respect the rights of PWD, and teach future generations to ensure continuity. Everyone can make contributions towards the fulfillment of the rights of PWD.



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In 2007, he applied for a young filmmakers' training workshop at the Rwanda Cinema Center and did not make it to the shortlist. However, his zeal to make films never stopped. Today, Jean-Marie Vianney Manishimwe is a budding filmmaker, entrepreneur and founder of Locus Film Production, a filmmaking house based in Kigali. He spoke to Moses Opobo about his aspirations.

How did you end up behind the camera?

>From when I was three years old, my dad had a camera at home which he brought from Belgium. When I was six years, I started playing with the camera whenever he was away. I took photos at social gatherings like weddings, and sometimes I just loved to hold the camera. Gradually, I started falling in love with art media and taking pictures. Unlike other boys, I spent more time watching movies than playing football.

By 2005 I started thinking about being part of our film making industry. I begun writing some comedy and theater scripts. I also wrote and acted in a play at my local church.

In 2007 a friend told me the Rwanda Cinema Center was organizing training for young filmmakers. They wanted 25 people, and I was the third last to be registered. Two ladies came after me, so in the spirit of affirmative action they were taken instead of me. It was like my worst day, because it was me who had informed some of the applicants about the training. But it gave me new courage to work harder. It's also where I met Richmond Runanira, my co-founder at Locus Film Production. Richmond was one of the students who directed a film launched on the closing day. That's how we met, and then parted ways immediately after. We never saw each other until after four years.

How did you team up?

In 2008 I got a job at EWSA as a technician and stayed in it four years. I only did it for a living. It wasn't my passion. In 2012, after we met again, I resigned shortly after, and we started Locus Film Production.

What was the beginning like?




Botswana: Lessons From Botswana Disability Administration

3 MAY 2014

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THIS week we are looking at disability administration in the Republic of Botswana which is hosted in the office of the President for effective coordination and monitoring.

The Government of Botswana treats disability as a crosscutting issue; this means that disability matters are, therefore, put in each line ministries and every Government department through mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies for sustainable development.

This approach to disability administration has addressed the crucial need for social inclusion of Persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life which cannot be overemphasised.

To this end, all national programmes and strategies in public and private sectors are, where appropriate; demonstrate disability-sensitive programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation so as to eliminate all forms of inequality and discrimination.

The office of the President has ensured that discrimination against any person on the basis of disability is legally addressed and any violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person and can only be eliminated in an inclusive society therefore promote employment of persons with disabilities institutions that are not disability related as a strategy for creation of inclusive society for all.

In Botswana the inspiring theme of inclusion has been expressed often enough in the familiar phrase: "Nothing about us without us" This theme continues to inspire persons with disabilities worldwide as they aspire to live meaningful lives.

It conveys a strong message that persons with disabilities are endowed with rights and human dignity and that they are able to effectively participate in the socio-economic development of their countries on an equal basis with others.

Yet persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and the need to eliminate these barriers shapes the disability agenda in Botswana.

The disability agenda in Botswana has benefited from the interaction with the international context with special reference to the work of the United Nations which culminated in the adoption and entry in force of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the initiatives of the African Union for the extension of the Plan of Action of the African Decade for People with Disabilities.

This review process has also been guided by the principles and policy guidelines contained in the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and in the Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

It is in appreciation of these principles that the Government of Botswana undertakes to promote, formulate and evaluate policies, plans, programmes and actions at the national and community levels to equalise opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities have successfully advocated departure from the charity and medical models of disability to social model which is been advocated globally.

Government of Botswana has rejected to use medical model because it views disability as a disease, therefore, treating disabled people as patients but focusing exclusively on medical services to the individual, promoting and perpetuating exclusion from the mainstream of society.

It ignores the social context of disability and the fact that it is society which creates the disabling environmental and attitudinal barriers which stand in the way of social inclusion.

Since the global perspective has now shifted to the "social model" of disability, which focuses on the different ways in which the disabling physical, psychosocial and cultural barriers exclude persons with disabilities and takes a more holistic approach to interventions that effectively address their special needs, countries must learn from each other and move with time if real society for all is to be created.

This paradigm shift has influenced Botswana policy review process that now sees the housing of this Policy move from the Ministry of Health to the Office of the President for strong policy direction and coordination.

The move of disability administration from the ministry of health in Botswana to the office of the president has significant developments that include broadened understanding of the human rights approach to disability issue which is a paradigm and it has helped the understanding disability issues for effective administration which include areas such as such as health, the role of gender, social development, multiple marginalised status like race, tribe and disability.

The Government of Botswana has addressed the dependency created by the charity and welfare model which dis-empowers persons with disabilities, isolates and marginalises them from the mainstream society.

On the other hand the Government embarked on promotion of human rights and development approach to disability which enhances the prospects of equal opportunities.

The principles of equal rights implies that the needs of each and every individual are of equal importance, and that planning and policy making should be based on those needs.

The rights and respect for the dignity of persons with disabilities shall never triumph over prejudice and differential treatment in the absence of a firm commitment on the part of the Government and without the support and participation of the Civil Society and Disabled Peoples' Organisations (DPOs).

Disability administration in the office of the president has create a society that is fully inclusive and which provides equal opportunities and access to services to persons with disabilities which depends upon the extent to which the Government, and the society at large, overcomes the attitudinal, historical, cultural, social, economic and political barriers that stand in the way of this collective vision.

The mission of the Coordinating Office for People with Disabilities in the office of the president in Botswana (CPWD) exists to develop and coordinate the implementation of policies, strategies and programmes through mainstreaming them into development agenda to empower persons with disabilities with the vision to Barrier-Free Environment for Independent and Empowered persons with disabilities and add value to the following ;

To coordinate the development of national policies, strategies and programmes aimed at the empowerment and wellbeing of people with disabilities.
To coordinate the implementation of national policies, strategies and programmes aimed at the empowerment and wellbeing people with disabilities.
To monitor and evaluate national policies, strategies and programmes aimed at the empowerment and wellbeing people with disabilities.
To ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed into all sector policies and programmes.
To ensure active involvement and participation of people with disabilities in policy processes, i.e. formulation, implementation, review, monitoring and evaluation.
To ensure effectiveness of national structures dealing with disability issues.
To mobilise resources for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at addressing disability issues.
Every sector within government, private sector and non-governmental are expected to render services to persons with disabilities on equal bases; this is mainly because disability is a cross cutting issue.

The Coordinating Office for People with Disability therefore coordinates these sectors in the implementation of disability programmes.

>From above it is clear that positioning of disability issues in the office of the president is the best way of having effect and influential position within Government and civil society.

It is our hope that our readers from various Governments and ministry will take time to learn from Botswana and take best practice to improve service delivery.

For your letters please send to us on P.O. BOX 34490 Lusaka, Zambia or use our South African Address.

The author is Regional Disability policy Analyst for SADC and Inclusive Development Advisor for Africa, Centre for Disability Development Research, Law and Policy, Johannesburg.



Disability is no in ability - blind boy to represent Sierra Leone in international Quranic competition

Sierra Express Media-
By: SEM Contributor on May 4, 2014.

According to Sheikh Fomba A B Swaray, yesterday at the Africa Muslim Agency’s (AMA) Headquarters in Kossoh Town, Hastings, Alpha Alie Jalloh (in photo) emerged the best candidate to represent Sierra Leone in the International Qur’anic Competition in Dubai.

The panel of scholars under the supervision of the Country Director of AMA Kemamine Ahmed said that he was satisfied with the selection process as it was free fair and based on sound and critical judgment.

In their conclusion and recommendations, although Alpha Alie Jalloh is a blind boy of 19 years of age, has no match among the five candidates who were drawn from all over the country. Alpha Jalloh excelled himself in the areas of mastering the rules of Qur’anic Science: Intonation, Diacritic signs Diphthong pronunciation and echo-fluencies. In an interview with the candidate, he said that he memorized the entire Quran while he was just 12 years and has participated in 5 national Qur’anic competitions during which he took the lead.

The last one which was organized last year at the Basharia Central Mosque, Bombay, where 68 candidates participated nationwide with the following categories: Juzu Ama, 5 sections, 10 sections, 20 sections and 30 sections, i.e. the full Quran, he also emerged the best candidate for that year and took the lead. However, this will be first in the historical annals of this nation for a ‘Blind Boy’, a disabled to represent Sierra Leone in an International Qur’anic Competition in the history of Sierra Leone, Land that we love.

By Sheikh Alie Kallay

- See more at: http://www.sierraexpressmedia.com/archives/67104#sthash.yVM3ZLOp.dpuf



Dealers use disabled vendors to avoid arrests

New Zimbabwe.com
05/05/2014 00:00:00
by IPS


WORKERS Day on May 1 came and went, but it’s only a day like any other for disabled 31-year-old street vendor Tsitsi Chikosha making a living selling goods from a makeshift table in downtown Harare.

Chikosha is amongst Zimbabwe’s 1.5 million people living with disabilities, according to figures released by the National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH), an association of non-governmental organisations.

But only two percent of the disabled are formally employed, according to 2012 figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats). About 64 percent are said to be employed in the informal sector. Many among the remaining survive on begging.

Chikosha says she endures the toil partly on behalf of her boss, who uses her disability to evade police action over selling informally on the street.

“This job done by disabled people like me has no sustainable benefits, no one holds our able-bodied bosses to account for any injustices against us because we have no employment contracts,” she says. “Today you may be with him and you wake up tomorrow with another employer.”?

Harare City Council spokesperson Lesley Gwindi says the law provides no preferential treatment to the disabled, but that the police are careful when handling less able-bodied persons.

Street vendors are required to get operating licences from local authorities at a cost of 30 to 40 dollars.
“Increasing informal activities here, which are often targeted by local authorities for operating illegally, are resulting in informal dealers hiring people living with disabilities to work for them, believing disabled persons draw sympathy from council cops and save their businesses,” NASCOH executive director Farai Mukuta tells IPS.

“Unfortunately, the continued hiring of people living with disabilities to work for able-bodied persons is resulting in forms of forced labour for physically challenged people. What they earn often does not tally with the workload they bear on the streets.”

Under the Labour Act and the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution, an employee is entitled to protection from forced labour.

Labour relations experts say street vending is widening the gap between able-bodied people and those living with disabilities.
“More often than not people living with disabilities enter into employment as vendors for able-bodied persons without signing any employment contracts, spurred by extreme poverty,” labour expert Agrippa Govere tells IPS.

“They have no basis to lodge any legal complaints against their employers because they are hired from the streets, and they therefore sink deeper and deeper into poverty as their employers get richer and richer.”

Often, Govere says, “people who employ disabled persons are neither regular business persons nor registered entities and are therefore difficult to hold to account if the need arises.”

Director of the Zimbabwe Amputees Association (ZAA) Veronica Chinyerere says the disabled are severely underpaid.
“Owing to extreme poverty here, people living with disabilities are falling prey to exploitation by able-bodied persons, who often reward them with food, give them a dollar (a day) for their services and another dollar for transport home,” Chinyerere tells IPS.

Erasmus Chikukwa, a dealer who hires disabled vendors, disagrees.
“Really you can’t expect us to share equally our earnings with our employees from what we sell through these disabled people who apparently have no sources of income, but thrive on the informal jobs we give them,” Chikukwa tells IPS.

According to ZAA, more than 500 hired disabled vendors are ferried daily from remote areas to Harare to work for able-bodied persons.

But there are disabled self-employed street vendors like 41-year-old Rudo Mapaso who are not forced into labour. Well-wishers gave her capital to kick-start her vending ventures.

“I am my own employer here on the street, selling my own wares although I often have problems with council police who seize my wares accusing me of operating illegally,” Mapaso tells IPS.

Mapaso says that on a good day she takes home US$50, which is enough to meet her needs and those of her child and one other dependent.

Most people living with disabilities are registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare for monthly disability grants of 20 dollars per household. That, they say, is severely inadequate.



Disability group gives IEC the thumbs up on special voting

South African Broadcasting Corporation
Tuesday 6 May 2014 17:02
Lebo Tshangela
Special votes took place at Melpark Primary School in Melville on Tuesday.(Lebo Tshangela)
DPSABlind SASpecial votesElections 2014Pauline MalopeCathy DonaldsonIEC

Disability groups say they are satisfied with the way the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has conducted the special voting process.

Special voting began on Monday and continued on Tuesday. More than 400 000 voters have registered to cast special votes. These include the elderly, the physically infirm, people with disabilities and people who will be absent from their voting district on voting day.

Speaking to SABC Digital News, Disabled People South Africa spokesperson Pauline Malope says members who have cast their votes did not report any problems. "The IEC assisted disabled people, I didn’t see any challenges. I think they were ok."

Malope adds: "I don’t think there is anything they can improve on. I think they have done their part."

The commission went out of their way because they improved braille ballot paper Blind SA’s spokesperson Cathy Donaldson says the IEC’s 2014 braille ballot paper is a great improvement from the ones that have been used before.

She says the new template is bigger and can fit in all the parties.

Click below to listen to Cathy Donaldson's full interview:

Meanwhile, SABC Digital News visited Melpark Primary School in Melville on Tuesday where special voting was taking place. One of the voters, Emmanuel Manganyi says he is voting so that his voice can be heard.



Chakwera, Atupele sign disability social contract with Fedoma

Nyasa Times
Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi
May 6, 2014
Maurice Nkawihe -Nyasa Times

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presiden Lazarus Chakwera and United democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi have separately signed Disability Social Contract with Federation for Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma).

The contract is social binding by the political parties to confirm their commitment in addressing issues relating to people with disabilities.

Both Chakwera and Muluzi signed the contract on Tuesday morning weeks after President Joyce Banda had also endorsed the Disability Social agreement.

Chakwera and Atupele: They have put pen to paper

They both, speaking separately after signing, pledged to mainstream disability issues once voted in power on May 20th, 2014.

Chakwera said MCP would ensure people with disabilities are accorded opportunities to contribute to the development of the country.

“It is our wish to see some of the structures that were there before are revamped to ensure people with disabilities are accorded same opportunities as everybody else,” said Chakwera.

On his part, Muluzi noted that the presence of various policies on disability was creating challenges for implementation of various related projects.

Muluzi therefore pledged to institute inclusive growth and governance that will mainstream issues of disabilities to ensure every citizen participate in the country’s development.

Fedoma Executive Director, Action Amos said the Disability Social contract will hold the signatories accountable once elected.

“Main aim is to get to understand what political parties have in store for persons with disabilities as well as their assurance to ensure whatever is in their manifesto is implemented. We have a Disability Act and other provisions such as Disability Fund that the incoming government should commit to fulfil,” said Amos.

Amos said Fedoma aside from signing disability social contract, political parties and those participating in the forthcoming tripartite elections are given opportunity to articulate their manifestos on challenges people with disability face in regards to accessibility of physical infrastructure, access to services and information through debates.

Fedoma once held debates for secretary generals from PP, UDF, MCP and DPP and is conducting civic voter education across the country inorder to get to know how inclusive the political parties and independent candidates’ plans at constituency level are.

Malawians are expected to go to polls on May 20th to elect Parliamentarians, President and Local Government Councillors.



Persons with disability advocacy project begins in Volta Region


An advocacy project for persons with disabilities (PWDs) has taken off in 10 districts in the Volta Region.

The $99,759 project is being undertaken by Voice Ghana, a disability organisation in the region, with funding from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for a period of two years.

Beneficiaries of the project are 20 disability self-help groups (SHGs) drawn from the Akatsi-South, Akatsi-North, Ketu-North, Ketu-South, Nkwanta -South, Nkwanta-North, Krachi-East, North-Dayi, Ho-West and Central-Tongu districts.

They would be strengthened to build on their skills in advocating their rights and influencing local development and civic decision-making processes.

The project will also collate development priorities from beneficiary PWDs to inform the petition to district assemblies for inclusion in the respective medium term development plans (MTDPs) and consolidated budgets for PWDs.

According to the director for Voice Ghana, Mr Francis Asong, the 1992 Constitution and the Persons with Disability Act provide the legal framework for persons with disabilities to exercise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights on equal basis with others.

He also said there was a political shift towards decentralisation since 1988, with decision making and resource allocation being deployed from central to local assemblies through the district assemblies as was stipulated in the Local Government Act of 1993 and other local government policies and legislative framework, adding that this shift offered greater opportunities for every citizen, including PWDs, to influence local development and decision-making processes.

Mr Asong, therefore, said the project would afford public- hearing processes, including town hall meetings, so as to start demanding benefits from provisions of public goods and services, as well as community development programmes.

He said at the end of it all, the PWDs could demand their fair share in pro-poor packages such as LESDEP, the two per cent District Assemblies Common Fund earmarked for persons with disabilities in each district assembly and youth employment.



Cherono, Kiptum to meet at Deaf Marathon in Kisumu

The Standard Digital News

Deaflympics marathon champ Daniel Kiptum.


Triple World champion Simon Cherono will be among the stars to grace the first ever Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (Daak) Marathon in Kisumu on May 18.

Cherono, the Deaflympics record holder over the 10,000m distance (29:16.00) will compete alongside his perennial rival and World and Deaflympics marathon champion Daniel Kiptum in the race sponsored by Safaricom.

“I am stepping up training and will be much ready to attempt my first marathon.

I belief that I can win, it’s a new category I am venturing into this year,” says Cherono, who won gold in men’s 10,000m, 5,000m and 1,500m for Kenya at the 2013 Deaflympics.

Tom Okiki, the Daak Public Relations Manager, said the maiden marathon will also include 21km and 10km events for men and women.

The marathon will start at Moi Stadium, pass through Buoye, Ahero and then back to the finishing line at the stadium.

“Prizes money will be awarded to top ten finishers.

We are yet to conclude on the amount,” said Okiki.

“The registration fees is Sh500 (marathon), Sh300 for 21km and 10km.

“Athletes without hearing impairment are also welcome but will compete as fun runners with no chance of winning the cash awards.

The race will bring together Deaf athletes, from across counties, who will showcase their emerging talents, ” said Okiki.

Safaricom officials says they are glad to support the race with Daak having been incorporated in the Safaricom Athletics Series calendar.

The race, which will also be the first edition of Safaricom Athletics Series Deaf Marathon, will be rotational with Eldoret or Nairobi holding the next series depending on the board recommendation.

The maiden race is instrumental in scouting for emerging Deaf marathoners at the grassroots level.

For this reason, Kenyan Deaf athletes have dominated in various marathon races in successive international competitions.



Goldstar Airline to airlift over 500 disabled to Brazil


Goldstar Airline is to collaborate with Seasons Travel and Tours to airlift disabled supporters to cheer up Ghana’s national football team, the Black Stars, in next month’s World Cup tournament in Brazil.

According to Mr Eric Bannerman, Chief Executive Officer of Seasons Travel and Tours, the proposed 500 disabled persons would be airlifted free-of-charge to Brazil to watch the soccer fiesta.

Mr Bannerman, who is also the founder and president of the National Disabled Supporters Union (NDSU) told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the NDSU plans to select 50 persons with all forms of disability from each of the 10 regions to make the number to provide a massive support for the Black Stars during the World Cup, as well as other sporting events.

He regretted that there has been a deliberate attempt to sideline people with disabilities from participating in international events, hence the need to provide persons with disabilities the support to be present at such international tournaments.

Mr Bannerman recalled that the Seasons Travel and Tours provided similar support to the disabled during the last African Cup of Nation Tournament in South Africa.

Persons with disabilities are always sidelined when it comes to mobilization of supporters to international competitions, and I think it is discriminatory.

We want to offer them the opportunity to be part of history this time. That is why we have decided to form the group to serve as a platform for mobilizing supporters to the World Cup, he stated.

According to the President and CEO, Goldstar Airline with origins from the United States of America, is set to commence operations next June 13, flying Accra London Accra two times weekly and Accra-Baltimore-Accra two times weekly.

The airline would also do Accra-Guangzhou-Accra once a week as its local partner Seasons Travel and Tours International offers free visas to all people traveling on the airline to Brazil for the 2014 world cup journey.

Mr Bannernman said the airline is also poised to take its share in the upcoming world cup in Brazil, and has positioned itself to make the most of the opportunities that the world cup in Brazil will bring.

He assured the traveling public that the airline is very safe and will ensure absolute security of all passengers.



Africa: View On Disability - Research Could Inform DFID Strategy

8 MAY 2014

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The UK parliamentary committee for international development recently conducted an inquiry into the UK government's approach to disability in its global development work. One major recommendation was for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to set out a disability strategy, with one minister suggesting that "people with disabilities have been treated as an afterthought", in a Guardian report published last month. [2]

Susie Miles, a researcher in inclusive education who gave evidence to the inquiry, says that such a strategy would be a great step forward, but believes developing it will be highly complex and will require long-term commitment. Miles, who is based at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, tells me there is a huge diversity of views about best practice in disability and development work, and this will make it difficult for DFID to develop an overarching strategy.

When I ask if research could help by providing evidence about best practice, she seems hesitant. But reflecting on her own specialism, the education of disabled children, she says there is an "urgent need" for research on how best to provide services to disabled people.

But she sounds two notes of caution. First, she says, it can be hard to do effective research into disability because of the extent to which disabled people are marginalised in low and middle-income countries. "In many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, it is difficult to get a pair of glasses, and hearing aids are almost impossible to find," Miles says. Without such items, along with appropriate and flexible teaching methods, children may not be benefit fully from being in school - if they attend at all - and so it's hard to see how their learning can be equitably measured, she says.

Second, Miles points out that there has been a shift in the development community's thinking on disability in the run up to the post-2015 global development goals. There is now a focus on measuring 'learning outcomes', recognising that it's not enough to simply count how many children enrol into school or an aid programme, and that the quality of education is key to success, she says.

But this concept comes with its own complications. "There was a lot of concern at the inquiry about having funding linked to measurable learning outcomes," says Miles. She warns that simply measuring disabled persons' academic performance fails to appreciate that inclusion is a complex social process that extends beyond the classroom.

In the meantime, one area where research could help is in providing an evidence base for how best to train teachers to support the disabled pupils who do attend school, she says. Until recently in Rwanda, for example, 19 NGOs each operated their own such training programme, Miles says. [3] It would be interesting to embed mixed methods research - that uses both quantitative data and case studies - within these programmes in order to identify what teachers need to know about disability before they start teaching and how best to provide ongoing teacher education, she says.

rank ( + / - ) "There are a lot of assumptions made about the need to get all students into schools, but my sense is that the challenges continue once they're in," Miles says. "So any disability strategy has to take account of that ongoing challenge and the fact that support needs to be sensitive to context."

She adds: "The issue of disability has been at the bottom of priority lists for too long." It would be a great advance if DFID developed a strategy, she says, but any such plan must be able to accommodate the nuances of local situations.rank ( + / - )

Joshua Howgego is SciDev.Net's deputy news and opinions editor. @jdhowgego


[1] International Development Committee Disability and development (UK parliament, April 2014)

[2] Ellie Violet Bramley Disability must be a priority within development programmes, say MPs (The Guardian, 10 April 2014)

[3] Evariste Karawanga International agencies: What is their contribution to the future of inclusive education in Rwanda? (UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development, September 2013)



60 kva Generator For Orondo School For The Deaf

By Ghana News -SpyGhana.com

Spyghana.com is a premier news source that covers daily news of Ghana, Africa and the World over.

Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu

by emeka ahaneku

In a bid to ameliorate the awful conditions of the physically challenged persons in the state, the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, has announced the donation of 60 KVA power generating set to the Imo State College of the deaf, Offekata-Orodo in Mbaitoli local government area of the state.

The Speaker made the announcement yesterday during the adoption of a report of the House Committee on education on the deplorable condition of the college, which was deliberated at the committee of the Whole House.

Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu, who chaired the committee of the Whole session of the House, lamented perceived neglect of the physically challenged persons in the society by well-to-do individuals and stressed the need for concerted efforts with relevant stakeholders in our society to give them succor and a sense of belonging.

He thanked the committee for a job well-done and further invited the state commissioner for education to interview the House on possible ways of moving forward, adding that the House would continue to support the state college of the deaf in its resolve to compliment the saying that there is ability in every disability.

Also, the member representing Owerri west state constituency, Hon. Innocent Obulimba, while making a donation of N100, 000 to support the college also called on spirited individuals in the state to give the college maximum support.



Tanzania: Handicapped of Dar's Uhuru Mchanganyiko Prove Their Potential


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A DRAMATIC performance with drums and songs by disabled schoolchildren of Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School in Dar es Salaam has so impressed the government, prompting it to reconsider its earlier decision to streamline its offices by laying off some workers.

The occasion was Remembrance Day and Miriam sang a song of 'Wataka Moyo' (It Needs Commitment)-, underlining the demanding nature of the work of taking care of the handicapped children of the community.

"After seeing what the schoolchildren can do and discerning their need for help by able-bodied personnel, I think we shall now keep renewing applications for contract employment," said Ilala Municipal head of Community Welfare Department, Dr Severine Assenga, who was representing Ilala Municipal Director at a ceremony at the school recently.

Dr Assenga said the Municipal had earlier decided to streamline its offices by laying off workers they considered not necessary. Some of the victims of the decision were contractual workers of the school who attended to the blind and deaf children in various ways. Dr Assenga had been mystified by their repeated application for a renewal of the contract.

"Seeing what these schoolchildren can do despite their physical disabilities and their actual state and environment, I think there is need to make revisal of that decision and if possible we shall give their caretakers permanent employment."

Beside himself with joyful deep feeling for talented girl and her fellow disabled schoolchildren, Dr Assenga he rose to his feet, walked over to her and gave her 10,000/-.

As her melodious voice sailed across the ground in a musical backup, throwing the crowd into a frenzy of excitement, Miriam's song touched a soft spot in Dr Assenga's heart. Miriam Chirwa, a gifted little girl of 12, was in effect giving back a bit of what the community had given her.

With the kindness of donors and generous service through charity activities, the vision impaired schoolgirl was now completing Std VII. With the assistance of the government and stakeholders, the branch of the India-based charity organization of Sathya Sai Society of Tanzania (SSST) has been giving loving care to disable schoolchildren of Uhuru Mchanganyiko in Dar es Salaam.

In that time many schoolchildren with various physical disabilities have graduated from the school and joined different trades in the country. Chirwa, who would be completing Std. VII in a few months time, was simply giving back a bit of what the society had through the charitable service of SSST to mankind, had enabled her to accomplish. She has learned writing and reading Braille with admirable speed.

By her performance Chirwa represented the potential in children with various physical disabilities. She illustrated to the guests and authorities that in the so called 'children with disabilities' there were many latent talents. In reference to hidden abilities of the disabled, Deputy India High Commissioner to Tanzania Mr Balvinder Hampa, who also attended the ceremony, thought it was wrong to dismiss the group a handicapped. "They are not disabled," Mr Hampa said.

"They are simply variously talented. You have seen how those who cannot see with their eyes can see with their mind." All the children needed was assistance to enable them exploit other faculties they had, Mr Hampa added. Also present at the ceremony was His Excellency Indonesia Ambassador Zacharia Anshe.

India, through its High Commission in the country, has worked together with the SSST, donors and other stakeholders to give the schoolchildren of Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School a better future. Most notable is India's High Commission assistance of Braille computers and cash for other equipment.

>From 2006 to 2010 SSST, with collaboration of the High Commission, established for the school a computer training centre. When His Excellency Dr Abdul Kalam, President of India visited the school on September 13, 2004, he donated to the school specially made computers for the blind.

Together with the SSST and partners, the high commission has provided flight tickets to sick children sent for medical treatment in India by the SSST and partners. However, locally, the SSST under its chairman and trustee Nathumal Sajnani, arranges locally free medical health check up camps for the blind and people with heart problems.

A panel of doctors and nurse do attend to the patients. "To date a total of 1700 children and adults have taken advantage of such camps and given quality treatment for better life." Brother Sajnani told the ceremony that in September, 2010 nine blind schoolchildren, accompanied by their teachers, were sent to Puttarparthi, India where they met Sri Sathya Sai Baba and learned more on the educational system and technique.

The SSST conducts many charity activities in the country. Some of them involve giving to the poor food and food items like rice, wheat flour and cooking oil.

Also given to the needy by the charity organization are beds and bed-sheets. A few devotees of the SSST started taking care of Uhuru Mchanganyiko Primary School of the disabled in 1976 by providing it with food to its about 15 blind schoolchildren Impressed by the charity work of the SSST, Ilala Municipal granted it permission to take charge of the school.

"There after SSST rebuilt the school and provided it with new furniture to give it a new look," Bro. Sajnani said. The charitable organization spends an average of 4m/- per month in providing the children with three meals daily. Other expenses for the schoolchildren cost SSST 2m/- in the same period.

Maintenance of the school like giving it beds, pillows, power, mattresses and the like, cost SSST 20 to 25m/- monthly. The India guru revered and referred to by his devotee as bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born on 23 November, 1926 and established the organization in 1940.

At the age of 13 he left his parents' house to spread the word of God and preached human values of truth, right conduct, love, peace and nonviolence. "Of what use is human life it cannot be put to serve fellow human beings," he taught.

"The hands that serve are holier than lips that pray. Human beings have to raise their consciousness from crude and basic instincts by serving mankind. Love in action is demonstrated through service of mankind.

The SSST, India High Commission to Tanzania, donors and stakeholder in the service to the needy in the country have done to Tanzania's poor what Baba taught. "God is love and the only way to show love to God is to serve his creation."



Liberia: The Rejected Ones - Deaf & Dumb Struggle for Education in Bassa


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Buchanan, Grand Bassa County - In Liberia, little is heard about what people with talking and hearing disabilities can become in the future.

This contributes to why the welfare of people with such disabilities are relatively ignored all around the country on a large skill, leaving these individuals in a difficult condition to acquire a unique kind of education which might make them marketable for the job market and contribute to the society.

In Buchanan alone, a statistic conducted about a year ago shows that a total of 65 people with hearing and talking disabilities reside in the Port City. Amongst the 65 are adults, kids and youth, but their abandonment by the society by not providing a suitable learning condition has inspired just one man to make a faint intervention.

Jackson N. Willie, founder of the Buchanan School for the Deaf located in the Corn Farm Community, Buchanan told FrontPage Africa that he's determined to provide sign-education for all of the 65 but was only able to admit 12 which include five girls and seven boys into the school regardless the massive challenges he alone carries in educating these students.

Mr. Willie says he worked for over eight years in Ghana teaching deaf and dumb kids after acquiring his training in the West African nation, but decided to come back home to contribute to his native land with the skill he acquired.

Said Jackson: "This is a special job and it is a difficult task for me, in our society where we have no one prepare to do such a work (teaching deaf persons) because of this I find it difficult to find a partner to share with me the workload on a daily basis, so it's a tough job."

Finding a partner to share the workload with Jackson is the simplest problem, he and his students endure. Since the school was founded in July 2011, Jackson said he has not received any assistance from a group, the local government, business houses or individuals in the county.

Mr. Willie disclosed that he's been contacting people, inviting and explaining to them what he's doing with the students, but there has been no intervention over the past three years.

Classes are held in the Church of Christ School building during the afternoon hours after normal classes. The students' parents are quite supportive, but their impoverish status has impeded their regular financial support to the school through tuition payments.

In the midst of constrains the school faces due to the lack of funds or supports, Jackson and his 12 students are pretty much determine to defy the odds in their quest to acquire education.

The school founder, said people with hearing disability are experiencing a harsh life time with these difficulties they face with communicating in the street and with their parents at home.

Mr. Willie considers his quest to teach the deaf as his dream while his students' enthusiasm about learning inspires him to continue the teaching daily. The feelings and excitement amongst his pupils during classes speak volume as to why Willie's motivation is unflinching.

"At times, I'm even hungry, but if I stay home it will be problematic. Someone will call me from the community to say - 'your children are here waiting for you', so their coming always makes me to continue what I'm doing. They are here (at school) before me on a daily basis; I believe one day somebody will come to our aid," he said.

He continues: "I see there's a great need to help children with hearing impairment and in our society, there's no teacher ready or train to teach these people because these kids are part of the society and they too should have access to education like us. Because no one standing in the gap and I'm trained to do it I feel obliged to do it."

Although his school's plight has fallen on 'deaf hear', Willie told FPA he's ever determined to engage the county administration and other philanthropists to ensure he gets support for the school.

Aware that the government has done little or nothing to impact the lives of these individuals in the country, Mr. Willie hopes that philanthropists or religious organizations need to give these people some attention by providing support. To enhance the learning process, the school's founder says the students need audio visual aids, books and stationeries



Togo/Gambia: Deaf Scorpions Set for Another International Outing in Togo


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The West Africa Deaf Sports Union has confirmed The Gambia's participation in the upcoming deaf football tournament to be held in the Togolese capital of Lome between 31st July and August 9th.

WADSU, the sole governing body for deaf sports in West Africa is affiliated to the Economic Community of West Africa States/Youth and Sports Development Centre (ECOWAS/YSDC). The Gambian team was selected to participate in the two-week event at the Stade de Kugue, Lome showpiece in its capacity as one of the members of the body.

This came hot on the heels of the announcement in March that the Gambia's deaf Scorpions football team was invited to participate in the first ever Africa Deaf Football Cup to be played in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, between the 4th and 25th October 2014.

Confirming this to Observer Sports, the president of the Gambia Deaf Sports Association, Lamin M Camara, expressed delight with the development, noting that it will give an idea to the general public about the true achievement and great opportunities of his association in its development and contribution strides in Gambian sports.

Adding that his association is well known and recognised by top authorities and stakeholders in sports development at both national and international level, Ceesay noted that through their good efforts in development and contribution of sports, the GDSA was able to receive the first ever approval membership document with support statements to participate in the 4th edition of the Togo tournament.

He opined that with this latest development, it is important for stakeholders like the Gambia Football Federation (GFF), the National Sport Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to come to their aid in order to facilitate their participation in the competition.



Gambia: Wadsu Approves Gambia Deaf Sports Association As Affiliate Member

9 MAY 2014

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The Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) has been approved as an affiliated member of the West African Deaf Sports Union (WADSU), according to an e-mail sent to Pointsports by officials of the GDSA.

The association has also been given the green light to participate in the 4th edition of West Africa Deaf Football tournament scheduled to take place between 31 July and 9 August 2014 at Stade De Kugue, Lome, Togo.

The approval document dated 3 April 2014 and signed by Amuda Y. Ibrahim, president of WADSU, reads:

"The West Africa Deaf Sports Union, the sole governing body for deaf sports in the West African sub-region, affiliated to the Economic Community of West Africa States/Youth and Sports Development Centre (ECOWAS/YSDC), wishes to confirm that Gambia Deaf Sports Association is one of our members.

"They were invited to participate in the upcoming 4th Edition of the West Africa Deaf Football Tournament holding from 31st July - 9th August 2014 in Stade De Kugue, Lome, Togo.

"We wish to strongly support their request for financial and material assistance to participate in the tournament successfully.

"This will also support the empowerment policy of the government and make them productive.

"We wish to thank you for your kind consideration and approval of their request."

Lamin M. Ceesay, president of the GDSA, expressed delight in the true achievement and great opportunities of the GDSA in its development and contribution to Gambia sports.

He added that they are known and recognized by all the top authorities and stakeholders in sports development as well as at national and international stakeholders/federations and associations.

"Through our good efforts at the development and contribution to sports our Association was able to receive the first-ever approval membership document with support statements to participate in the 4th edition of West Africa Deaf Football tournament from 31 July to 9 August 2014 in Stade De Kugue, Lome, Togo," he added.

"In light of this, I would not hesitate to call on the attention of Gambia Football Federation (GFF), the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to come to our aid like they have been doing for many national football teams," he went on, saying: "I hope they will recall us in respect of their Vision and Mission statements (Equality and Dignity for all in Sports)."

"We want to underline the fact that we are of the opinion that equality means both rights and obligations. We want to be equal citizens by sharing all the benefits as well as the duties with our fellow citizens in all fields of society," the GDSA president said.

"My final call will of course go to our Most sincerely and beloved President Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, whose intentions and struggle for this peaceful country will enable us to raise The Gambia's flag at the abovementioned event as well as to put us in confident manner to attain excellence in deaf sports and then bring glory to the nation."

He concluded: I can be got at lams_lamin@yahoo.co.uk / +220 77 28 0 92 / 64 8 77 9. Official Tel + 220 88 0 55 88.



Assemblies mismanaging disability funds - Report


Money Cedis Carry

Research has established that district assemblies are mismanaging funds allocated to persons with disability (PWDs) from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).

Two per cent of the DACF has been allocated to PWDs, according to the PWD Act and policies.

The research, conducted by the Social Enterprise Development Ghana (SEND-GH), a civil society organisation, ascertains that the District Fund Management Committee (DFMC) set up by the district assemblies to disburse and manage the funds are violating some guidelines for its implementation.

The research report, launched in Accra yesterday, also established misuse and abuse of funds by beneficiaries.

Some violations

Contrary to the guidelines, generally DFMC meetings are held depending on the necessity of particular situations rather than the quarterly meetings recommended by the guidelines for the purpose of disbursing allocations for the quarter.

Again, there are no systems in place to prevent district assemblies from borrowing from the fund.

According to the report, this has resulted in situations where the assemblies continue to borrow from the fund and in some instances do not pay back because the disbursement of the funds lacks effective monitoring and checks and balances.

The report said there was evidence that in some instances monies had been borrowed without the knowledge of the DFMCs.

The report attributed the situation to signatories of the account, comprising only the district coordinating director and the district finance officer of the district assembly.

It explained that the composition of the signatory made it easier for the assemblies to fall on the fund’s account without the knowledge and explicit approval from the DFMC.

Some recommendations

The research report recommended the need for the DFMC and all its stakeholders to increase the monitoring of the disbursement, management and beneficiary usage of the funds.

It recommended that there was the need for the DFMCs to conduct proper institutionalised assessment of applicant’s proposals before approval.

It called for an additional signatory that could either be a member of the DFMC or from the Ghana Federation of Disabled (GFD) for the purpose of preventing the district assemblies from abusing the fund.

The Country Director of SEND-GH, Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, in his opening address, said the research was funded by the European Union and necessitated by calls from constituents questioning SEND-GH as a policy research institution on what it was doing concerning the DACF.

According to him, SEND-GH will engage all stakeholders to facilitate addressing discrepancies in the management and usage of the fund established by the research.

Mr Osei-Bimpeh said the absence of proper enforcement of the guidelines would flaw the general objective of the fund.

The introduction of the guidelines in 2007, according to him, was supposed to be a relief to PWDs who, prior to that time, had been unable to access the fund.



How The Hearing-Impaired Became Part Of The VGMA


As part of efforts to create new experiences for their customers and ensure total inclusion irrespective of one’s social background, Vodafone Ghana and event organisers, Charter House collaborated to include the hearing impaired at the just ended Ghana Music Awards.

CaptureHearing impaired act.1

For the first time in the history of the awards, the hearing-impaired were on stage to interpret and choreograph Bisa Kdei’s award winning song ‘Metanfo’.

Driven by their desire to inspire the hearing impaired, Samuel Amponsah and Gifty Nana Yaa Rockson, who are teachers of the sign language at the University of Education, were able to have their first-ever choreographed sign language performance with the VGMA songwriter of the year. Apart from communicating the lyrics of the song ‘Metanfo’ through hand gestures, they also danced to the song and explained it was easy to follow the tune through the vibrating effects of the live band.

Commenting on his experience Samuel said ‘It was a great honor to have communicated to the hearing impaired on such a big platform through music. I have interpreted sign language on a number of platforms but this is exceptional. This is my best weekend ever and I am excited that Vodafone made it possible for me to achieve this. I have received overwhelming commendations from the hearing impaired community including my students. ‘

Vodafone First is a campaign that connects people with technology to empower them to do amazing things for the first time.

Source: Dianah Adu Asare



Hearing impaired featured on Ghana Music Awards


CaptureHearing impaired act.1

As part of efforts to create new experiences for their customers and ensure total inclusion irrespective of one’s social background, Vodafone Ghana and event organisers, Charter House collaborated to include the hearing impaired at the just ended Ghana Music Awards.

For the first time in the history of the awards, the hearing-impaired were on stage to interpret and choreograph Bisa Kdei’s award winning song ‘Metanfo’.

Driven by their desire to inspire the hearing impaired, Samuel Amponsah and Gifty Nana Yaa Rockson, who are teachers of the sign language at the University of Education, were able to have their first-ever choreographed sign language performance with the VGMA songwriter of the year. Apart from communicating the lyrics of the song ‘Metanfo’ through hand gestures, they also danced to the song and explained it was easy to follow the tune through the vibrating effects of the live band.

Commenting on his experience Samuel said ‘It was a great honor to have communicated to the hearing impaired on such a big platform through music. I have interpreted sign language on a number of platforms but this is exceptional. This is my best weekend ever and I am excited that Vodafone made it possible for me to achieve this. I have received overwhelming commendations from the hearing impaired community including my students. ‘

Vodafone First is a campaign that connects people with technology to empower them to do amazing things for the first time.



District Assemblies Accused Of Borrowing Disability Money


DACF Cover PageSend - Ghana has launched its latest report on disability fund which reveals that, some District Assemblies continue to borrow from the disability fund even though the guideline frowns upon it.

A civil society organisation, has called for structures to be put in place to facilitate the proper use of the two per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) allocated to persons with disability (PWDs).

At a launch of a report dubbed: Making the two per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund Work for Persons With Disability, Send-Ghana said the success achieved with the implementation of the guidelines could be eroded if structures put in place do not work effectively and efficiently.

It said in order to attain the objective of the fund, the provisions of the guidelines should be supported with proper enforcement.

District Assemblies continue to borrow money from the disability accounts thereby depriving PWDs from accessing the fund on time and this has had serious consequence for PWDs access to much needed funds, Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, Country Director of SEND-Ghana said.

The report conducted by the organisation confirmed the existence of District Fund Management Committees (DFMCs) in all the 15 districts covered. However, the composition of DFMCs varies in every district.

The study was carried out in 15 districts in Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Greater-Accra Regions.

The report said the appointment of chairpersons for the DCFMs in the 15 districts were done through consensus reached by the committee members.

Incidentally, almost 90 per cent of the chairpersons double as chairpersons of the social services committee of the 15 assemblies. However, there appears not to be a clear-cut criterion for the selection of chairperson of the DFMCs and this can result in major disagreements that could affect the effectiveness of the committees, it added.

The report stated that almost 70 per cent of DFMCs interviewed indicated that no notification is received from the assemblies regarding release of funds into the disability accounts.

It added that all categories of PWDs, including alleged witches and epileptic patients, are currently benefiting from the fund though some ended up spending the monies on consumption.

It stated that there is the need for the DFMCs, Ghana Federation of Disabled and National Council for persons with disability to increase the monitoring of the usage of the fund by beneficiaries, adding that the stakeholders need to discuss the modalities for funding such as monitoring activities with relevant ministries.

It said government should ensure timely release of funds to the disability account to reduce the frustration that some PWDs go through, most especially students who depend on the support for payment of school fees and books.

The NCPWDs should ensure that they have representatives in all the DFMCS and also ensure timely and usable information flow from national to the district levels. They should also ensure that PWDs have enough information on the fund, it added.



Liberia: Disabled Youths Get New Voice


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Youths living with voice disabilities have been given a new voice throughout the country with the launching recently of the African Youth with Disabilities Network-Liberia Chapter (AYWDN).

According to the country coordinator for AYWDN, William Yarsiah, the organization was established in Nairobi Kenya in 2012 and that the mission of the organization is to influence national laws and programs for equal opportunities for persons living with disabilities.

He continued that the organizations vision calls for an inclusive and barrier free society for all persons to enjoy and then listed some challenges that disabled youths are faced with in the country such as accessibility to many public facilities, acceptance by family, access to institutions of higher learning, and lack of government's will to change some laws.

Serving as keynote speaker, the founder and executive director of Oba Girls Educational Outreach and Montserrado County Senatorial Candidate, Miatta Fahnbulleh, said that the launching of AYWDN in Liberia is a happy and sad occasion.

Mrs. Fahnbulleh said the occasion was a happy one because the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) had helped disabled youths get a voice and that it was sad because in 2014 Liberia has not found ways to treat persons living with disabilities.

She then called for AYWDN and all other organizations to work together so that the society can be more informed about disabilities.

For his part the Deputy Director for Administration at the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD), Myer Nifor said that there are so many challenges for persons living with disabilities and to fight those challenges persons with disabilities need to work together.



Provide sign interpreters at hospitals - Deaf Association


Sign Interpretor

The Executive Director for the Ghana National Association of the Deaf is calling on the National Health Insurance Authority to provide Sign Language Interpreters at the various health centers to see to the needs of Deaf patients. James Sambian believes this will go a long way to prevent casualties caused by a wrong diagnosis of ailment.

Speaking at the Deaf Awareness Day of the Nsawam Road Church of Christ here in Accra, Mr. Sambian said “we have a challenge of Deaf people accessing healthcare in Ghana largely because of the communication barrier. That is because there are no sign language interpreters in the hospitals to provide services to them when they attend hospitals.”

He added “we want to make an appeal to the National Health Insurance Authority to include sign language services to the scheme benefits.”

James Sambian also spoke about the possibility of wrong diagnosis of patients. “If the healthcare personnel does not understand what the deaf person is saying, he will not be able to give proper diagnosis and that may lead to some casualties. We have had cases of casualties as a result of the lack of proper diagnosis.”

Mr. Sambian further advised the deaf not to resort to self-medication anytime they fall ill.

“Because of the communication barrier, most deaf people do not want to go to the hospital because they feel frustrated and they resort to self- medication or herbal medicine”.

He advised that “self-medication is dangerous and should not be encouraged. In the first place, it leads to complications in your system. When you use a drug for a long time, it loses its potency to cure you.” The program was themed: “what about the deaf”.



Nigeria: 'Disability Has Made Me a Strong Activist'


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Jos - Zainab Mustapha, 26, is determined to stop discrimination against people with disability. The final year student of Plateau State Polytechnic, who was 10 when she was struck by polio, says the challenges she faced growing up moulded her into a strong activist.

How was growing up with disability like; what were the challenges you faced?

It hasn't been easy. The symptoms of polio started manifesting in me when I was 10 years old. It wasn't easy because I was actively walking with both legs at the initial state and my parents didn't even know it was polio. My mother still stresses that she had done all the immunizations to the extent that as an adult, she showed me some pieces of the evidence.

As an adult, did you ask her why you had polio?

Yes I did. When I was in secondary school, I had some challenges, because even when you accept your predicament as an act of God, there are times people will push you to the wall. All I was hearing at that time was that 'your parents did not do this right or your parents didn't love you enough' and from all indications I knew that my parents showed me enough love and concern; so, I was kind of confused and started asking questions. There were times I faced stigmatization even from peer groups, but with my parents' and other people's support, I was able to overcome... I take it as it is and I know God has given me other potentials. I appreciated my seniors while in secondary school, because that was the first place I faced the most challenge. My parents always used to tell me that as long as I was educated, no one would see me as disabled and that was what I tried to do. I have never been idle all my life. I always made sure I was doing one programme or the other even when I finished secondary school, before I got admission, I gathered the children around my area to take them on lessons free.

How did you handle the discrimination you faced?

As educated as I am, I never knew that I would face the kind of challenges I faced. I once had a fiance whom I met when I was in secondary school. Years later, he looked for me and wanted to marry me. Everything was going well with us, his mom, sisters later onhis father, said no to our engagement. I later found out that his father didn't approve of me due to my physical disability, so I broke it off. Though he urged me to be patient and promised that he could convince his father, I just felt I didn't need any more stress. Here was I, physically challenged, that was enough for me and I didn't want to face issues with in-laws, so I let him go. His father said he didn't want him to marry a liability... I cried at that time, but then I vowed that it must stop. Prior to that I didn't see myself as disabled, I felt the Hausa term gurguwawas used for those people on the streets who beg; but I didn't know people saw me as gurguwa, because I felt that I could do anything an abled person does.

What inspired you to establish an NGO for people with disability?

After that incident I started reflecting and when I started advocating, people were telling me that I wasn't disabled but I said no, I am physically disabled but in my heart I am able. That was when I started advocating for people with disabilityand I wanted the discrimination to stop.

I felt people with disability needed to be supported. The discrimination I faced before I got married also played a vital role, so I established an organization, Inter-Faith Women with Disability, around 2010. Prior to that, I had been working with other organizations. Then when I felt that my own people were being neglected I established the Inter-Faith Women with Disability to gap the discrimination.Our mission is to gap the discrimination between the able and disabled;for the able to learn to work and see the potentials in the disabled, because most of the time the able people have a perception that people with disability are a liability. But God has created us to be the same. If you look at a deaf person you will notice that he may lack the ability to hear but you will also notice that his brain is more active.

What role do you think disabled women can play in our society?

We have many disabled women who have a lot of potentials. When I went for Africa Youth Leadership training in Abuja with participants from various African countries, I was the only disabled person and when the time came for us to elect our leaders they were surprised based on the activities I was doing. So, to show them that there is ability in disability, I contested for the president of the group and out of the four contestants we decided to see if among the women we could get a consensus candidate. What happened was that I won by one vote, but later stepped down for another candidate. So, women can do whatever they put their mind to, but we need the support of the communities we live in.

How does your husband feel about your work?

Actually, the first time I met my husband was during an election. I was working for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and he was the presiding officer. He is able but the way he was working was not to my satisfaction, so I collected his job and did it. He is also a civil society worker, so he sees my potentials and supports me in everything I do.

What are some of the challenges that people with disability face?

The challenges for the disabled are enormous, especially the girl-child. You find out that in most cases the girl is from a poor home, so she faces discrimination based on her social status and her physical nature. She ends up becoming uneducated, no man wants to marry her and then we have some men who based on superstitious beliefs, think that when they have sexual relations with a disabled, they will become rich and such girls end up being abused. But if really these people want to be rich for life, why can't they marry the girls so as to be rich for the rest of their lives? So, there is still so much to be done and we will not relent by God's grace.

What advice do you have for young girls with disability?

They should not pity themselves and never see begging as an option. They should go to school and get educated or acquire some skills. When I was going to Mecca, I cried because I thought with my disability I couldn't do some of the strenuous acts of worship. Some people told me not to do the jifanshatan (stoning of the devil), but someone came and told me I could do it and reminded me that we were all equal in the eyes of Allah; so I tried and I did it. After that, I moved to Mecca and that very day I finished my hajj; some were saying I was too stubborn, because they had advised me not to do it. But while they saw me as trouble, all I wanted to do was prove that I could do it. If you make an effort, God will always support you.People living with disability are not lazy; they only need society to embrace them.

What are some of the things you have achieved for the disabled in Plateau State?

There are many. We didn't have anything like a commission for people living with disability, but now we have one based on our advocacy. In the past, we used to have only oneadviser to the governor on our matters, now we have about six. We pushed for a bill on people living with disability in the state House of Assembly which is now an Act. We have done a lot of advocacy that people living with disability should be included in everything. We were part of those who pushed for six people to represent us at the National Conference. In the past, people with disability were neglected when it came to sharing basic food items during festive periods, but we thank God that we are now included. There is still much to be done but we will get there.



2014 World Cup: Ghanaian fans buying match tickets meant for the disabled, Brazilian ambassador reveals


Posted: Sunday, 18th May 2014 5 Comments comments so far - add yours! 1
Ghanaian fans might have trouble getting entry to the match venues in Brazil

By Ameenu Shardow

Follow on Twitter @alooameenu

The Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana H.E Irene Vida Gala has made a startling revelation of Ghanaian fans who have bought tickets meant for the disabled for the 2014 World Cup.

The Brazilian consulate have started issuing out visas to the numerous Ghanaian fans who intend to travel to Brazil to support the Black Stars in June’s finals.

One of the criterions for securing a Brazilian visa includes the presentation of a valid match ticket to serve as ample proof of the motive for making the trip.

The Brazilian ambassador has however revealed that some of the tickets presented by applicants are that of areas designated to the disabled even though her outfit nevertheless granted these applicants the visa.

“Some Ghanaian fans bought tickets of seats of disabled people,” she disclosed at the SWAG awards ceremony on Saturday.

“Of course they got the visas. One ticket, one visa.

“But I don’t know how they will get into the stadium.”

This situation means, even though the affected fans will be able to make the trip to Brazil, they will have serious difficulties in gaining access to the match venues.

Demand for a Brazilian visa has been in high demand with the World Cup less than a month away.

Many Ghanaian fans are determined to travel to Brazil not only for the football but also for the massively attractive recreational services offered in the South American country.

The very beautiful beaches, carnivals and very attractive ladies in Brazil shown on various advertisements, movies and the like have been a constant infectious attraction for anyone and the Ghanaian fans will not want to be left out.

Ghana will be making a third successive appearance at the finals this June.

The Black Stars are drawn in a tough group alongside Germany, Portugal and USA.



World of deaf okada riders who love Pasuma’s music

Nigerian Tribune-

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In today’s world, where begging has become a profession for some, even without any visible physical deformity, the stories of Soji Elugbaju and Tosin Adewusi, both deaf okada riders, bring to the fore, man’s inherent survival instincts in the face of daunting challenges. DAMOLA ADEOYE caught up with the two friends and reports.

EVEN with the notoriety of able-bodied okada riders and the seemingly unending hazards associated with okada as a mode of transportation, how would you feel if, prior to riding an okada, the rider, obviously a deaf, clapped his two hands to indicate the fare and mouthed some intelligible sound the way deaf and dumb express themselves?

At Victoria Island, Lagos, a colleague was on the verge of paying his fare to an okada rider only to discover that the rider was deaf. To forestall a confrontation after the deaf rider insisted he was not paid enough, the journalist cough up additional money.

There are many Nigerians who would have, at one time or the other, ‘enjoyed’ a ride with deaf and dumb commercial motorcyclists. In Ibadan, for instance, commuters between Soka and Molete are used to the regular presence of Tosin Adewusi and Soji Elugbaju. Just like the average okada rider, they are seen patiently waiting for their turn to pick passengers to and fro. Like their other counterparts, they exude confidence and pride in the job they do. At least, they are gainfully employed.

Almost of the same height, dark and slim, they look like twins, albeit not facially identical. But the love and friendship existing between them is clearly evident. What started like a joke on Saturday morning, when this reporter on the verge of picking a bike to Molete noted the demeanor of a guy standing beside his bike gave birth to this report. On probing his own okada rider, he was told the guy is deaf.

Deaf? He exclaimed and he rides a bike, he asked? This little piece of information set this reporter to work. This guy, despite his natural inhibition, he is still productive, fending for himself and contributing meaningfully to society.

The guy’s phone number was collected from one of his colleagues and a series of text message exchanges began. The guy reads messages well and writes them well too! This reporter fired the first text which read, “I’m a journalist; I want to use your story to encourage other people. The story will give you publicity too and may also get you help. Please, what time can we meet today?” and within a twinkle of an eye, he responded, “Okk, please, you can come to Molete now.” After series of other text exchanges, a meeting was arranged for Monday evening at the Soka end of the Molete-Soka route between this reporter and his new ‘friend’ (whose name the reporter hadn’t known as at then).

On getting to Soka, this reporter after due identification, eventually met with the guy who introduced himself as Tosin Adewusi, a 21-year-old native of Ile-Ife in Osun State.

According to him, he wasn’t born deaf as he spoke early in life. It was a mysterious ailment that rendered him deaf; he could still mutter words he believes, albeit inaudibly. He claimed he attended a special school for the deaf at Ikere-Ekiti, though he strained hard to differentiate whether primary or secondary. He even added that he planned to return to school once he makes enough from his okada business.

Later on, he suggested the reporter ‘talks’ to his friend, who, he believes, is in a better position to answer the reporter’s questions. That was when this reporter realised that Adewusi was not the one with whom he had made appointment. He was, indeed, the friend of his ‘text friend’. He immediately had to send a text to the guy he had communicated with earlier. An agreement to meet was struck.

At the appointed time, Soji Elugbaju rode in confidently and was happy to meet the reporter with whom he had been exchanging texts earlier in the day. As luck would have it, a sign language instructor, Tijani Samuel, a friend to Tosin Adewusi passed by and exchanged pleasantries with Tosin. He was beckoned by this reporter and pronto, he became the unofficial interpreter. 24-year-old Elugbaju is chattier and seems the leader of the two perhaps on account of his age or the fact that he’d stayed longer in Ibadan than his friend. He wasn’t also born deaf and dumb he admitted; a serious ailment rendered him so when he was young. Though his parents tried all they can, all their efforts proved futile and he’s been coping with the deformity for nearly 20 years.

According to Soji, he moved down to Ibadan in 2002 when his father died and luckily, his grandfather’s house around Felele area served as his first abode. He was taught okada riding back at Ife by one of his teachers who took interest in him. He joked that what he learnt free then, is now his main source of livelihood. Tosin also added he learnt okada riding in Ife too.

On how they know the route well, Soji said being the first in Ibadan, it was his duty to show Tosin round when he came, but for him (Soji), a good Samaritan showed him round Ibadan as well as the nooks and corners of Molete, Soka, Ehin-Grammar and Osungbade areas. To him, he is not only a ‘guru’ in these areas as he is popular and loved by many, he’s also an ‘omo onile’ himself!

As for the fares charged passengers, Soji ‘said’ since it was a standard rate of N50 per person and that okada’s often picks two passengers at once, he knows that amounts to N100. He however praised most passengers for their cooperation as most of them don’t trouble him. This view was corroborated by Tosin who added, most passengers on discovering their plight, are usually nice and humane to them. They also admitted they don’t ply other routes aside Molete-Soka as doing so might lead to ‘some other problems’.

Soji Elugbaju, haven been in the Okada business for some time, is now a proud owner of his own bike, a feat he achieved after working hard and remaining focused. Tosin Adewusi however rides for someone who he delivers to every Monday.

Social life

On the flip side, the friends claim they’re sociable as they believe every hardworking individual must take time out once a while to relax and have fun. Both Soji and Tosin are ardent ‘blues’ as they follow all matches of Chelsea FC rejoicing when the club does well and disappointed like every other fan whenever results don’t go their way. Their best Chelsea player they claim is Brazillian youngster, Oscar whose stickers adorns both sides of their okada. They also like Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea Manager. Their brand of music is Fuji while they like Wasiu Alabi Pasuma dearly. How they listen to his music is another story entirely! They love eba, amala, rice and beans and can take it anytime.


Though both are single, they have stable girlfriends whom they joyously refer to as their fiancee. While Soji’s girlfriend is Kemi, a native of Ikirun, Tosin doesn’t want his girlfriend’s name in print. Asked how they met, Soji said they met in Ife while Tosin said they were school mates. On mode of communication, both said they communicate via text messages like they do with every other person. They love their girlfriends dearly and would do everything to keep them.

Comments on street begging

When asked to comment on street begging, they berated the vice claiming it robs people of their dignity. They advised everyone most especially the disabled not to see disability as a curse but rather see ability in disability, hence they should either go to school or learn a trade. That way, they believe the society will reckon with them rather than resorting to begging. They appealed to government to take better notice of disabled people, providing support and assistance to them so they won ’t go a-begging.

What people have to say

While speaking with Sunday Tribune, Babalola Kabiru, Vice Chairman, Molete NURTW okada Unit, attested to the good-natured disposition of Soji and Tosin, saying “they don’t often get angry and that even when there’s need to, they cool down once appealed to” on change in the lives of the two, Babalola said, “the change we’ve noticed in their lives is that Soji now has his own bike; something he didn’t have before while we believe Tosin too will have his own soonest”. On street begging, the vice chairman advised that, “people should pick up vocational skills instead of begging, that way, their dignity will be preserved,” he concluded. While corroborating the vice chairman, Olalekan Adegbola, popularly called Abulesowo, described Tosin and Soji as ‘good boys’. “When they came to register in our garage, we didn’t believe they’ll be this efficient and effective considering their disability, but we’ve been proved wrong now, as they’ve been contributing well to the association and doing really well”.

He went further, “they’re now responsible citizens, and they’ve even rented an apartment at Ehin-Grammar. Ever since they did, their landlord hasn’t reported them for once. They went home during the last Christmas with gifts for their parents who were really delighted. “They eat good food and wear nice clothes, because they have a job that serves as a source of livelihood”, Abulesowo contended. He then advised those engaged in begging to desist and find a productive venture to engage in, so that no one will look down on them nor view them as dregs of the society. Another okada rider, Wahab Afeez, said, “when they came and told us they know how to ride okada, several people complained maybe because of their disability but it was the then chairman who enlightened us all that we should accept them.” He went further, “government should encourage special people like these, who instead of constituting nuisance are themselves productive members of the society.” Other members of the union who spoke under condition of anonymity confirmed the statements made by the vice chair, Abulesowo and Wahab, chorusing the boys are indeed ‘good boys’.

A commuter, Ramon Adebayo, recalled that, “I have no problems with them (the boys) picking me. One thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t speed at all, that way it is easy to control them while on motion”. He explained he’s amazed at the level of decorum they always exhibit on duty. To him, “that is a high level of professionalism”.

Appeal to government

They appealed to the government to take the welfare of disabled persons seriously while health facilities should also be improved and made accessible to all including the poor. “If the country’s health facilities had been good, we may not have been deaf in the first place, ” they quipped. Though they maintained that at no specific time did they seek government help mainly due to the bureaucracy and bottlenecks involved in reaching decision-makers and the fact that the intervention materials may not really get to the designated persons, they very well admit this medium is one through which government can hear their plight and probably render any assistance she feels necessary.



Newly ordained Anthony LaNgwenya to establish church for the deaf

The Swazi Observer-
18/05/2014 03:00:00By Phumla Dlamini

imageNewly ordained Anthony LaNgwenya to establish church for the deaf

Last Sunday SCENE was invited by Anthony LaNgwenya to his ordaining ceremony held at Reformed Church in Manzini.

Unfortunately we could not make it but we were sure to follow up what happened and what his hopes for the Deaf Christian community are now that the day he has awaited since completing his studies had finally come.
As we reported before in our sister newspaper pullout Lifestyle & Entertainment, Anthony was honoured by a South African Magazine, Ido Magazine, with an honorary Ido Against All Odds Award for his persistence in achieving his dream to study ministry and completing. This award was given to him during a ceremony which was held in February.

He completed his studies and graduated from Worcester, Cape Town where he had been studying for the past four years.
Speaking to SCENE Anthony reveals that being ordained finally gave him the hope that the dream of establishing his own church that would be the first deaf church in Swaziland would be realised. “I want to be a force of influence that will make positive changes in how the deaf community of Swaziland worships in Swaziland, as it is true that we are left out in most churches.” Anthony is currently serving at Reformed church where he was ordained last Sunday. “The congregants at the church are all able to hear and therefore when I preach, there is always an interpreter.”

LaNgwenya believes he has a calling and is already pursuant of programs which he will be facilitating to train able people to use sign language interpretation, which he reveals further to SCENE to be targeted at churches.
“I desire to groom in all churches interpreters who will serve during church services. This I believe will encourage the deaf community of Swaziland when they start realising that the system in churches locally has become all inclusive,” he tells SCENE. This is one of several program Anthony has in his plans. He also wishes to start a Deaf Outreach Programme for both the youth and adults as well. “It is in my plan to also raise funds for a Deaf International relationship Exchange between Swaziland and other countries. The deaf community also requires exposure to other channels and maybe in that way we will be able to advance even technologically.” By Phumla Dlamini



Goldstar Airlines to establish multimedia to support disabled


Goldstar Airlines is to team up with Seasons Travel and Tours International to open a multimedia group to support the disabled in Ghana.

The multi-media group to be called Pidic Multimedia, has been registered with the Registrar General's Department and would start work soon after the Goldstar Airline begins operations in Ghana from next June 13.

Mr Eric Bannerman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seasons Travel and Tours said Pidic Multimedia, which would be based in Accra would comprise a television station, a radio station, newspaper and an online sports website.

The CEO told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview in Accra that the multimedia group would be manned mainly by the disabled and the chunk of the content of the newspaper and the programmes in the broadcast media focusing on issues affecting the disabled.

He regretted that there has been a deliberate attempt to sideline people with disabilities, and added that disability should not be seen as inability.

Citing Dr Henry Seidu Daanaa, the current Minister for Chieftaincy of Affairs, Mr Bannerman said the physically challenged could contribute more to the progress and development of the nation if offered the platform and assistance.

"We hope to help the disabled in society. The stations would be manned by the physically challenged. We have neglected them for far too long. We have to create space for them in the society," Mr Bannerman said, adding that Pidic Multimedia would be issued to propagate the issues of the disabled.

According to the CEO, issues of heaIth, education, sports and other welfare issues would feature prominently in programmes.

Mr Bannerman, who is also the founder and president of the National Disabled Supporters Union (NDSU) said Goldstar Airline is to collaborate with Seasons Travel and Tours to airlift more than 500 disabled supporters from Ghana to cheer up Ghana’s national football team, the Black Stars, in next month’s World Cup tournament in Brazil.

He recalled that Seasons Travel and Tours provided similar support to the disabled during the last African Cup of Nation Tournament in South Africa.

"Persons with disabilities are always sidelined when it comes to mobilization of supporters to international competitions, and I think it is discriminatory.

"We want to offer them the opportunity to be part of history this time. That is why we have decided to form the group to serve as a platform for mobilizing supporters to the World Cup, he stated.

He said when the Goldstar Airlines commences operations next month it would fly Accra -London- Accra two times weekly and Accra-Baltimore- Accra two times weekly.

The airline would also do Accra-Guangzhou-Accra once a week as its local partner Seasons Travel and Tours International offers free visas to all people traveling on the airline to Brazil for the 2014 world cup journey.

Mr Bannernman said the airline is also poised to take its share in the upcoming world cup in Brazil, and has positioned itself to make the most of the opportunities that the world cup in Brazil will bring.



A way forward for the disabled

Ahram Online-

Gihan Shahine examines the plight of Egyptians with special needs as they assert their rights in post-revolutionary Egypt

People with special needs
People with special needsPeople with special needsChildren with special needsChildren with special needsChildren with special needs

If I appear peculiar,
There’s nothing I can do,
You must accept me as I am,
As I’ve accepted you - Denny Davis

“Nobody signs up to have a child with special needs,” said US actor John McGinley speaking to the CBC channel about his unique experience in raising a son with Downs Syndrome as part of his campaign to enhance respect for the mentally-challenged.

“Then you realise that this is a gift; this child is the light. And if you can nourish that light and let it shine, you have an opportunity to get closer to God, and that’s grace.”

In Egypt, however, the disabled are still often having to fend for themselves and are far from leading normal, prosperous lives. They are suffering under the double onslaught of a government that hardly serves their most basic needs, ranging from infrastructure to healthcare, good insurance and education, and a society that can often not accept people with special needs as equally productive citizens.

“We have to admit that we are a society that is highly discriminatory in many ways, and disability is no exception,” regretted Noha Al-Sahrawi, an activist in the field and the mother of a nine-year-old child with Downs Syndrome (DS). Al-Sahrawi’s success story with her daughter reads like a classic Hollywood script. When she was told that her first newborn had DS, she decided she would not give up. Initial shock soon gave way to an inner wealth of energy and persistence: she abandoned a career in journalism and went to the US to study brain development at the Glenn Doman Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential.

Thanks to her persistent early intervention efforts, her DS daughter’s IQ is the same as that of an average child of her age. She is integrated into a mainstream school and has been among the top A-grade students of her class. She is also a brilliant ballet dancer and gymnast. That perseverance and excellence has, however, been met with little or no appreciation by a society that largely frowns on the mentally-challenged. To her shock, Al-Sahrawi’s DS daughter was dismissed from school for the reason that her looks could annoy the parents of her peers. A disenchanted Al-Sahrawi decided to move her child to another school, but she has filed a lawsuit against the school for discriminating against her child.

Al-Sahrawi’s daughter is not the only case of such discrimination. Sahar Donia, a physician and the mother of nine-year-old child with DS, Farah, says that schooling is one major challenge for all parents of special needs children.

“We, as parents, have worked so hard to help our children reach an average IQ, and it is extremely shocking when we find that regular schools can nip all that effort in the bud when they refuse to admit our children,” Donia lamented.

“I for one pay more than double the fees of my daughter’s classmates for the mere reason that my daughter is a DS child, and all despite the fact that her IQ is average. This is so unfair, and it encourages more parents to hide their children with such difficulties.”

Disability is still sometimes considered to be a stigma in Egypt, something to hide and be ashamed of. Many families may ignore a child with a disability because they either cannot afford the social stigma or the costs of the prolonged care and rehabilitation that the child may need.

Many such families also happen to be economically vulnerable or uneducated and could thus tend to hide a member with special needs for fear of reducing the marital chances of his/her siblings.

“If only parents knew how early intervention programmes can make a difference to their special needs children; if only people knew how beneficial it is to have a special needs child enrolled with other kids in a regular class,” Donia lamented with a sigh.

“Those kids are a blessing; they teach their parents to be patient and loving, and they teach their siblings and classmates how to be kind to others and how to act responsibly. My DS daughter, Farah, has actually taught me how to be a patient and caring mother to my other three children.”

Al-Sahrawi and Donia have decided that their efforts should not stop at their own personal success stories, but instead they have taken the message to the whole society. They have formed a lobby group that has been working on increasing social awareness of the rights of special needs people in the media.

They also took the issue to those in charge of writing Egypt’s 2013 Constitution, and this could help guarantee many constitutional rights for the disabled and their translation into laws. They are currently founding a non-profit organisation (NGO) that will aim to increase awareness and provide support for those with special needs.

CONFLICTING NUMBERS: Activists agree that the social stigma attached to disability has made it difficult to put together an accurate database of the number of special needs people in Egypt, hence leading to further inadequacy in the services provided to this often marginalised sector of society.

Egypt’s 2006 census, a national survey carried out every ten years, says that almost a million Egyptians suffer from some sort of disability-a figure that census collectors estimate has risen to around four to five million over recent years.

But this number, specialists insist, is an underestimate of the actual size of the population in Egypt.

According to the World Health Organisation, people with disabilities represent approximately 10 per cent of the Egyptian population, or about 8.5 million people. But according to Plan Egypt, a leading 75-year-old international children’s development organisation promoting children’s rights in 50 countries, “the UN estimates that there are more than 12 million people living with disabilities in Egypt, of which around four million are children.”

“If we include the families that are affected by disabilities, we can increase the number to more than 36 million people,” writes the Plan on its Website. “Just two per cent of children with disabilities have access to rehabilitation services.”

Al-Sahrawi and many other activists in the field speculate that there may be some 15 to 18 million people with special needs in Egypt. They argue that the UN has estimated that disability generally constitutes around 23 per cent of any poor population - a percentage that drops to around 17 to 18 per cent of those living in developed countries.

“The World Bank, for instance, estimates that there are 18 million people with special needs in Egypt, that is, to put the number into perspective, a population that constitutes a larger minority than the Copts,” Al-Sahrawi said.

The absence of a unified definition of disability, and an awareness of its different kinds, has been seen as one of the main reasons why there is no one accurate figure reflecting the growth of the issue in Egypt.

The general population census, for instance, does not include categories of disability that, if included, might dramatically affect the estimates of Egypt’s disabled population. These categories include psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, learning disabilities, and certain chronic diseases, to name a few. Lack of awareness on the part of those collecting the data has also been a factor in ignoring many categories of special needs.

“Mental disability, for instance, ranges from mild brain injury, including slow learners, dyslexia and ADHD, to moderate and severe injury. If these are put together, it would mean we are talking about an average of 17 million people. But if we also include those who were not born disabled but developed it later in life, like the elderly and those having psychological disorders, then the figure may hit 19.5 million people,” Al-Sahrawi contended.

The geographical distribution of disability is another reason why there is no accurate database on the issue. The fact that disability is particularly high in areas of severe poverty and high rates of illiteracy, especially in Upper Egypt where disability is widely seen as a stigma to hide, makes a large part of the disabled population largely inaccessible to census collectors who are then unable to get accurate numbers.

WHY SO WIDESPREAD? Specialists describe many causes of disability in children, ranging from genetic factors and complications related to pregnancy or childbirth to environmental factors, including those related to political unrest, and the maltreatment of diseases affecting newborns.

But there is also a link between disability, poverty and illiteracy. This link is particularly prominent in Egypt, where more than 40 per cent of the population is reportedly living below the poverty line and where the number of illiterate people aged 10 years or more exceeded 16 million, 10.3 million of them females, in 2012, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

According to the latter, the vast majority of the poor and illiterate are concentrated in Upper Egypt, where disability is also believed to be rife.

The inadequacy of healthcare in underprivileged areas, specialists agree, is one major factor increasing cases of disability in those areas, even reducing their chances of rehabilitation.

Al-Sahrawi argues that intermarriage among relatives represents a major factor behind the proliferation of disability in Upper Egypt, where figures of the real dimension of this issue remain elusive.

Lack of proper medical equipment during delivery, often conducted at home at the hands of non-professionals in rural areas, let alone the lack of hygiene, may all result in newborns with disabilities. A lack of oxygen reaching the brain during delivery may result in the atrophy of certain brain cells that could result in mental or physical disability, depending on which brain cells are affected in the process.

Sometimes the lack of incubators, for instance, may also make a newborn susceptible to complications that may ultimately develop into a physical or mental disability.

“In many cases, a child who is born healthy but gets a one-day fever that is not properly treated develops a disability as a result,” Al-Sahrawi said. “In the same vein, most children who are born with a disability are not properly diagnosed until they are almost six or seven years old, making intervention and rehabilitation more difficult.”

Early detection of the problem, on the other hand, can prevent an impairment from becoming a disability, prevent or minimise the degree of a primary disability, and avoid the occurrence of secondary handicaps.

Mona Sanad of the disability and early intervention department at Al- Azhar University’s child-disability centre told a seminar that one study conducted on a group of DS children aged between seven and nine years old found that those who had benefited from special education and early intervention in the pre-school years scored 20 per cent higher on intelligent tests than those who had not.

Without early intervention, agreed Alaa Shukrallah, chairman of the non-governmental Association for Health and Environmental Development (AHED) and a pediatrician specialised in child disability and early intervention programmes, “a child with a motor handicap will develop learning disabilities resulting from limited exposure to the environment and knowledge, while a child suffering from strabismus may lose her sight altogether, to mention just two examples.”

“Failure to intervene at an appropriate time is even more dangerous for those children who are born with a metabolic disorder and an enzyme deficiency causing brain damage and severe disability,” Shukrallah said. “A simple blood test at birth or in early infancy could reverse the process.”

Al-Sahrawi lamented that such simple early detection and intervention measures are often not available in underprivileged areas.

“Healthcare providers for cases of mental disability are mostly inefficient and unqualified for rehabilitation or early diagnosis and intervention. In rural areas such healthcare is almost nonexistent,” she said. In cases of mental disability, only a few facilities provide early diagnosis and intervention services, but most of these are based in Cairo.

And even when their children are diagnosed, families in Upper Egypt and other rural or impoverished areas are usually economically vulnerable and cannot afford the high costs of the prolonged care a disabled person needs. “So the end result is that this disabled family member is ignored and even hidden,” Al-Sahrawi lamented.

CHALLENGES FOR THE DISABLED: Disabilities in children often affect their educational opportunities. In some developing countries, the NGO CARE estimates that “up to 90 per cent of children with disabilities do not attend school, limiting their chances for better education and future employment.”

Although laws passed in 1975 stipulate that the country’s public and private-sector industries are required to allocate five per cent of their vacancies to persons with special needs, activists insist that such legislation is hardly ever enforced and definitely does not outlaw discrimination.

Activists in the field claim that many companies have disabled persons on their payrolls to meet the quota, but do not actually employ those people. “The most common case is that they either do not employ people with special needs in the first place, or they just put them on their pay roll and ask them to stay at home, which means that they look at them as a burden and not as equally productive citizens,” Al-Sahrawi said.

Although the government pays a hefty pension of about LE200 to those with special needs, Al-Sahrawi said that “many prefer not to take it because if they did they would be obliged to write disabled on their ID cards and that would immediately mean they would have almost zero chances when it came to employment.”

While there are many non-governmental organisations that focus their work on people with disabilities, critics argue that such NGOs tend to approach the issue as one of charity, rather than of integration and employment. People with special needs for their part insist that they do not want charity, but rather are after fair and equal opportunities in employment, education, facilities and other walks of life.

“Those who are physically challenged, particularly those using wheelchairs, may not go to college and are deprived of ordinary needs for the mere reason that most facilities are not equipped with ramps,” Al-Sahrawi said.

Obtaining a good education can be a major challenge for the physically and mentally challenged. Only three colleges, said Al-Sahrawi, admit people with special needs. “Those with mental disabilities, even those having mild forms, often do not go to college in the first place, despite the fact that many of them have talents.”

Although a ministerial decree was passed after the 25 January Revolution stipulating that schools should have a quota of five to ten per cent of special needs students mainstreamed in regular classes, activists insist that the decision remains largely unbinding on private schools and is not even necessarily applied in public ones.

Public schools, where classes are crammed and teachers are sometimes hardly trained, are definitely not equipped for inclusion and, thus, the mentally challenged are often automatically rejected.

But these same challenges have all been impetuses for Al-Sahrawi, Donia and others, who launched a campaign called Zayee Zayak ([I’m like you) in cooperation with an NGO called Helm (Dream) to increase awareness of the problem via a media campaign before Egypt’s new constitution was written and approved.

Their efforts paid off.

“For the first time ever, special needs people are mentioned in eight articles, instead of one, of the new constitution” Donia told Al-Ahram Weekly. “The disabled were mentioned in one article concerning discrimination in previous constitutions, but this time their inclusion in society in general is stressed in more than one article, and this will make it easier to pass laws confirming their rights to education, employment and social care in general and criminalising discrimination against them.”

The consensus remains, however, that for these constitutional rights to make headway, the coming government and president should possess the political will to translate them into real laws and legislation that will help the integration of the disabled in all walks of life.

Only then, said Donia, “will we feel we are walking on solid ground.”

Much remains to be done on Al-Sahrawi’s and Donia’s agenda. “We intend to launch a nationwide campaign to spread awareness of the importance of inclusion in schools and in poor areas, train teachers and those in the healthcare business on early detection and intervention programmes, help parents of children with disabilities form support groups in the way we did with DS children, and try to change the stereotypical image of the disabled in the media through, for instance, having celebrities talking about experiences to inspire and motivate others,” Al-Sahrawi said.

“There is a long way to go, of course, but it’s a step forward,” Donia concluded.



Rwanda: Depression the Leading Cause of Disability in Youth, Says Report


Depression and mental health problems are the most common causes of illness and disability in children between 10 and 19 years, a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.

The study, entitled 'Health of the world's adolescents', released last week, looked at the leading causes of death and disability in young people throughout the world.

In 2012, an estimated 1.3 million adolescents died worldwide. The top three causes were traffic accidents, HIV/Aids and suicide.

"The world has not paid enough attention to adolescent health," said Dr Flavia Bustreo, the WHO assistant director of family, women's and children's health.

"We hope this report will focus on the health needs of 10 to 19-year-olds and serve as a springboard for accelerated action on adolescent health," she added.

Mental health is a serious problem in Rwanda compared to other countries in the region because of the trauma caused by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

A study showed that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affected 29 per cent of the country's population in 2011.

Out of the 109 countries examined in the WHO study, only a quarter had policies that addressed mental health problems in adolescents. The report said policy is the best method to deal with the problem.Rwanda already has such a policy, which was revised in 2010.

It promotes awareness, integration and decentralisation of mental service, as well as an inter-sector collaboration between the Ministry of Health, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Dr Yvonne Kayiteshonga, the head of mental health division at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said Rwanda has had a shortage of professionals who could address and treat mental health issues in the past, but this problem has been addressed with the current policy.

"All the 462 health centres in the country have at minimum a general health practitioner who can address mental health issues," she explained.

There is also a good number of counsellors and social workers working with women, youth and family organisations, she added.

In addition, there are multiple programmes that target youth, she noted. Many of these focus on preventing PTSD, or treating problems through peer support.

"If you create good healthcare services, but people are not seeking care, something is missing," Kayiteshonga said.

"So we are putting efforts into educating the population about mental health issues," she added.



South Africa: Mother and Disabled Daughter Face Deportation After Going to Hospital


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A 46-year-old Zimbabwean woman, Fortunate Makamba, and her 17-year-old disabled daughter, Alice Chitsuro, are facing deportation. Makamba arrived in 2012 after the Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre stopped granting asylum to newcomers.

Chitsuro was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disease in which a person's bones break very easily. On Chitsuro's clinic cards are written 'handle with care'. When she was still living in Zimbabwe, she broke her hands and legs several times.

On 8 May 2014, Chitsuro broke her hand and was taken to Tygerberg Hospital by Makamba. The doctor who attended her wanted a wheelchair to be available before she was discharged, and appropriate schooling to be arranged.

The doctor referred Makamba to the hospital's social worker. Because Makamba is not legally in South Africa, the social worker emailed all the information such as her address, employment details and copies of her passport to Home Affairs.

The only help she could obtain from the social worker was a contact for a state facility that rents out wheelchairs for R300 per month.

The social worker told Makamba to go to Home Affairs to fix her papers. At Home Affairs both her and her child's passports were confiscated. She was given notice to appear before an immigration officer on 12 May 2014.

Nontle Mdazuka of the Cape Town Home Affairs Immigration Inspectorate wrote to the hospital social worker, "Ms Fortunate Makamba, whose child has been admitted by the names Alice Chitsuro, does not qualify for the services mentioned on the letter. It is unfortunate the department can only assist with their deportation back to Zimbabwe ... Once the child has been discharged from the hospital, this office will need a letter confirming that she is fit to travel before we can arrange taking them back to Zimbabwe".

Chitsuro needs to visit the hospital again for appointments on 12 June and 4 August 2014 respectively. After that it appears Home Affairs intends to deport her and her mother.

Makamba said since Chitsuro was two years old, she had tried to seek help from the Zimbabwean government welfare department and NGOs, but had no success.

She hopes to raise money to send her child to a secondary school. She separated with Chitsuro's father after she was born. She also has two other older children with Chitsuro's father. She claims that before he divorced her, the father told her the Chitsuro clan do no father disabled children. He refused to give financial support.

Chitsuro learned to work on computers at Jairos Jiri Primary, a school for children with disabilities. "One day," she says, "I would like to be an IT person. I wish my mother would get money to send me to high school, and buy an adjustable wheelchair to use when I travel. My thigh is swollen and my chest is sore because of being carried on the back."

On 16 May 2014, the immigrants' rights organisation PASSOP sourced a wheelchair for Chitsuro through the Chaeli Campaign, a charity that assists children with disabilities.

Makamba said that Chitsuro's passport was still valid when she was admitted to hospital. Her visitor's stay granted to her by the immigration office expired on 11 May 2014 and the passport is in the possession now of Home Affairs.



Liberia: Disabled Want Admission to Ul


A newly established disabled organization says the continuous refusal of the University of Liberia to allow physically challenged students entry poses serious challenge to members of the disabled community. African Youth with Disabilities Network (AYWDN)-Liberia Coordinator William M. Yarsiah said disabled people have over the years been denied access to public facilities and institutions including the University of Liberia.

He said accessibility has remained a major challenge for young people with disabilities.

"We have been denied college education because of our conditions; the University of Liberia has denied us admission," he claimed.

Mr. Yarsiah, a visually impaired indicated that lack of access to healthcare is also greatly affecting the growth and progress of disabled people in Liberia. Mr. Yarsiah explained that many young people with disabilities have been neglected by their families.

He said it was wrong for society to ill treat people with disabilities, noting "we are all part of this country, despite our conditions." Yarsiah spoke recently at program marking the official opening of African Youth with Disabilities Network -Liberia office in Fiamah, Sinkor. African Youth with Disabilities Network Liberia Chapter was incorporated as disabled people organization on June 5, 2012.



Deaf and dumb remanded in prison for illicit drug deal

Nigerian Tribune
20.May.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Ayomide Owonibi-Lagos
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A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, ordered the remand, at the Ikoyi prisons, of a 32-year-old deaf and dumb, Aliu Sanni, charged with illicit drug deal.

The accused had pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of dealing in about 17.8 kilogrammes of cocaine.

He was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

A sign language interpreter, Mr Olajide Adeniyi, had translated the charge to the accused.

The court’s registrar had read out the charge to Adeniyi, who understands English, while he in turn, interpreted the charge to the president of the Association of the Deaf and Dumb in Lagos, using sign language.
The president had then interpreted the charge to the accused, also using sign language. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

After the plea of the accused, the prosecutor, Mr Kalu Orji, then applied to the court for the accused to be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel for the accused, Mr Godwin Okaka, did not object to the application for remand.

Justice Mohammed Idris ordered that the accused be remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons.

He adjourned the case till June 2 for a review of facts and judgement delivery.

In the charge, the accused was alleged to have committed the offence on March 26.

The prosecutor said that the accused was arrested at the Young Shall Grow Motor Park at Iddo, in Lagos.



Deaf South African TB Activist Carries Petition to World Health Assembly

Voice of America-
Kim Lewis
Last updated on: May 20, 2014 9:12 AM

The lengthy and painful treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is one of the health topics to be discussed as leaders in world health at the 2014 World Health Assembly in Geneva.

As health ministers search for a revolutionary approach to the control, prevention of tuberculosis (TB) and the care of its victims, they will discuss a new 20-year strategy for the treatment of people who suffer from the extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). This week’s gathering of health ministers comes at a crucial moment for the more difficult-to-treat XDR-TB, says Doctors Without Borders ? also called MSF.

Another significant highlight of the assembly is the delivery of over 33,000 signatures by South African TB activist and XDR-TB survivor Phumeza Tisile. The petition called the 'DR-TB Manifesto,' urges world health leaders to focus on better drugs and diagnostics that thousands of XDR-TB patients need worldwide. MSF’s medical coordinator for South Africa and Lesotho, Dr. Gilles van Cutsem, says the petition has a dramatic purpose.

“First of all, it is being handed over by Phumeza Tisile, who exemplifies how difficult it is to survive treatment for drug resistant TB, and to take treatment for drug resistant TB,” says Cutsem.

“She took more than three years of treatment, more than 20,000 tablets, more than one and one-half years of very painful injections which made her deaf, because that’s one of the side effects of the treatment of multi-drug resistant TB,” the MSF medical coordinator says.

Tisile came to the Geneva meetings this week because she wants to urge the health ministers to make the treatment accessible, says Cutsem.

"Today, out of 650,000 people, with drug resistant TB, only 80,000 are being treated,” says the South Africa medical coordinator.

He says she is also asking leaders to make the treatment better, meaning make the treatment time shorter, with less side-effects, and without injections.

In addition, Tisile is calling for funding to research better treatment options for drug-resistant TB.

“Treatment for TB, whether it’s multi-drug resistant TB or drug sensitive TB, most of the drugs are extremely old - date from the sixties. Now, Phumeza accessed through Doctors Without Borders some newer drugs such as linezolid, which are extremely expensive in South Africa at the moment because of patents,” van Cutsem says. He said it is important that world leaders address the issues regarding drug-resistant TB such as prevention, access to treatment, and research for improved drugs. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is expanding across the globe, says van Cutsem, but the pharmaceutical response is vastly insufficient.

“We have bad drugs, says Dr. Cutsem. “We have insufficient research into making the drugs better and making a regimen shorter, and easier to take, and we don’t have very good programs to detect people with drug-resistant TB,” he says.



Deaf and dumb remanded in prison for illicit drug deal

Nigerian Tribune
20.May.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Ayomide Owonibi-Lagos

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, ordered the remand, at the Ikoyi prisons, of a 32-year-old deaf and dumb, Aliu Sanni, charged with illicit drug deal.

The accused had pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of dealing in about 17.8 kilogrammes of cocaine.

He was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

A sign language interpreter, Mr Olajide Adeniyi, had translated the charge to the accused.

The court’s registrar had read out the charge to Adeniyi, who understands English, while he in turn, interpreted the charge to the president of the Association of the Deaf and Dumb in Lagos, using sign language.
The president had then interpreted the charge to the accused, also using sign language. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

After the plea of the accused, the prosecutor, Mr Kalu Orji, then applied to the court for the accused to be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel for the accused, Mr Godwin Okaka, did not object to the application for remand.

Justice Mohammed Idris ordered that the accused be remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons.

He adjourned the case till June 2 for a review of facts and judgement delivery.

In the charge, the accused was alleged to have committed the offence on March 26.

The prosecutor said that the accused was arrested at the Young Shall Grow Motor Park at Iddo, in Lagos.



Provide Constitution for visually impaired - Government

New Vision-

Publish Date: May 21, 2014

The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, James Wapakhabulo handing over the symbolic copy of the New Constitution to President Yoweri Museveni during the Promulgation on October 8th, 1995. (File Photo)

By Paul Kiwuuwa

The Government wants the Constitution of Uganda to be translated into braille language to enable those with visual impairment be able to read and understand it.

Braille is a form of writing for blind people, in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.

The state minister for the elderly and disabled, Sulaiman Madada, said "The special copy of the Constitution called a 'tactical paper ' will involve codes for identifying the constitutional provisional of the supreme law. The visually-impaired will feel the code by touching the ballot paper, which has been inscribed in form of brail for easy identification.”
He added “The cabinet is considering translating the Constitution into major local languages including braille language to enable those with visual impairment be able to read and understand it and also include the other forms of sign languages for the deaf.”

According to Madada “Braille is a code by which all languages may be written and read. Through the use of Braille blind, blind people are able to review and study the written word. Braille provides a vehicle for literacy and gives an individual the ability to become familiar with spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and other formatting considerations. ” He said the blind also have a right to read and understand the Constitution. “Many societies are recognising the need to dismantle other barriers - making the 1995 Constitution of Uganda better read and understood by people with disabilities at the various Local Council levels, will promote literacy and promote equitable access to education and training for all disadvantaged groups,” Madada said.

Madada said this while inoculating the programmes for Uganda to host the sixth Africa Forum on Blindness scheduled to take place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala in October. Madada who was the chief guest of the preparations of hosting the Forum at Uganda National Association of the Blind (UNAB) headquarters in Kireka, a city suburb. “The forum will host over 200 guests from various countries with a focus on post-millennium development goals for the visually impaired.”



SA second at World Cup of Disabled Golf

South Africa.info-

Daniel Slabbert (front) and Reinard Schuhknecht (back) helped South Africa to second place in the inaugural World Cup of Disabled Golf at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, 23 May 2014 (Photo: Carl Fourie)

26 May 2014

Geoff Nicholas and Shane Luke of Australia chased down South Africa's Reinard Schuhknecht and Daniel Slabbert over the last four holes at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in Limpopo province to clinch the inaugural World Cup of Disabled Golf on Friday.

The South Africans took a one stroke lead into the final round and stretched the gap to two shots at the turn, but Australian duo turned up the heat coming down the straight to win by three shots.

Nicholas scored a 76 and Luke produced a 79 for a final round of 155 to give Australia a winning total of 473. The third member of their side, Graham Kenyon, carded a non-counting 88.

South African scores

South Africa's Schuhknecht and Slabbert carded respective rounds of 78 and 81 for 159, while Conrad Stoltz signed for a 91.

Canada's Bob MacDermott returned an 84 while Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open champion, Josh Williams, blistered the course in even-par 72 to secure third on 487.

The United States vaulted to fourth on 495, courtesy of a 73 from Kenny Bontz and a 78 from the evergreen Jim Curley, while Andy Gardiner's 78 and an 86 from Darren Grey helped England to sixth on 510.

The evergreen Nicholas, a 12-time World Amputee champion, described the round as one of his most thrilling rallies ever.

'A very tight contest'

"It was a very tight contest through the first 14 holes, but it turned around for us between the 14th and 16th holes," the 52-year-old said after securing the title.

"Reinard and I both dropped shots at the 14th, but I managed a birdie at the 15th to get back to one over. Daniel missed his birdie attempt at 15 and then Shane birdied the 16th, and suddenly we were in the driver’s seat.

"It was a fantastic rally and we are absolutely delighted with the result. To go home as the first World Cup of Disabled Golf champions will go a long way in shifting attention to disabled golf at home and hopefully around the world."

The bigger picture

Schuhknecht had been battling a wrist injury at the start of the World Cup and his final round was his best performance in the event. The reigning World One-Arm Stroke Play champion was understandably disappointed, but preferred to focus on the bigger picture.

"South Africa lost, but Daniel and I gained so much this week," he said.

"We got to wear our country's national colours with pride this week and, yes, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure to win. Maybe we tried too hard, but you can't change the result.

"However, you can't put a price on the experience of playing with seasoned international players like Geoff Nicholas, Josh Williams, Tracy Ramin, Kenny Bontz and Andy Gardiner. To watch how they conduct themselves out there was unbelievable and Daniel and I both gained from the experience.

"I'm sure we will come back even stronger next year."

Double-bogey devastation

Slabbert was devastated after a double-bogey at the 18th, but a pep talk from his team-mates soon put a smile back on his face.

"We had such an incredible week, and I should focus on the experience of playing with a fantastic group of world beaters in this amazing event," he said.

"The first World Cup was an amazing success. We hope that next year we will have double the amount of nations competing."

Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/news/sport/golf-disabled-260514.htm#.U4Q0Qfl_t8E#ixzz32tbnjPii



Police arrest woman who stole deaf, dumb woman’s baby in Kwara

Nigerian Tribune-
26.May.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Biola Azeez - Ilorin

A middle-aged female, an alleged kidnapper, who stole a nine-month-old baby belonging to a deaf and dumb woman, has been arrested in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The incident, which took place at Agbede community of Offa Garage area, Ilorin, at the weekend, had it that the alleged kidnapper, entered the deaf and dumb woman’s room to take away the baby who wa sleeping on a bed.
It was gathered that the deaf and dumb mother of the baby had gone to have her bath when the alleged kidnapper sneaked into her room.

The alleged kidnapper, who was identified as Taiwo Damilare, was almost boarding a taxi with the baby when the mother raised the alarm through heavy gesticulation.

The mother, who was said to be in tears and agony, wailed around the neighbourhood, demonstrating that the baby girl she kept on her bed inside the room had been taken away, a development that prompted sympathisers to come to her rescue.

A passerby, who claimed to have spotted a woman taking away the baby from the house solved the riddle, as the alleged kidnapper was traced to the roadside, where she was already searching for taxi to board for quick escape.

The source also said that two other babies, one already dead, were found in her custody when she was approached, while the stolen baby and others were immediately taken away from her.

It was also gathered that an angry mob descended on her with intention to lynch and set her ablaze before a group of anti- riot mobile policemen came to disperse the crowd with teargas and took the alleged kidnapper away.

Also, the alleged kidnapper reportedly told the angry mob that three of them were sent to the area to kidnap babies and that she had already visited to study the community before the act.

Speaking on the development, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident, saying that investigations had commenced on it.

He said police investigations had showed that the alleged kidnapper was insane, adding that she was not sound in mind.

“We will take her to clinic and medically confirm her status; then, we will advise her family members to take necessary actions on her,” he said

Read 28 times Last modified on Sunday, 25 May 2014 19:



SCOAN donates to the Savelugu School for the deaf


Prophet T.B Joshua’s Synagogue Church of all Nations is to connect pipelines from the main Savelugu water treatment plant to the Savelugu School for the Deaf in the Northern Region.

The project estimated to cost Ghc30,000 is expected to be constructed within one week.

The church’s decision is informed by the unwholesome water students and staff of the school drink and use for other domestic purposes.

This came to light on Saturday, May 24, 2014 when the church donated a large consignment of assorted food items, gallons of oil and other valuables worth Ghc7,000 to the school.

Leader of the delegation, Ghanaian High Court Judge, His Lordship Justice John Ajet- Nassam told Citi News that the founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua, was touched by media reports that final year students of the Savelugu School for the Death were sent home because there was no food to feed them.

He said, “the donation was made on behalf of the Founder, Leader and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of all Nations headquartered in Nigeria, Prophet T.B Joshua.”

He continued saying, “he and the Emmanuel TV partners heard about the plight of the Savelugu School for the Death and the information was that they don’t have a grain of rice so the students are at home, but they are the final year students there; so having this report, Prophet T.B Joshua immediately organized some bags of rice and oil to be presented to the school.

According to Justice Ajet John Ajet-Nassam, the donation was presented to the school authorities for the upkeep of the students there.

He said plans were afoot by the church to uplift the image of the Savelugu School for the Deaf which was established to cater for the education needs of deaf people in the Northern Region.

Headmistress of the School, Madam Gertrude Dasah, thanked the church for the kind gesture.

She promised the donation would be used for its intended purpose.

Management of the school earlier appealed to public-spirited organizations and philanthropists to support the school in the area of infrastructure and feeding.

Headmistress of the school, Madam Gertrude Dasah, said it was regrettable criminals have been terrorizing the students and that there was rapid encroachment on the school land because there was no fence wall.

Available records indicate that the school, which was established in 1978, currently has a total of 283 students.



Miss Deaf gives birth to baby boy?

The Swazi Observer
27/05/2014 03:00:00By Eddie Abner
imageMOTHERHOOD: Miss Deaf 2012/13 Vuyisile Masangane waving to her fans.

The newborn is reported to be five months old

Reigning Miss Deaf Swaziland Vuyisile Masangane gave birth to a baby boy five months ago at the Mbabane Government Hospital.

This latest development was confirmed by the former Miss Deaf Director Nokuthula Mbatha.

She stated that she learnt that Masangane was now a mother during a probe launched by the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) and the Federation of Organisations of Disabled People in Swaziland (FODSWA) in the case involving the alleged abuse of beauty queens in the country in April.

Mbatha was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case.

Mbatha stated that Masangane didn’t fall pregnant during the time the latter was in the former’s mentorship but that it must have happened when Masangane was outside her care.

She alleged that although Masangane was a good child, her behaviour at most times was questionable.

“I am glad that all this happened way after I had left this pageant. To me it is sad that she fell pregnant because I was hoping she would finish school and be able to sustain herself,” she added.


FODSWA President Mandla Methula revealed that he was aware that Masangane was now a mother saying when they questioned her she allegedly admitted that she had a boyfriend even before joining the contest in 2012.

Drawn for comment, the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) CEO Stanley Dlamini said he hadn’t been informed that Masangane had fallen pregnant and was a mother.

However, he revealed that the SNCAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swaziland Beauty Pageant Association (SBPA) which stipulates how the association would deal with issues regarding title holders falling pregnant.


“We once proposed to the Miss Deaf organiser to host a culture day which we promised we would fund as a council. We wanted such issues as teenage pregnancy to be raised and also talk to them. During the Umhlanga ceremony, the girls go through an ultimate cultural orientation where issues of early pregnancy are raised,” he added. Drawn for comment, Nelisiwe Lushaba who was put in charge of the Miss Deaf pageant said she last saw Masangane back in 2012.

Lushaba took over the pageant after Mbatha resigned as pageant director.

Although she was supposed to be in charge of looking after the girl as a director of the pageant, Lushaba mentioned that she last saw Masangane back in 2012.

“I do not know anything about her pregnancy because the last time I saw her was back in 2012.

“ I have been very busy and never got the opportunity to see her or even talk to her.

“ I should say that after the allegation broke out we were advised not to do anything concerning the pageant,” she said.

Efforts to reach Masangane proved futile as her mobile phone was switched off for the better part of the day.

The reigning queen was crowned back in 2012 during an event attended by the then Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku and Miss Deaf Africa Director Maria Sivertsen among others.



Wamakko Empowers 1,000 Disabled, Destitute Persons in Sokoto

29 May 2014
111212T.aliyu-wamakko.jpg - 111212T.aliyu-wamakko.jpg
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko

By Mohammed Aminu

Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, has distributed assorted working materials to over 1,000 disabled and destitute persons, as part of his administration's efforts to curb street begging and dependency in the state.

He also stated that his administration spends N80 million monthly on the welfare of the destitute and disabled persons, adding that Islam discourages street begging. The working materials include 350 sewing machines, 80 deep freezers, 350 grinding machines and 560 goats.

Speaking during the distribution of the materials in Sokoto, Wamakko said the gesture was aimed at encouraging the destitute and physically- challenged persons to stop street begging; thereby fending for themselves.

According to him, the assistance would enable the beneficiaries to be able to earn a living rather than roaming the streets begging for alms. ない He decried the fact that despite the N6,500 allowance being paid to physically-challenged and destitute persons in the state monthly, the menace of street begging was yet to reduce in the Sokoto metropolis.

Wamakko maintained that the idea of street begging had nothing to do with Islam, hence the quest by the state government to eradicate it by introducing this initiative to empower the less privileged.

“It is indeed disheartening that people still roam the streets begging for alms despite the N6,500 monthly allowance being paid to them. Parents should realise that it is their primary responsibility to cater for their children and wives as well as the aged rather than allowing them to engage in begging.

“It is high time we stop this street begging because other ethnic groups in the country have needs just like us but they do not engage in street begging. Thus, this programme is our modest effort to ensure that street begging is no more in our state because begging has nothing to do with Islam and we are determined to stop it,” he averred.

In his remark, the Chairman of Sokoto State Zakkat and Endowment Committee, Alhaji Lawali Maidoki, said most of the beneficiaries are women.

He disclosed that at least 120 youths would be trained by the committee on shoe making for the duration of one month, after which they would be provided with working tools and stipend to start their businesses.

Maidoki called on well to do individuals in the society to assist the less privileged in the society, in a bid to ensure better development for the average citizens.



Southern Africa: Disabled Women Claim Their Space at Summit


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Although gender equality has received more limelight in Southern Africa, the plight of women with disabilities poses challenges to the gains made. Women with disabilities make up a sizeable population in the world, with 65-70% of these women living in rural areas and are from low and middle income countries.

Two disabled women from Swaziland attended the SADC Protocol@Work summit and had this to say: "The very fact that there are less than five disabled women who are in this summit tells the whole story, where are the other disabled women? I will tell you, they are afraid of being discriminated against, and no one is empowering them to stand up," said Nomcebo Dlamini.

She further said that there is a lot of ground to cover to relate gender issues with disabilities and lamented that disabled women are not given the empowerment, the support and motivation they lack to develop and stand up for themselves.

Dlamini said she is lucky to even get this far with Gender Links and it was a mixture of her determination to get recognition, and the opportunity to have a voice that Gender Links afforded her through the summit.

The field of disability does not recognise the combined discrimination of gender and disability experienced by women with disabilities. Policies and practices in the field have not been designed to meet the specific needs of women with disabilities.

Dlamini says a dialogue is still needed to sensitise people about disability and the plight of women who are disabled. She feels that disabled women are abused and are not afforded equal opportunities as those afforded to able bodied women.

Joyce Brenda Nunn, also from Swaziland, feels that the relationship between disabled women and gender issues is very tense and replicated. She pointed out that able bodied women fight hard for recognition and positions of power in society. This, she says, means that disabled women have to fight twice as hard to get recognition and positions of authority in society.

Disabled women are also vulnerable to abuse. Nunn also related how she survived GBV as a young disabled woman, and how even when she wanted to start a business and was getting training, people looked down upon her as incapable because of her disability.

"Disabled women and able bodied women have different needs and these should be addressed separately. As a disabled woman who is also a business woman, I struggle to reach my goals; some people still discriminate against me," she lamented.

Nunn also added that some business infrastructures also hinder her development as a businesswoman because they are not wheel chair friendly and she ends up being unable to get where she wants to get.

"I call for full inclusion of disabled women in all spheres of society; I call for the visibility of the disabled in gender issues," she said.

A successful and sustainable approach requires an understanding of how other gender issues and disability intersect. It is important to connect issues of gender, disability, economic equality and access to education to address these problems.

Women like Nunn are but a few of the girls and women that are physically challenged and/or mentally impaired in the world. The World Bank reports that every minute more than 30 women are seriously injured or disabled during labor and that those 15-50 million women generally go unnoticed.

Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (end poverty and hunger; universal education; gender equality; child health; maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS; environmental sustainability; global partnership) relies upon the full inclusion of women and girls, and Gender Links is working hard to involve all sectors and communities in this cause, including the disabled.

Zinhle Mkhari is a student at the University of Swaziland and Wezzie Nungu is a student at the Polytechnic of Malawi. This article is part of the GL News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summit underway at Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Johanesburg, South Africa, offering fresh views on everday news.



Somalia: First Somali Deaf Graduated in U.S.

30 MAY 2014

Abubakar Sheikh Abdulle who is the founder of Somali National Association for the Deaf is the first Somalia born, Somalia bred deaf student to graduate in the US. He graduated from the university of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York, USA with a double major.

Abubakar was accredited well in the university as last year he was awarded with the trophy of social service better known in that university as Distinguished Public Service Award. The chairperson of the college which Abubakar graduated from RIT/NTID Dr.Gerry Buckley said that Abuubakar is a highly respected student at the college. "Abuubakar is a student leader who is highly respected in the campus". Dr. Gerry said.

"Abubakar has done a lot in the support for new students from different countries of the world as he helped them to adapt with American culture.. ". Dr. Gerrry added.

Abuubakar never relented from lobbying for the Somali Deaf Community as he is still the leader for that organization which is abbreviated as "SONAD". Last year he came to visit Mogadishu. Abubakar called for all the Somali youth who got scholarships abroad to learn properly and to utilize from their opportunities properly so that they can take part in the rebuilding of their country after they complete their studies.



SCOAN donates to the Savelugu School for the deaf


Prophet T.B Joshua’s Synagogue Church of all Nations is to connect pipelines from the main Savelugu water treatment plant to the Savelugu School for the Deaf in the Northern Region.

The project estimated to cost Ghc30,000 is expected to be constructed within one week.

The church’s decision is informed by the unwholesome water students and staff of the school drink and use for other domestic purposes.

This came to light on Saturday, May 24, 2014 when the church donated a large consignment of assorted food items, gallons of oil and other valuables worth Ghc7,000 to the school.

Leader of the delegation, Ghanaian High Court Judge, His Lordship Justice John Ajet- Nassam told Citi News that the founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua, was touched by media reports that final year students of the Savelugu School for the Death were sent home because there was no food to feed them.

He said, “the donation was made on behalf of the Founder, Leader and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of all Nations headquartered in Nigeria, Prophet T.B Joshua.”

He continued saying, “he and the Emmanuel TV partners heard about the plight of the Savelugu School for the Death and the information was that they don’t have a grain of rice so the students are at home, but they are the final year students there; so having this report, Prophet T.B Joshua immediately organized some bags of rice and oil to be presented to the school.

According to Justice Ajet John Ajet-Nassam, the donation was presented to the school authorities for the upkeep of the students there.

He said plans were afoot by the church to uplift the image of the Savelugu School for the Deaf which was established to cater for the education needs of deaf people in the Northern Region.

Headmistress of the School, Madam Gertrude Dasah, thanked the church for the kind gesture.

She promised the donation would be used for its intended purpose.

Management of the school earlier appealed to public-spirited organizations and philanthropists to support the school in the area of infrastructure and feeding.

Headmistress of the school, Madam Gertrude Dasah, said it was regrettable criminals have been terrorizing the students and that there was rapid encroachment on the school land because there was no fence wall.

Available records indicate that the school, which was established in 1978, currently has a total of 283 students.



Namibia: Disabled Teenager Dies in Shack Fire

2 JUNE 2014

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A TEENAGER died in a shack fire suspected to have been caused by a lit candle in the Havana informal settlement in Windhoek on Friday.

City Police Senior Superintendent Gerry Shikesho said Asser Nghishidilelwa (16), who used a wheelchair, was in bed when the shack, situated on Walvis Bay Street, caught fire at around 18h00.

Shikesho said Nghishidilelwa's cousin was cooking when she heard him screaming for help.

"She sent a text message to a neighbour alerting her of the teenager's screams for help but nothing could be done as the fire had spread rapidly throughout the shack," he said.

He added that according to relatives, the boy was unable to get out of bed without assistance because his mobility had become more restricted as he grew older.

An amount of N$1 500 was lost in the fire together with identity documents and other items of property.

"The shack was completely destroyed with everything that was inside," Shikesho said.

The shack belonged to the boy's aunt, who was not home at the time.



Woes of disability in the Maternity Ward

New Vision
Publish Date: Jun 02, 2014

By Regina Namuloki Muhasa

Every human being has a right to access medical care and the Government of Uganda is fighting hard to ensure that there is a health centre in every sub county hence bringing the services nearer to people.

I believe it is within this spirit that the Government of Uganda has funded the construction of a child care facility for the Parliament to enable the child bearing female Members of Parliament (MPs) to continue with their child bearing role uninterrupted while serving as MPs.

The Government that has incurred a major cost to provide such a facility for the female MPs who constitute less than 1% of all the women in Uganda, can afford to provide special health and maternity facilities for the disabled women who I believe constitute even a bigger percentage.

Unless a deliberative effort is made, women with disabilities may never get the opportunity to enjoy health services especially maternity services like other women in Uganda and yet one disabled woman who is now a retired senior citizen rightly said that the “best social security for disabled women in Uganda is to have children who will take care of them at their old age. Disability becomes a challenge at old age and it is worse for those who did not have children.

It is more difficult for other people who are not the biological children to take care of the disabled at their old age in a country like Uganda, where we do not have nursing homes for the elderly”.

Last year, I was expecting and went to more than three health facilities in this country, some privately owned and others government aided but they all have one thing in common, they do not make provision for disabled mothers in the maternity ward.

For example the checkup beds used during antenatal are so high and often require use of stairs to climb which makes it difficult for a woman with multiple disabilities to climb.

The same is true of delivery beds in the labour suites. So I keep asking myself if all this kind of situation is coincidental. Or is it a deliberate move to make it difficult or to exclude women with disabilities from their God-given right of being mothers.

I visited different facilities in search for one where I would receive a service that fits my unique needs but I did not find any and in the end my baby died before birth and yet I had just visited a government health facility and was turned away without a service because I arrived late for registration, without consideration for my physical challenges.

I do believe my experience may not be different from so many disabled women, especially those in the rural areas where transport to health facilities is a challenge. I appeal to the Ministry of Health to make provision for women with disabilities in every health facility. I suggest that our Parliament passes a law to enforce that provision and make sure that even privately owned health facilities adhere to it.

In making such a provision, the different types of disability should be taken into consideration, i.e. the blind, deaf, mentally and physically challenged.



Physically- challenged bags 3 years imprisonment for drug trafficking

Nigerian Tribune
03.Jun.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Ayomide Owonibi ? Lagos

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, sentenced a 32-year-old deaf and dumb, Aliu Sanni, to three years imprisonment, over illicit drug deal.

Sanni, who was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on May 19, had pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of dealing in about 17.8 kilogrammes of Cocaine.

Justice Mohammed Idris had ordered the remand of the accused at the Ikoyi prisons, and had adjourned the case for a review of facts and sentencing.

Delivering his judgment on Monday, Idris sentenced the accused to three years imprisonment, adding that the sentence shall take effect from the date of his arrest.



Girl disabled by polio left in forest in African chaos

The Seattle Times-

When gunfire rang out through the village just after dawn, when neighbors dropped their coffee to flee, even when her mother grabbed three younger children and ran for her life, the 10-year-old girl did not budge.

Associated Press

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Hamamatou Harouna smiles as she sits in a tent with other Muslim refugees on the grounds of the Catholic Church in Carnot, Central African Republic. Hammamatou, who had lost the use of her legs to polio, fled Anti-Balaka violence in her village, carried on the back of her 12- year-old brother Souleymane. She spent 10 days alone in the forest.

Enlarge this photo JEROME DELAY / AP

Hamamatou Harouna smiles as she sits in a tent with other Muslim refugees on the grounds of the Catholic Church in Carnot, Central African Republic. Hammamatou, who had lost the use of her legs to polio, fled Anti-Balaka violence in her village, carried on the back of her 12- year-old brother Souleymane. She spent 10 days alone in the forest.

CARNOT, Central African Republic

When gunfire rang out through the village just after dawn, when neighbors dropped their coffee to flee, even when her mother grabbed three younger children and ran for her life, the 10-year-old girl did not budge.

It was not that terror pinned Hamamatou Harouna to the ground, although she was terrified. It was that polio had left her unable to walk.

So all she could do was wait and watch, paralyzed, as the vicious war between Muslims and Christians in Central African Republic came to her village. The Christian fighters were going from door to door, and she wondered if she would die.

That's when her 12-year-old brother came to her rescue. Barely bigger than his sister, Souleymane struggled to hoist her, all 40 pounds of her, onto his back. Around his neck she clasped her calloused hands, dirty from pulling herself over the ground.

They set off, barefoot, disappearing into the dense tropical forest as fast as they could manage. Her legs could not hook onto her brother's back, and her body drooped like a dead weight.

Hamamatou had never felt so heavy in her life.

Over the past year, conflict between Muslims and Christians has killed thousands of people in the Central African Republic, a nation of about 4.
6 million that sits almost precisely at the heart of Africa. As families flee, it is often children who carry the weight of the crisis on their backs.

Nearly half a million children have been displaced by violence in the country last year, with many hiding out in forests, according to UNICEF. Hundreds have become separated from their families, lost or simply too slow to keep up.

That's what left Hamamatou and her brother trudging along the red dirt path on an unlikely journey that would reflect a world turned upside down by the complexities of war. The AP pieced together the story from interviews with the girl over two weeks and information from witnesses, health workers, priests and medical records.

Hamamatou, a Muslim girl, grew up in Guen, a village so remote that it can hardly be reached during the rainy season. Before the conflict, it was home to about 2,500 Muslims, a quarter of the population, many of whom worked as diamond miners. Today only three remain.

Life had not been kind to Hamamatou. She lost her father at age 7. A year later, her limbs withered from polio, a disease that had almost died worldwide but is now coming back in countries torn by war and poverty.

The pain started in her toes, and a traditional healer could do little for her. Within a month, she could no longer walk. Soon she had to crawl across the dirt.

Most days she helped her mother sell tiny plastic bags of salt and okra, each one tied firmly with a knot. Hamamatou had never been to school a day in her life, but she spoke two African languages and knew how to make change.

Her brother, Souleymane, doted on her like a parent, helping her get around as best he could. With what little money he had, he bought her stunning silver earrings, with chains that swayed from a ball in each ear.

On the day of the attack, Christian militia fighters burst out of the forest with machetes and rifles to seek revenge on the civilians they accused of supporting Muslim rebels. Hamamatou's mother scooped up her baby, grabbed the hands of two other children and disappeared into the masses. Souleymane was left carrying his sister.

He headed deeper and deeper into the forest on paths used by local cattle herders. His back hunched forward from his sister's weight. The cacophony of insects drowned out the sound of his labored breathing.

The crisp morning air gave way to an unforgiving afternoon sun. Hamamatou didn't know how far they had walked, only that they had not yet reached the next town, 6 miles (10 kilometers) away. It was clear they would never make it to safety this way.

Exhausted, Souleymane placed his sister down on the ground and told her he was heading for help. If he didn't come back, he said, she should make as much noise as possible so someone would find her.

Hamamatou told her brother she would wait for him in the grass, in the shade of a large tree.

As evening fell, hunger set in. Hamamatou had nothing to eat or drink. She talked aloud to her brother and mother as though they were still beside her. But with each sound of the grass moving, she feared wild boars would come to eat her.

She cried until her eyelids were swollen. She said aloud: "I have been abandoned."

Despite decades of near anarchy, Central African Republic had little history of overt sectarian violence until 2013, when Muslim rebels from the north invaded the capital and overthrew the president.

The rebels, known as the Seleka, looted and killed Christians but largely spared Muslims. The hatred toward them mounted, fuelled by longstanding resentment that a Muslim minority of about 15 percent still made up most of the merchant class in a desperately poor country.

And so when the Seleka were pushed out in January, Christian fighters within minutes descended upon Muslim shops and claimed Muslim homes. The backlash turned into a blood bath, and hundreds of thousands fled their homes. Among them was Hamamatou's family.

As Hamamatou sat on the same patch of forest, her stomach rumbled. She dragged herself toward the grass she had seen the cattle eat. That night, when it rained, she sipped from the puddles.

She was growing weaker by the day. And Souleymane was wrong - no matter how much noise she made, no one could hear her.

She counted the number of times the sun rose and set. On the third day, she heard voices, and her heart began to race. A group of Christians from town passed her lying on the ground, and laughed.

She begged for water. "If you leave me here, I will die here," she cried. They kept walking.

Hamamatou began to lose hope of ever leaving the forest alive. Two more times it rained at night, leaving her wet and cold.

She lay down her head and waited to die.

On the tenth day, a man with a rifle and a machete turned up on the footpath along with his wife. She knew right away this was the enemy: He wore the necklaces and amulets the Christian fighters claimed would protect them from attack.

"What are you doing here?" he asked. "Where are your parents?" He suspected she might be part of a trap to ambush him.

Hamamatou was too tired to lift up her head. "My father is already dead, my mother has abandoned me because I cannot walk," she told him.

"You are lying," he said. He threatened to kill her. "What have I done to you? Nothing," she replied in resignation.

As he approached her, Hamamatou closed her eyes. She did not know which weapon he would kill her with, his machete or his rifle. As she awaited her fate, she did not even have the energy to cry.

Instead, the man picked the child up like a baby and carried her to a creek. There he ordered his wife to wash Hamamatou's red and black cotton top and her filthy skirt. The woman bathed her in the stream as the laundry dried in the sun.

Then the person she least expected to save her carried her for several hours all the way back to town, where he brought her into his own home. His wife tried to serve her broth, but after days of starving Hamamatou could no longer swallow.

They took her to the home of one of the last remaining Muslim families in town. The Christian militiaman never told her his name.

She never saw him again.

Hamamatou was brought to a church in the nearby town of Djomo, and then to another church about 130 kilometers (80 miles) away. She now lives inside a large tent at a church compound with more than 800 other trapped Muslims, guarded by armed peacekeepers.

There are three other girls with polio here, only one of whom has a mother to look after her. Hamamatou has been diagnosed with malaria, and her braids were shaved off because of lice. Just to go to the toilet, she must crawl past a maze of shelters until the red mud, still wet from showers, cakes her forearms and feet.

But she is alive.

She seems older than her years, with large eyes that reflect the intensity of her short life. She does not blame her brother for leaving her behind, and hopes he has made it to a refugee camp in neighboring Cameroon.

"It's not his fault he couldn't carry me all that way," she says. "He's only 12 and he's small for his age. He's not very strong."

All Hamamatou will say of her mother is that she abandoned her. There are no tears, just the same matter-of-factness with which she relates her story. Her only ties to her old life are the shirt she uses as a pillow and the earrings from her brother.

She is among hundreds of children registered by UNICEF who await reunification with families that may or may not be alive.

"If you find my brother," she says, "tell him I am stuck here with no way to leave."

"I am waiting."

Follow Krista Larson at https://www.twitter.com/klarsonafrica



Zimbabwe: Book Reveals Plight of Disabled Children

4 JUNE 2014
Beaven Tapureta Book Shelf

Title: In the Wake of our Shadows

Authors: (Various) Edited by Audrey Charamba and Eresina Hwede

Published by Zimbabwe Women Writers

Year: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7974-3928-3

This book review, speaking about women, is a "tribute" to Maya Angelou, a gallant and famous African American writer who actively fought for women's rights. Angelou, an energetic poet, writer and activist, of the "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" fame, passed on last week.

How often do we hear public transport operators saying, "Vanonetsa avo", referring to a disabled person who would have waved the kombi to stop for him/her? And the driver actually ignores this person only to stop a few metres away for "abled" persons waiting to go to town.

Loosely translated, the operators will be saying it is difficult to ferry disabled persons on public transport either because of their physical condition or they may not have enough bus fare.

This is but one of the sad scenes that expose how marginalised and ostracised disabled people are.

Their situation is sometimes as pathetic in the public as it is at home. Yet there is always one who is shouldering their plight, and it's the WOMAN.

Zimbabwe Women Writers, an association of local women writers, deserves the big five for producing the book "In the Wake of our Shadows" five years ago that gives voice to women caring for children with disabilities. Though the book seeks to promote lives of these women, it also acts as an education tool for families and societies.

In this book twenty eight mothers and grandmothers narrate the difficult circumstances they face when raising a disabled child.

When a country faces a crisis, there are certain special groups of people that suffer most.

One wonders, for example, how parents with disabled children are coping in strife-stricken nations in Africa in particular.

Pitched in a period when the country was facing a severe drought and the economy was under-performing, the stories in "In the Wake of our Shadows" vividly paints a picture of what society takes for granted in matters of disability.

Each story is identified by the name of the narrator; in this case pseudonyms have been used but it is the sincerity and hope with which the stories are told that makes one understand the whole substance of disability issues.

Striking is how fast the young parents disappear from the scene after noticing the disability.

Others die AIDS-related deaths and leave the "burden of care" in the hands of their old parents.

The first four stories are told by grandmothers Sarudzai Butau, Grace Chimuti, Dorcas Masuku, Martha Gadzirai, who are struggling to fend for their disabled grandchildren with little or no help from the children's parents.

In some cases, such as Rosemary Tangu's story, one is inspired by the love and support she receives from her relatives who have accepted her daughter's hydrocephalus condition.

Unlike Martha Gadzirai whose disabled grandchild's (Ngoni's) father vanishes and the mother re-marries, or Esther Dlamini whose careless husband dies of AIDS, Rosemary has all the support from her husband.

Although some conditions leave the child hopeless, there are cases when the disability could be enabled to work positively for the child.

For instance, Jennifer Ncube's son Prosper, who suffers from a condition called ostrogenesis imperfector, is intelligent and does well at school, yet his bright future is threatened by poverty.

Stigma and provocative language, arising from relatives' and the broader society's lack of disability education or information contribute to the suffering of children with disabilities.

Hence, this book serves another purpose of providing basic information on how each one of us can play our part to handle disability.

The women tell their stories naturally. They begin with self-introduction and give a brief background of their family, then state their problem and circumstances around it.

Using important detail and examples, they speak to inspire hope rather than to complain. Supportive men are noted.

Although some of the women acknowledge government programmes, non-governmental and church aid in lessening the burden, each of the women in this book is willing to take up an income-generating project to wean them from dependency.

"In the Wake of our Shadows" was produced as part of a project undertaken by ZWW to promote women who live with disabled children.

The women are the heroines society should reward with respect and honour above everything else.


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