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アフリカ障害者の10年 African Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2008年 4


アフリカアフリカ Africa 2016



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
○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
○最新のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年

* 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

◆2008/10 「アフリカ障害者の10年」事務局 African Decade of Persons with Disabilities Extended
◆2008/10/02 Daily News Egypt Experts recommend inclusive education
◆2008/10/03 GBC Physically challenged persons appeal to GBA
◆2008/10/03 Namibian Namibia and Disability: Are We An Inclusive Society?
◆2008/10/03 Plus News UGANDA: Disabled in the north missing out on HIV services
◆2008/10/05 The Times Wheelchairs give disabled new lease of life
◆2008/10/05 The Times Award for disabled musician
◆2008/10/10 Nyasa Times Govt. employs 400 to look after the elderly, disabled
◆2008/10/15 AFP BB News 「呪術師に高値で売れる」、東アフリカ・ブルンジのアルビノに魔の手
◆2008/10/16 Mathaba.Net Iranian handicapped artists arrive in Algeria
◆2008/10/18 AllAfrica.com Angola: Disabled Citizens Receive Motorcycles
◆2008/10/20 Daily Nation Sh900,000 boost for disabled in Coast
◆2008/10/22 AFP BB News タンザニアでまたもアルビノ殺害事件、女子小学生が犠牲に
◆2008/10/22 THISDAY Constitution: Group Makes Case for Disabled
◆2008/10/24 DailyNewsOnline Minding the disabled to meat millennium goals
◆2008/10/24 ugpulse.com Uganda Government News: People with Disabilities call for domestication of UN Protocol
◆2008/10/25 GBC Educationist calls for inclusion of sign language in SHS syllabus
◆2008/10/26 障害学会 障害学会第5回大会
◆2008/10/26 スーダン障害者教育支援の会(CAPEDS) ☆ CAPEDSスーダン支援プロジェクト報告会 ☆
◆2008/10/26 Daily Nation Where deaf and dumb children enjoy learning
◆2008/10/26 The New Vision Charity gives disabled children
◆2008/10/27 Daily Monitor Blind but able: Godfrey Mugote
◆2008/10/27 Standard Double trouble for the disabled in IDP camps
◆2008/10/28 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Standoff at Association for the Deaf
◆2008/10/29 AllAfrica.com Ghana: Persons With Psychosocial Disability
◆2008/10/30 Myjoyonline.com Japan commissions GH?75,000 project at Kibi School for the Deaf
◆2008/10/31 日本障害者リハビリテーション協会 JICA「障害者リーダー育成」コース −パーソナル/団体レポート発表−
◆2008/10/31 Botswana Press Agency Disabled to showcase talent on the ramp 30 October, 2008
◆2008/11/02 「アフリカ障害者の10年」事務局 ニュースレター「Human Rights Africa」2008年第2号
◆2008/11/02 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Reps to Hold Hearing On Disabled Person's Bill
◆2008/11/03 AfricaNews Ghana: “Disability is not inability”
◆2008/11/03 Myjoyonline.com Benefits for persons with disabilities
◆2008/11/04 The Daily Times National Bank donates to the visually impaired
◆2008/11/04 New Era Disabled But Not Unable
◆2008/11/04 Africa Science News Service Persons with disabilities are excluded from war against HIV/AIDS
◆2008/11/04 Happyghana.com Church assists disabled with wheel chairs
◆2008/11/05 The Inquirer Gov't Urged To Prioritize Liberians With Disability
◆2008/11/05 Maghreb Arabe Presse Princess Lalla Salma chairs show of China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe
◆2008/11/05 IOL Public service urged to cater for disabled
◆2008/11/06 New Era Impaired Learners Get a Library
◆2008/11/07 The Swazi Observer He will lobby for Disability Policy implementation
◆2008/11/07 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Anirank - Lesson in 'Ability in Disability'
◆2008/11/09 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Physically Challenged Urges Disabled Persons to Stop Begging
◆2008/11/09 AllAfrica.com Angola: Head of State Invited to Sponsor Disabled People's NGO
◆2008/11/12 東京外国語大学アジア・アフリカ言語文化研究所(AA研) フランス語圏アフリカ手話
◆2008/11/14 The Daily Observer GADHOH’s headquarters and learning centre inaugurated
◆2008/11/15 University of Botswana Fashion Show for Students with Special Needs Raises Awareness
◆2008/11/17 GhanaHomePage, Myjoyonline.com KNUST to offer courses in Disability Studies
◆2008/11/18 AllAfrica.com Eritrea: Ministry Striving to Enable Disabled Persons And Needy Families in Mendefera Sub-Zone Become Self-Supporting
◆2008/11/18 AFP BB News アルビノの6歳少女、殺害後に手足を切断され持ち去られる ブルンジ
◆2008/11/18 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: 20 Disabled Students Get Health Insurance
◆2008/11/19 The New Vision Deaf deserve better - disability boss
◆2008/11/19 GhanaHomePage Tema West parliamentary candidates engage in debate
◆2008/11/19 Daily Nation Blunkett: Enrol more disabled in universities
◆2008/11/25 Disability Rights in Uganda - Research Blog Mainstreamingに関するプロジェクトレポート出版のお知らせ
◆2008/11/25~28 UNESCO UNESCOのインクルーシブ教育に関する会議のご報告
◆2008/11/29 JETROアジア経済研究所 「障害者の貧困削減:開発途上国の障害者の生計」研究会に関する国際ワークショップ(11/29)の報告
◆2008/11/30 Daily Nation Disabled seek better status
◆2008/11/30 The Swazi Observer Simphiwe scoops Miss Deaf title
◆2008/12/01 The Swazi Observer Miss Deaf needs money for world contest By Mphikeleli Msibi
◆2008/12/02 The New Vision Disabled persons urge on rights
◆2008/12/03 AllAfrica.com Zambia: Fortune's Rare Fortune Begins to Pay Off
◆2008/12/03 The New Vision Disabled persons call for new national curriculum
◆2008/12/03 Xinhua Disabled athletes call for peaceful election in Ghana
◆2008/12/04 Liberian Daily Observer Disability Not an Impediment
◆2008/12/04 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Taking HIV/Aids Campaign to the Hearing Impaired Stella Odueme
◆2008/12/05 Coastweek Deaf Soccer Championship
◆2008/12/06 Daily Nation Touched by the plight of the mentally disabled
◆2008/12/06 Vanguard The Senate This Week:Senators on wheel chairs
◆2008/12/07 Ghana News Three disabled persons voted at St. Andrews Polling Station
◆2008/12/07 The New Vision Disabled to get 18 schools
◆2008/12/07 The Guardian World Bank Loan: Unending Debate Between The Blind...And The Deaf?
◆2008/12/08 modernghana.com GH¢1000 for hearing impaired
◆2008/12/09 Graphic Online Children With Disability Are Not A Liability
◆2008/12/09 AllAfrica.com Angola: Handicapped Persons Receive Motorcycles and Vehicles
◆2008/12/09 AllAfrica.com Uganda: Education of 173,000 Pupils With Disability in Jeopardy F. Womakuyu
◆2008/12/10 The New Vision MPs barred from NUDIPU board
◆2008/12/10 Ghana News We want education on HIV/AIDS - Disabled request
◆2008/12/10 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Sick! That Senate Show
◆2008/12/11 The New Vision 600 disabled students miss school
◆2008/12/11 LeadershipNigeria 7 Disabled Burnt To Death In Kaduna
◆2008/12/12 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Consider Plight of Disabled in Policy-Making, CED Urges Government
◆2008/12/13 「障害と開発」ML 南部・東部アフリカで目覚ましい知的障害者の本人活動の動き
◆2008/12/15 AfricaNews SA: Disabled refugees struggle to survive
◆2008/12/16 Malawi's Daily Times Dignity, justice we all deserve
◆2008/12/16 AllAfrica.com Ethiopia: Disability Day Colourfully Commemorated Here
◆2008/12/17 世界ろうあ連盟 世界ろうあ連盟の途上国を中心としたろう者の人権状況の世界的調査報告
◆2008/12/17 Modern Ghana Ghanaians urged to pray for success of NHIS
◆2008/12/17 Nyasa Times People with disabilities facing discrimination in Malawi - activists
◆2008/12/21 The New Vision Disabled warned against HIV/AIDS
◆2008/12/22 AllAfrica.com Ghana: Visually Impaired Call for More Inclusion
◆2008/12/22 Angola Press Africans want Angolan Leonel Pinto to lead disabled person's confederation
◆2008/12/23 The Swazi Observer Senator Tom joins disabled to Xmas party
◆2008/12/23 The New Vision Health workers sleep in wards, say MPs
◆2008/12/24 Le Défi Plus Daring to fight the odds
◆2008/12/27 AngolaPress Over 1,000 disabled integrated into labour market
◆2008/12/31 AllAfrica.com Ethiopia: Centre Launches First Database on Disability
◆2008/12/31 Independent Online Deaf, mute fisherman missing

■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
■アジア太平洋/中東/アフリカ地域における障害関連の資料(小説、論文等)のリスト www.independentliving.org/docs7/miles200807.html(html)
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.
■WHOから途上国の車椅子ユーザーのための新ガイドライン http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/technology/wheelchairguidelines/en/index.html
■「アフリカ障害者の十年」事務局 ニュースレター「Human Rights Africa」2008年第2号 http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica/newsletter.2008-10-21.3303788528/view
■Downside of the Human Rights-Based Approach to Disability in Development

【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
○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

戸田真紀子著 御茶の水書房 2400円+税 A5判 212p

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


African Decade of Persons with Disabilities Extended

The African Decade of Persons with Disabilities has been extended to December 2019. The extension was declared at the AU ministers in Charge of Development meeting held in Windhoek, Namibia on 27th - 31st October, 2008.

The Windhoek Declaration on Social Development adopted by Ministers in Charge of Social Development, adopted Resolution 6, which reads as follows:

“ADOPT the extension of the Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2010-2019; CALL for the evaluation of the existing Decade and its Plan of Action (1999-2009) and the speedy conclusion of the evaluation and restructuring of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)”

In addition to the resolution extending the Decade, the Windhoek Declaration also adopted resolution 5(x) which reads as follows:

Further commit ourselves to implement the priority strategies under the key thematic social issues spelt out in the Social Policy Framework for Africa, through the following:

(x) “Empowering and providing persons with disabilities with equal opportunities, safeguarding their rights and enlisting their participation and mainstreaming them in all development programmes”

The new Social Development Policy adopted by the Ministers in Windhoek Namibia has detailed coverage of disability work.

We thank all organisations notably PAFOD, AFUB, and others, SADPD Staff and leaders, Panel of Experts/Parliamentarians, Pan African Parliament, ARI, the African Union Social Affairs Commission, our Development Partners (DPOD, Sida, DFID, and Southern Africa Trust, CBM) and those that supported our down-line networks and DPOs for their support during the first Decade and the campaign towards extension.

We look forward to hard work during the next ten years. The secretariat looks forward to improving on its programmes and expanding its mandate to all 53 African countries.

The African Union declared the first decade of the new millennium (1999-2009) as the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities. In 2001 the African Union’s Labour and Social Affairs Commission along with its African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) and the ILO held a meeting in Addis Ababa.

In this meeting they designed a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) to guide the member states of the African Union on how to implement the African Decade. The adoption of the African Decade of Disabled Persons (ADDP) placed responsibility on African States to implement Decade Programme activities.

With this declaration, the African Union adopted a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) with twelve objectives that African States were to implement over the period. The twelve objectives cover a wide range of themes that are of critical importance to improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities in Africa. These themes include ideas and strategies to:

1. Formulate and implement national policies, programmes and legislations to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities.

2. Promote the participation of persons with disabilities in the process of economic and social development

3. Promote the self-representation of people with disabilities in all public decision-making structures.

4. To enhance support services for disabled persons.

5. Promote special measures for children, youth, women and elderly persons with disabilities.

6. Ensure and improve access to rehabilitation, education, training, employment, sports, the cultural and physical environment.

7. To promote and protect disability rights as human rights

8. To support the development of and strengthen Disabled Persons’ Organizations

9. Mobilize resources

These objectives were meant to be implemented by African States, with the cooperation of civil society organisations.

For more information, contact Email: info@africandecade.co.za



Experts recommend inclusive education

By Safaa Abdoun
First Published: October 2, 2008

CAIRO: Education experts worldwide have unanimously agreed that inclusive education, which means including people with disabilities in the school system, is better not only for the person with a disability but for the society as a whole as it promotes equality and tolerance.

“Inclusion should start at nurseries; the earlier the inclusion the less the need for structuring opportunities for its promotion,” said Hala Abdel Hak, consultant on Inclusive Education and Disability and psychology professor at the American University in Cairo.

“Teacher training ? now that inclusion is expanding ? should be a priority.

Addressing parents’ future fears regarding self-help, disruptive behavior, and bullying is important,”

There are many varying statistics on the number of people with special needs in Egypt. According to an international statistic they make up 10 to 12 percent of the population. On the other hand, the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics in Egypt (CAPMAS) says that they do not exceed 3.4 percent.

Abdel Hak however argues that people with special needs make up 10 percent of the population in Egypt.

According to statistics collected in 2005 by the Ministry of Education with reference to the status of state-owned special education schools, there are 804 schools for various special needs.

However, with only 1.48 percent, according to UNICEF, receiving educational services, there is a wide gap between those who need the services and those receiving them.

But progress is being made in inclusive education with the Ministry of Education dedicating an entire section in its National Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education Reform.

“Our overall goal is to provide quality and equal educational opportunities and ensure the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream general education schools,” stated the plan on the ministry’s website.

Private schools in Egypt are arguably the most successful in implementing the inclusive education model and giving people with disabilities their right for education.

Leading the Way

A good example of inclusive education is the American International School in Egypt (AIS) which opened its Learning Support Center (LSC) for students with special needs nearly 12 years ago.

“LSC is filling a gap in our society, in our community, in the Arab countries.

Kids with learning disabilities have double the problems kids in America or Europe face because of their parents' and families' denial," Walid Abushakra, chairman and superintendent of LSC, told Daily News Egypt.

“[Parents] don’t like to admit that their child has a learning disability whether mild, medium or severe, so the kid suffers. In many families they even hide the child; they don’t want people to know that this kid has a learning disability. This is a challenge we are trying to overcome,” Abushakra said.

There are two types of students at the LSC; full-time and part time.

However all students, part-time or full-time, have to attend mainstream classes for their elective courses such as Music, Physical Education, Art and Computer in addition to Homeroom, field trips and any afterschool activities and lunch.

“I strongly believe in [inclusive education],” Cheryl Topping, principal of the LSC, said. “It's better because of socialization, which is always one of the parents' and children's fears. If their children are taken and put in one particular area with smaller class sizes, they are not socializing and making friends and dealing with other people in a social environment,” she added.

When a student first comes to the LSC, an individual education plan is developed after many assessments. “[Through it] we can look at where they have trouble with performances, where we would like them to be and the steps we are going to take to achieve that goal,” Topping explained.

“We decide what will be the best placement for them and then we work with them in filling the gaps. The child is then given strategies which he learns to use independently, then slowly we start transitioning them into the mainstream classes,” explained Topping, adding that the children who have transitioned have notably become more successful.

The teachers at the LSC collaborate with the other teachers, both use the same curriculum which is based on Virginia National Standards but depending on the student’s individual educational plan, the curriculum is adapted and modified as needed.

The LSC hosts children until Grade 9 because the school’s goal is to transition the child to the mainstream system by Grade 10.

“We are working on providing children with disabilities the opportunity to be successful ... with our least restrictive environment, students have the least restrictions possible to do everything they could possibly do and we help them do that and encourage them to move forward. Our goal is to get them ready for university,” said Craig Paul, school director.

Another private school offering an inclusive educational system is Al Hayat International Academy.

“[Our school] adheres to the belief that all students should be educated with their peers as much as possible, equipping all staff to teach to a variety of learning styles is important to this inclusion model of education,” said Kirk Holderman, assistant principal for middle and high school as well as Special Education Supervisor.

“Our special needs teachers follow a co-teaching model. If there is a need for small group instruction or review, we have our Content Mastery Center, where students are sent for one-on-one support,” he explained.


There are several challenges facing children with special needs in Egypt, according to Holderman. These include the lack of a localized system for parents and schools to receive information if their son or daughter needs a speech therapist, a psychologist, or counseling.

Second, is the availability of some of the medication needed to control behavior; and a third challenge is the lack of a centralized body of educators, doctors, and parents that could address these challenges and keep the focus on educating the students.

The most common learning disabilities both schools have come across are dyslexia, difficulty with reading; dysgraphia, having difficulty with writing, and dyscalcia, having difficulty with numbers.

In addition, there are students who need more time to process information, think about what they read and think about what they want to write. There are also students with attention issues who may be hyperactive and need help with learning the best way to channel that energy and help them focus more.

“Inclusive education helps develop special needs children's social, language and academic skills, in addition it is beneficial for all children as the students without disabilities become empathetic, helpful and supportive by themselves without any facilitation from others,” said Abdel Hak.

“All arguments aside, [inclusion] is more practical than developing special education facilities. This is a social responsibility not charity, it is [the children's] right as citizens,” she added.



Physically challenged persons appeal to GBA

Physically disabled persons in the country have appealed to members of the Ghana Bar Association to play a leading role in championing the course of persons with disabilities. A member of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled, Esther Akua Gyamfi stated this in a presentation at the Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Bar Association in Kumasi.

She said though the Disability Act was passed two years ago, little had been done to address the challenges facing disabled persons. She called for the inclusion of Persons with Disability Laws in the curricula of law training institutions in the country to enable lawyers to develop interest in disability issues.

The Ghana Bar Association should also facilitate increase in the number of persons with disability being called to the Bar. This could be done by giving quota to disabled persons in enrollment into law training schools while at the same time making the courts accessible to them.

Miss Gyamfi said legal practitioners could also serve as human rights activists for persons with disability to ensure that they enjoy their inherent rights as Ghanaians.

Posted on: Friday, 3, October, 2008 Source: GBC NEWS



Namibia and Disability: Are We An Inclusive Society?

NAMIBIA has ratified various international conventions affirming a commitment to accept persons with disabilities focusing on their abilities and not their disabilities; providing equal education and employment opportunities to them; and treating them with the respect due to every human being.

The National Policy on Disability, 1997, had further paved the way for persons with disabilities to be included at all levels of the Namibian society.

The Namibia National Federation for Persons with Disabilities has run national sensitisation campaigns regarding acceptable attitudes towards persons with disabilities in particular, and towards disability issues in general.

I commend various stakeholders for their efforts to live up to the ideals outlined in the abovementioned agreements.

As a country, we have achieved a number of milestones, of which I am only going to mention a few: We have the NBC News interpreted in sign language; traffic lights have been fitted with sensors to ensure that persons with visual impairments are accommodated when crossing roads in the City of Windhoek; more and more schools are accepting children with disabilities based on the inclusive education philosophy; higher education institutions continue to register and support students with disabilities: a National Disability Council has been launched earlier this year, to mention but a few.

Having said that, I am starting to doubt if we really are an inclusive society! Firstly, the language used in our print and audio-visual media as well as national notices and pamphlets is very insensitive, discriminatory and pathetic to say the least.

So often, we hear of descriptions of "disabled people" and worst of all "disabled toilet or disabled parking"! The Namibian of 1 October 2008, p.

7 is one example of insensitive language.

I for one think it is not only discriminatory, but also patronising to describe someone as "wheelchair bound"! Based on the person-philosophy, adopted and promoted by disability advocacy groups, it is more suitable to say someone using a wheelchair; a person with a disability (which I acknowledge is used by the author in the same article); a person who is blind; etc.

Coming back to the issue of "Disabled toilet" and "Disabled Parking, as we see in most places in the City of Windhoek (Olympia Swimming Pool is one place that has a "disabled toilet"), I am not a first language English speaker and therefore I wonder what message is being communicated.

Can it really be that the toilet, or parking bay is intentionally disabled and therefore cannot be used? I doubt this message.

It is ridiculous and disrespectful to expect persons with disabilities to assume that, because they have disabilities, the 'disabled' toilet is reserved for them.

I suggest that the City of Windhoek, and the country at large change these negative labels to more acceptable ones like: "Reserved for Persons with Disabilities".

It is even more ridiculous to learn that the national airline does not fly persons with disabilities because they cannot speedily attend to themselves in case of an emergency! This was very shocking and embarrassing news to me! It is a discriminatory practice that should not be tolerated in a country that has the kind of policies of social justice and human rights we have.

If we are to become an inclusive society, we have to do more to reduce physical and social barriers in our society.

We have to find the link between our policies and practices, refrain from rhetoric and put our actions where our mouths are! C.


Haihambo Ya-Otto Via e-mail Note: Your letter raises a very important issue, and you are correct that, while steps have been taken to recognise people with disabilities, that there remains a long way to go.

It is important that we engage in debate on this matter as not everyone agrees on the language around disability, i.e.

that it is preferable to call a 'blind' person 'visually impaired' instead! It is incorrect to state that Air Namibia does not fly people with disabilities.

We understand that the airline had simply not been given prior notice of the person's disability in order to facilitate assistance to the individual in question.




UGANDA: Disabled in the north missing out on HIV services

GULU, 3 October 2008 (PlusNews) - Disabled people in northern Uganda - many of whom were injured in the long conflict between the government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) - are calling on the government to provide a more targeted HIV response.

Although there have been no rebel attacks in the region for over two years, the LRA planted landmines across the region and local people continue to find unexploded ordnance.

"HIV awareness is being done, but people with disability are being left out," Simon Ongom, chairman of the Gulu District Disabled Persons Union, told IRIN/PlusNews.

According to a national population and housing census, there are 23,870 disabled people in the northern districts of Gulu and Amuru, mostly casualties of the war.

"They are more vulnerable because of their physical weakness; they are very poor and easily taken advantage of, and end up being infected. People with disabilities are easy to rape - one knock is enough to overpower a disabled person and have sex," he said.

John Luwaa, the Gulu District HIV focal point, noted that "Because of the low awareness among the disabled, those who are HIV-positive do not realise the importance of going for treatment. Very few turn up to health centres to treat HIV-related illness."

Ongom said many disabled people in the north were illiterate and couldn't benefit from HIV messages on billboards or in the leaflets in health centres, and there were also no testing facilities catering to the visually challenged and the hearing-impaired.

"It is important to carefully involve people with disabilities in the planning processes for HIV/AIDS programmes if they are to fully benefit," said Francis Kinubi, chair of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU).

The NUDIPU recently started a three-year pilot programme to raise awareness of the pandemic in three districts, including Gulu, where HIV prevalence is eight percent, one of the highest in the country.

Although the HIV prevalence among people with disabilities is unknown, the NUDIPU said anecdotal evidence indicated that they were being subjected to a rising level of sexual exploitation, putting them at risk of contracting the virus.


Theme(s): (IRIN) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)



Wheelchairs give disabled new lease of life

Narissa Subramoney
Published:Oct 05, 2008

A Phoenix pensioner who had to be carried about by her family after suffering a stroke nearly five years ago has been given a new lease of life.

Zohra Bibi Rajaha, 71, received a wheelchair from Islamic radio station Al-Ansaar and the World Memon Organisation during the holy month of Ramadaan.

Rajaha was one of 14 recipients of the wheelchairs as part of a project launched by the two organisations to sponsor aids for disabled people in need.

Her nephew, Mahomed Farouk Ebrahim, said he heard about the project on the radio and had applied on his aunt’s behalf.

Ebrahim said his aunt never left the house, because she had to be carried everywhere.

It had also become increasingly difficult for Rajaha’s son, Junaid, to carry his mother because he suffered from a heart condition.

“Now she can go out and visit shopping centres and see things for herself,” said Ebrahim.

Station CEO Asiya Amod said that when Rajaha received the wheel- chair, “everyone, from the organisers to the sponsors and the audience, had tears in their eyes”.

“This, for me, has been a learning curve. We take so much for granted ? our hands, legs and being able to speak,” said Amod.



Award for disabled musician

Published:Oct 05, 2008

Durban musician Rakesh Soni shared the stage with two of his heroes ? Paralympic gold medallists Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit - when he was honoured at an awards ceremony for disabled achievers this week.

The Independent Living Disability Lifestyle Award function in Johannesburg paid tribute to disabled South Africans who have excelled in various fields.

Soni, 32, was born with scoliosis, a deformity of the spine. A self-taught flautist and tabla player, he said he was thrilled to receive the award alongside Pistorius and Du Toit.

“I worshipped them at the Paralympics, and to be considered on the same level as them, I’m flattered and humbled.”

An IT administrator at the Durban University of Technology, he described his ability to play the flute as a “miraculous gift from God”. - Narissa Subramoney



Govt. employs 400 to look after the elderly, disabled

Nyasa Times 10 October, 2008 05:22:00

Realising a myriad of challenges facing the elderly and people with disabilities, the Malawi Government will from this month recruit 400 field assistants to give care to such needy people.

The field assistants will be deployed in all parts of the country and will act as government eyes, according to Clement Khembo, Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly.

Khembo said the field assistants will be informing government through the relevant government departments the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities in their respective geographical locations.

"Government wants to ensure that there is well-timed assistance to the elderly and people with disabilities in every part of the country," said Khembo.

The minister said the field assistants will be working hand in hand with various Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), among others, in providing basic care to the needy.

Khembo also said government would introduce an old age non-contributory social pension scheme for older persons aged 60 and above.

"We believe the scheme would lessen some of the challenges and problems the elderly and people with disabilities face across Malawi," he said.




【10月15日 AFP】アルビノ(先天性白皮症)のリチャードさん(19)は、前週、近所の人から「お前はつけ狙われている」と警告された。彼は恐怖に駆られて森の中に逃げ込み、2日間そこで息をひそめていた。そうした「連中」につかまるとどうなるかを、充分に理解しているからだ。 


リチャードさんは、現在、主任検察官のニコデメ・ガヒンバレ(Nicodeme Gahimbare)氏宅に身を寄せている。周囲に高さ3メートルの壁に囲まれたこの家は、アルビノ25人が隠れ住む避難所となっている。「政府、警察、自治体の議員、アルビノの代表者らと協議し、ルイギ県に住む45人のアルビノ全員をここにかくまうことにした」とガヒンバレ氏。






皮膚、目、髪の毛のメラニン色素が先天的に欠乏しているアルビノは、太陽光を避ける必要があるが、アフリカでは差別にも耐えねばならない。しかしタンザニアやブルンジのアルビノたちには、それ以上の危険が待ちかまえている。ガヒンバレ検察官によると、アルビノ1体は6億タンザニアシリング(約5200万円)で売買されているという。(c)AFP/Esdras Ndikumana



Iranian handicapped artists arrive in Algeria

Posted: 2008/10/16
From: MNN

A group of Iranian handicapped artists arrived in Algiers on Wednesday afternoon.

The group is to hold an art exhibition here.

The exhibition contains 150 works of 26 handicapped artists in the fields of photography, painting, handicrafts and calligraphy.

The exhibition will start its work on October 18 and lasts 5 days.

Iran's Vice-President and head of Martyrs Foundation Hossein Dehqan will attend the inauguration ceremony in Algeria Martyr Museum.

Head of artists delegation Rezaei told the VP in his stay in Algiers will discuss cooperation between Iran's Martyr Foundation and the Algerian Mojahedin Ministry with Algerian officials. --IRNA



Angola: Disabled Citizens Receive Motorcycles

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
18 October 2008
Posted to the web 20 October 2008


Thirty one citizens with different physical disabilities, controlled by the Cacuaco district department of the Ministry of Assistance and Social Welfare, on Friday receives three-wheeled motorcycles from the Provincial Government of Luanda (GPL).

The donation is part of the programme to open the 2008/2009 farming season, Rural Women Cycle and the World Food Day, marked on Thursday.

At the occasion, the provincial governor of Luanda, Francisca do Espirito Santo, said that this gesture meets the goals of the government on this social class that aims at reducing and integrating disabled persons into the country's development process, as well as begin solving the problems they face.

Francisca do Espirito Santo urged the beneficiaries to maintain well the means offered so as to obtain profit foreseeing their sustainability and stability of their families.

Still in Cacuaco district, the governor of Luanda, announced that the Ludi I, II sectors and the Muzondo locality in the northern area of Panguila will receive by next December, 500 rural residences.

Apart from these means, the governor of Luanda also handed over tractors, ploughs and agricultural implements to the referred communities in the presence of the minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga, of the administrator of Cacuaco and other provincial and central government officials.



Sh900,000 boost for disabled in Coast

By AMINA KIBIRIGEPosted Monday, October 20 2008 at 19:05

The Government has released more than Sh900,000 to 12 organisations catering for the disabled in Coast Province.

Fourteen disabled people in Mombasa District were given equipment worth Sh191,740 through which they could earn a living.

Speaking during the handover ceremony at the provincial headquarters, the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya board chairperson Kristina Kenyatta Pratt asked the recipients not to sell the equipment but use it to benefit the community.

“Our aim at the fund is not charity but empowerment. We want to leave you a better person than you were socially by enabling you integrate with the rest of the society,” she said.

The fund assists approximately 600 disabled individuals and 80 institutions annually with grants of up to Sh100,000 per person.

Coast is the seventh province to have benefited this financial year, with a promise that those in other districts within the province would receive assistance by June 2009.




2008年10月22日 16:38 発信地:ダルエスサラーム/タンザニア

10月22日 AFP】呪術師らが、身体の一部をお守りにするためにアルビノ(先天的にメラニン色素が欠乏しているために皮膚や髪が白い人)を襲撃する事件が相次いでいるタンザニアで19日、アルビノの少女が殺害される事件があった。地元当局者が21日、明らかにした。


この事件に先立ち、同国では19日、ジャカヤ・ムリショ・キクウェテ(Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete)大統領がアルビノ襲撃への取り締まり強化の方針を打ち出したばかりだった。




Constitution: Group Makes Case for Disabled

By Mary Ekah, 10.22.2008

To achieve a paradigm shift in societal appreciation of the plight of physically challenged people in Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation, the Network Project for The Disabled (NPD), is poised to build a community of Nigerians willing to make personal commitment to support the disabled.
To this end, the organisation has concluded plans to hold public presentation of what it called its greatest project, the -Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Braille.-
This was made known yesterday at a press conference to intimate the media on the event coming up on Saturday, October 25, at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja.
Chairman, Board of Governors, Mr Kolawole Ayanwale, said the organisation has decided to produce -this very important document because it represents the social contract that binds us as a nation.-
Ayanwale reiterated that the document should be made available to all Nigerians, irrespective of their peculiar challenges, so as to effectively give them the tool to change their condition.
The programme, according to him, will also involve the NPD giving award to two distinguished Nigerians who have contributed through their daily activities to the cause of social and economic inclusive of the people with disabilities.
A lecture on -Perspective on the Need for Inclusion and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the Society- will also be delivered by the country Director, International Republican Institute, Dr. Moutharda Deme.
Expected to grace the occasion are Honourable Justice Bola Babalakin(rtd) as chairman of occasion, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu 1, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa amongst others.



Minding the disabled to meat millennium goals

Daily News; Friday,October 24, 2008 @20:01

If education challenges were solved and wiped away, the system of Inclusive Education would save many Tanzanians who are excluded and marginalized from education rights towards a better future.

Inclusive Education in children is the process of addressing and responding to the diversity of learners’ needs through increasing participation of the process in the communities and reducing segregation within their education system.

It involves changes and modifications in contents, approaches, structures and strategies with a common vision that covers all children of suitable age range and a conviction, which is responsible for the regular system to educate all children and remove barriers.

The system is in line with achieving the Millennium Development and Education for All (EFA) Goals especially in developing countries such as Tanzania that has not yet achieved the goals due to many challenges that calls for urgent solutions.

Rose Mary is a 15-year old girl who has never been to school in her lifetime because she is blind and deaf. Her father believes that she is not capable of learning because of her disabilities.

Since disability is not always inability, Mary says, “I believe if I’m taken to school I will learn like other students and achieve a better life that will enable me become independent,” she says.

In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ on a Saturday , Mary says that her father failed to take her to school, claiming that children with disability are not allowed to join a school in the country.“He tells me that even if I was taken to school I wouldn’t be able to learn like other students since we need special education needs that is not available in most schools,” she explains.

However, opening a two-day National Workshop on Inclusive Education in Dar es Salaam recently, the Deputy Minister for Educational and Vocational Training, Mrs Mwantumu Mahiza says parents with disabled children ought to take their children to school.

Mrs Mahiza says that it is on account of lack of proper statistics on children with disabilities that the government has always failed to meet the Millennium Development and Education for All (EFA) Goals towards school planning development.

The EFA Goals aims at all children especially those with special needs and reach those who are excluded and marginalized in small-sized special schools. “Having a proper statistics of children with disability helps the government ensure that meaningful learning is enhanced to all children through budgeting special education needs of disable children,” she says.

She says most of parents with disabled children have a tendency of hiding the children from the public and fail to take them to schools; an act that leads to creation of difficulties in developing special education needs for them.

Tanzania Education Network (TenMet) organized the workshop inline with the development of a National Inclusive Education Strategy by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss various meanings attached to Inclusive Education and agree on the broad features, describe and assess the system into practices, policy and institutional level.

According to Mrs Mahiza, the workshop was a contribution to Ministry’s process of developing the IE Strategy by identifying barriers, a way forward and point out possible strategies to implement the system.

Various participants including education stakeholders from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Non-Governmental Organizations and other Institutes dealing with marginalized and excluded children attended the workshop.

The participants discussed and lined out various recommendations that would lead to minimization of barriers to presence, participation and learning as well as maximizing of resources needed to keep inclusive education system functioning effectively.

Giving her point of view on the development of Inclusive Education, an Education Adviser in Tanzania, Dr Sai Vayrynen says that the country should design an education system that welcomes all children and accommodates different ways of learning, thinking and expressing them.

“Most of the schools in Tanzania do not create education systems that attract individual uniqueness. That is why some parents tend to hide their disable kids from public by denying them the rights to education,” she says.

Dr Vayrynen says that designation of education systems targeting disable and vulnerable children would force their parents to take and register them in schools. In her opinion, the country should build an education culture that develops and promotes peace, appreciate diversity, and respect uniqueness by seeking families and children who are vulnerable to take them on broad.

Moreover, the community and individuals should be responsible and accountable to one another towards preventing the exclusion and marginalization in education rights. “Tanzania should identify the forces pulling the nation away from realizing the right to education and reinforce the forces that would help in moving forward to the education goals,” she says.

Zefania Kalumuna who deals with marginalized and excluded people in the country, says that a policy to adopt inclusive education that articulates strategies should be implemented.

“For all children to access quality education in any given community…. some form of sustainable inclusive education systems have to be developed and implemented in line with the reviewing the policy to adopt the Inclusive Education,” he says.

In addition, the government should also review the current teachers education curriculum to focus on inclusive education and train teachers including the facilitators using participatory methods and differentiation.

According to Director of Primary Education, Mrs Ephracian Ntukamazina, barriers and bridges to quality IE can only be removed by improving school infrastructures, increasing the number of schools and alternative forms of education. She says most of children fail to acquire education rights due to lack of schools around their communities especially in rural areas.

“Schools should be available at rural areas where the majority of disable children are found,” she adds. Mrs Nkukamazina says most of the schools have been located in towns where some rural people are not able to send their students.

“We should find ways of allocating financial and human resources through community participation and empowerment and sensitize the community on the value of the rights of children to education,” she says.



Uganda Government News: People with Disabilities call for domestication of UN Protocol

First published: 20081024 8:50:23 AM EST

Ultimate Media

Peoples with Disabilities, under National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU), have called on government to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities.

The call was made by NUDIPU chairman, Francis Kinubi, while handing over a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi at Parliament today.

Last month, Government ratified the convention, a move that will see more opportunities for Peoples with Disabilities especially in areas where they have been neglected like education, health care and employment opportunities among others.

Kinubi says that Peoples with Disabilities’ rights have for long been disrespected by many yet they are able and capable of achieving a lot just like able bodied people.

He says that with the signing of the convention, government will be able to prioritize the full realization of human rights of PwDs without discrimination.

Ssekandi, on the other hand, notes that PwDs have rights like any other person and hence with the signing of the protocol, it will be easy to respect and support the People with Disabilities.

He adds that Parliament will do everything in its power to ensure that the protocol is domesticated through setting up a law.

Ssekandi says that once the Peoples with Disabilities bill is brought to parliament, it will be accorded space for debate so that Uganda can fully embrace the protocol.

PwD’s MP for Central region, Safia Nalule says that the protocol will help to cater for the vulnerable people like women and children who have been the most neglected and stigmatized.



Educationist calls for inclusion of sign language in SHS syllabus

The Headmaster of the State School for the Deaf at Adjei Kojo near Ashaiman, Michael Cudjoe has advocated the inclusion of sign language course in the curriculum of Tertiary Institutions to promote the use of the language and enhance the integration of the deaf in every aspect of society. He said for a start, government should come out with a policy that will make it mandatory for students to pursue a sign language program for at least a semester. This policy he noted will enable the upcoming professionals to effectively communicate with the speech impaired workforce in their various encounters to promote socio-economic development.

Mr. Cudjoe was speaking in an interview with Radio Ghana at Adjei Kojo in the Ashaiman Municipality. He said most developed countries have interpreters in every institution which enable most deaf and dumb persons to enjoy confidentiality and be comfortable where necessary. He appealed to parents to take keen interest in the education of their wards as government alone can not shoulder the responsibility. Mr. Cudjoe explained that most parents tend to abandon their children because of their disability and urged parents to demonstrate affection towards such children. He revealed that out of the 11 students who sat for this year’s BECE, nine came out with distinction with the school’s worst grade being seven.

The Headmaster complained about the deplorable access road to the school, inadequate interpreters, and aheap of refuse near the school as some challenges facing the institution.

Posted on: Saturday, 25, October, 2008 Source: GBC NEWS





□特別講演 1315〜1415
"Summary Results of the Global Survey on the Human Rights of Deaf People"

◆○斉藤龍一郎(特定非営利活動法人 アフリカ日本協議会)・植村要(立命館





☆ CAPEDSスーダン支援プロジェクト報告会 ☆


〒108-0014 港区芝5丁目18-2

○ CAPEDSはスーダンの障害者への教育支援活動を行っているNPO法人です。
○ 今回の報告会では、活動の最大の目玉であるスーダン現地プロジェクトの報告を行います。
― スーダン最大の高等教育機関であるハルツーム大学で、アラビア語のパソコン音声読み上げソフトを提供し、現地パートナーと共に視覚障害者用パソコン室を開講しました。

○ スーダンの視覚障害者の現状や、日本からどのような支援ができるのかについて興味のある方は是非お越しください。




Where deaf and dumb children enjoy learning

By ZULEKHA NATHOOPosted Sunday, October 26 2008 at 16:29

When Louise Ouko arrived at Kilimani unit for the deaf and blind, she was a withdrawn child.

And because she was both deaf and blind, she had no way of communicating either with her teacher, Mrs Jane Ramu, or the 17 other pupils at the unit which is part of Kilimani primary school in Nairobi.

“She would just sit there alone. She looked isolated and did not even have any hair on her head,” says Mrs Ramu. But after two years of constant coaching, all that has changed.

“Now, she can tell you what she wants. If she wants to go shopping, she’ll tell me she wants to go to Yaya. She’s writing Braille. She even knows how to ride a bike,” says Ramu.

Teaching Louise to write and communicate has not been an easy task. Mrs Ramu had to start slowly. She introduced Louise to different objects by placing them in the child’s hand to touch.

She would then use sign language to explain what the objects were by writing their names inside Ouko’s palm. Two years later, the changes in the young girl are dramatic and she can now live a fuller and more enjoyable life.

However, nurturing the kind of growth now evident in Louise’s life is not easy, says Mr Geoffrey Atieli, the director of Sense International East Africa, a charity organisation that provides expert advice and specialist services for children and adults who are both deaf and blind.

“We are trying to connect the deaf and blind children with their families. It’s a process that takes years. The transformation does not happen immediately,” says Mr Atieli.

And success comes at a cost. The school, which is Government-run, receives about Sh4,000 for every child with special needs every year, compared to Sh1,200 for each child in public primary schools.

Still, the money is not enough. The costs required to run such a unique environment leaves Kilimani with no choice but to rely heavily on grants from well-wishers who sponsor some of its programmes.

“We are able to reimburse students for their transport costs to and from school every day. It has raised attendance rate from 30 per cent to 97 per cent. But if we had to pull out for any reason, the numbers would drop again,” says Mr Atieli.

Fully functional

He and Mrs Ramu are convinced that with proper educational support, deaf and blind children can play a useful role in society once they grow up.

The students, although challenged in some ways, are fully functional in others and have the potential to lead fulfilling lives.

It’s just a matter of finding the right fit, something that can be done through adequate care and educational attention from a tender age.

That knowledge of the children’s needs explains why Mrs Ramu has become like a second mother to many of her students. Not only does she teach them at school, but some of them live in her house as well.

“It started on a whim really,” she says. According to her, the mother of one of her pupils had died and the rest of his family kept him locked up in a room that they hardly ever cleaned.

Completely dark

“When we found him, it was completely dark inside,” she says. Ramu took it upon herself to rescue the boy and bring him into her own family ? which already comprised her husband and their three children.

With time, six more special children became part of her growing family, living with her and attending her classes. Among the new members are two children who were displaced during the post-election violence earlier this year.

A third still bears a scar on his face. The five-year old was injured when his frustrated father, not knowing what else to do with the child, decided to burn him.

At the school, Mrs Ramu is the children’s guiding light and a literal beacon of hope. The children take her hand without question when she reaches out to them or when she calls them by name for those who have a little hearing ability.

They follow her and trust her and she is happy to teach them. Still, she admits that there is only so much that one person can do. For example, the classrooms have to be modified to suit the needs of the children.

“It gets expensive and we can’t ask parents to supply these things. They can’t afford it,” she says.

Ideally at a school like hers, the teacher-student ratio should be one to one. But at Kilimani, the ratio is one teacher for every seven students.

Many teachers rarely stay at the school longer than a year or two. The biggest complaint has been that they were discouraged, having few learning aids for the class and too many students which made it difficult for them to offer individual attention to each of the special children.

But Mrs Ramu is still soldiering on, four years after arriving at the school. On any given day, she takes each of her students to a quiet room filled with different objects, including rubber, musical instruments and household items like a mop and carpet.

Here, she guides the hand of the students to touch each object stuck on the wall. And from feeling the texture and shape of the objects, the students can then learn what each one of the item represents.

There are no lamps in the room. Instead, Mrs Ramu relies on a black light. It is the only guide to “illuminating” the different bits and pieces placed strategically on each wall around the room.

The goal is for each student to be able to recognise and identify each item merely by touching it. “Even though their vision is limited, the black light provides a contrast for the children’s eyes.

It allows them to focus their remaining senses and draw their attention to what I want them to touch,” she says.

The work done by teachers and administrative staff at the Kilimani school offers more than just a helping hand to some of Kenya’s most vulnerable children.

Mr Atieli says the Government can play a bigger role in providing funding and other resources, including teachers, to help improve the quality of education in this and other schools like it.



Charity gives disabled children

Sunday, 26th October, 2008

By Aidah Nanyonjo

OVER 700 children with disabilities are to get wheelchairs worth sh500m donated by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints in Kololo.

Edward Christensen, the president of the Church’s Kampala mission, said the wheelchairs would improve the well being of people with disabilities.

Presiding over the hand-over ceremony last week, Musa Ecweru, the Minister of State for Disaster preparedness and Refugees, appealed to more organisations to support people with disabilities.

“There are a lot of people with disabilities in our country who need our support. You can bring any assistance. It is not necessary to wait until you have many things to donate,” he said.

Martin Ssemuga, the programmes coordinator for the National Union of Displaced Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU), said school-going disabled children will benefit from the donation.

“School children have a problem with movement to school. But with these wheelchairs, one can be pushed by their colleagues to school,” he said.

Ssemuga also called for a redesign of buildings to enable people with disabilities



Blind but able: Godfrey Mugote

Opio Sam Caleb

Mr Mugote Godfrey 38 aka Professor is a visually impaired ? blind, a man with a broad mental vision. He is a jack of many trades, skills and a naturally gifted counsellor. NiE caught up with him during the International White Cane and World Sight Day in Kamuli.

Please give us a brief of who you are Simply I am a visually impaired father of two, Anthony and Derrick from my caring wife Angela. I hold a Diploma in special Needs Education from Kyambogo, a Contract Law Certificate from Law Development Centre, I am a Grade III teacher from Bishop Willis Core PTC. This was after my primary and secondary education from Madera School of the Blind and St. Francis Senior Secondary School. By the way I am an ICT professional. Currently I am an English/Social studies teacher at Kiwolera Primary School and Chairman Kamuli District Association of the Blind.

You have successfully hosted a national event and given a well-quoted speech. How do you manage this with your visual impairment? You may not want to believe this but I read and listen a lot. The first thing for me is to catch up press reviews from KFM, regularly listen to BBC and later I go to the net to surf because information is a priceless asset. When I go to drink malwa I go with my Daily Monitor to share information with my friends.

How do you surf, make a call on your mobile telephone and identify money? First there is personal initiative for any success. My many travels and interactions with many people give me insight, courage and a spirit to venture. I have been to all East African countries, Ghana and Norway and the most valuable asset I got was a Dolphin Pen - device which I log into a computer and it starts “talking.”

To ring, obviously the phone is set and marked and each letter has sound. And with money there are identical features in the note, the sizes and texture. Government consulted us on note marks. In the Netherlands all notes have figures in Braille, a form of writing meant for blind people.

What is your driving force and message? My principle in life is “I will be what and where I will be by and through those I find on the way.” It is all about public relations and good support. Tell people out there that blindness is with and within us so take quick response on preventable blindness and disability by heeding to Child Days, immunisation, ante natal clinics, delivery from health units, keep proper hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. Remember disability and blindness is not contagious so receive people with disabilities positively as human beings.

As a teacher what is your observation and call? Education assessment, identification and placement of children with disabilities to access education are crucial. Inclusive education will bail out and help children with disabilities realise their rights to education and not to be punished twice.

To achieve this government must promote special needs education by appointing special needs trained teachers and giving them special allowances because teaching one child with disability is equal to teaching 20 normal learners.

It is also unfortunate that the education of disabled children is left mostly to donors. There is need to popularise braille for the blind and devices for disabled people. In fact we need a guide and an interpreter for the blind and deaf respectively.

Let me on behalf of the blind fraternity acknowledge and appreciate Sight Savers International, Action on Disability Development, UNAB, Lions Norway International and all developmental partners and the media for promoting concerns of disabled people.



Double trouble for the disabled in IDP camps

Published on 27/10/2008

By Peter Orengo and Dedan Okanga

Disabled persons who fell victim to post-election violence have broken their silence over the suffering they encountered and are now seeking compensation.

Beneath the seemingly successful idea of ‘Operation Rudi Nyumbani’ is the tale of the disabled yet to recover from torments of the chaos.

For many, lack of awareness of the political tensions and danger that loomed exposed them to shock.

"I just saw people running and took to my heels without a hint of what I was running from," said Gladys Chemutai who is deaf.

At a time when people feigned disability to cheat death at the various checkpoints that lurked at every nook of the North Rift, the genuinely handicapped became so vulnerable.

Tribal dimension

With the violence taking on a tribal dimension, the lynch mobs sorted out their victims through their complexions. Gladys did not carry her identity card.

"As I was fleeing with three of my friends, we reached a ‘checkpoint’ where we were sorted out on account of colour. I was ordered to flee the area and today I don’t know what happened to the rest," she said.

Chemutai’s experience is synonymous with those of other disabled persons who suddenly found themselves in the thick of things with little means of saving themselves.

Among them are the physically challenged who could not respond to the warning cries of the murderous gangs fast enough to save themselves.

But it was particularly trying for mothers of disabled children whose husbands had fled the violence, got killed or left to join the band of attackers.


Ms Lidya Mwihaki is a mother to a disabled girl of 14. She had to carry the girl on her back when the violence broke out.

They now live at the Yamumbi displacement camp, Eldoret where she says life is rough.

Mwihaki’s daughter, Anna Njeri, cannot sit, walk, talk, or eat on her own.

"The only thing she does without my support is breathing and staring, and so moving with her from one displacement camp to another has been difficult," said Mwihaki.

The family is holed up at the displacement camp where every morning the 60-year-old mother carries her daughter to bask outside and returns her in the evening.

The home her husband built before deserting the family years ago was burnt and now the Yamumbi displacement camp remains the only home she knows even after it was officially closed.


Life became worse when she was not included in the second phase of the compensation, meaning she has to contend with the Sh10,000, most of which has been spent on her other children.

"For now I have no idea where to go, but what I am sure of is that the days ahead are difficult because I lost all I had during the skirmishes," she added.

Some families had concealed their disabled children from public view for years to avoid stigma that accompanies disability.

Stigma at camp

When violence displaced them, lifestyle at the camps exposed their secrets, forcing those who could not contend with the stigma to desert their families.

Ms Rachael Wanjiku languishes at the camp with her two children, one of whom is disabled.

When the violence broke out, her husband whisked his household to the safety of the displacement camp. But his courage failed when it came to facing the world with a disabled daughter. He then vanished into thin air.

"My husband never wanted to be associated with our disabled daughter and I believe that was one reason why he deserted us soon afterwards," said Wanjiku.

Her nine-year-old daughter Maureen Wairimu was born healthy, but suddenly started growing weak physically and mentally.

"The doctors say it has to do with her nervous system. Nursing her is expensive and I have to start thinking of where to relocate since I am almost remaining alone in this camp," said Wanjiku.


Wanjiku is distraught because her daughter howls all day inside their tent at the Eldoret Show Ground camp.

This has stigmatised her household to the extent that few dare associate with her and so for the better part of the day mother and daughter stay put inside their tent.

"I am on my own, I cannot move out of this tent to fend for the two of us because no volunteer would put up with the needs of my daughter," she says.

Even in torment Wanjiku holds onto her daughter, fearing what could have happened had the militia swooped on her family with a vengeance and found her disabled daughter alone.

"They could have molested her in very dehumanising ways thinking that she was putting up a show," she said.

When the disabled met at the Anglican Church of Kenya in Eldoret early this month, their message was they were forgotten during the violence, resettlement and compensation to victims. The case of Ms Mary Wambui, a wheelchair bound woman, became a metaphor of the plight they suffered.

Church ruins

The twisted metal of her burnt wheelchair at the ruins of the church still torments many even as it is alleged she may not have died in the Eldoret church, but was abducted for ransom.

Reverend Maritim Rirei of the Anglican Church of Kenya has taken to counselling disabled victims of the violence.

"The Government and civic bodies have traversed this region on bonding missions, but little has been done for the disabled," he said.

The physically impaired appealed to the Government to reduce the prices of wheelchairs. In the orgy of looting and vandalism that accompanied the violence, many lost their implements of support.

Also in the meeting were the blind and the deaf who sent out a petition to the Government to empower them economically.

"We wish to be enabled to handle the crises, not to be the beggars at every turn of a crisis," said Mr Michael Manyonje, a disabled civic leader who spoke on their behalf.

Many disabled persons still live in displacement camps because they lack facilities to help restart their lives.



Namibia: Standoff at Association for the Deaf

The Namibian (Windhoek)
28 October 2008
Posted to the web 28 October 2008

Christof Maletsky

The Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) is on a collision course after it dismissed the National Director, Martin Tjivera.

Paul Nanyeni, one of the NNAD leaders, announced that they dismissed Tjivera because of alleged mismanagement, poor performance and a breakdown of trust.

He said a "tribal group" of the NNAD executive committee forced him to resign but he has refused to do so and remains at the office.

The executive said Tjivera had lost the interest of deaf people and showed no transparency and accountability.

"The deaf themselves have spoken.

They need the change and the change is now," Nanyeni wrote in a statement he gave to The Namibian.

He said there was a complete breakdown of trust between Tjivera, employees of NNAD and the executive.

"Members have spoken for a long time and have been calling for change which was imminent," Nanyeni said.

He said the NNAD, under Tjivera, had failed its members.

Tjivera has refused to accept the decision, saying the executive did not follow proper channels to dismiss him.

"My supporters and I will leave no stone unturned in getting rid of all people who still hibernate in the hope of derailing goals set in NNAD's development programmes," he said.

The NNAD executive took its decision at the beginning of this month but Tjivera still occupies his office.



Ghana: Persons With Psychosocial Disability

Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
29 October 2008
Posted to the web 30 October 2008

Helena Selby

Everybody has the right to rights; fundamental human rights are meant for everyone, no matter the circumstance one might find him or herself. Most times societies tend to disassociate with people who are psychologically screwed up. Little attention is given to them when it comes to the issue of rights. People with psychological disability are mostly degraded in all spheres of life, and are never taken into consideration when important decisions are being taken in society.

Persons with psychosocial disability have not only been neglected, but have received negative step-motherly treatment from health planners, especially in the developing countries. According to BasicNeeds, the term human rights, in the broad sense, means "those claims which every individual has, or should have, upon the society in which he/she lives. Since the dawn of the human civilisation, persons with psychosocial disability have received scant care and concern from society, because of their seemingly unproductive value in the socio-economic value system.

At a workshop of BasicNeeds, on psychologically disabled people, it was indicated that the provisions relating to the human rights of persons with psychosocial disability, have hitherto been neither specifically documented in any code, nor been prescribed or elaborated upon by the judiciary in Ghana. It is also admitted that barring few exceptions, persons with psychosocial disabilities deserve the same privileges being enjoyed by any other human being.

They include the right to better and more accessible care, to good recovery and increased hopes of reintegration into society. Likewise the stigma, residual disability and its intolerance, and more importantly, the inability of persons with psychosocial disability to protest against exploitation, have all made the basic human rights of these unfortunate people a major cause of growing concern.

Mental illness

According to the Chief Psychiatrist of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Akwasi Osei, mental illness is a condition in which there is significant disturbance in the mind associated with distress or interference in daily life, and manifesting as a disturbance of speech perception, mood, thought, volition, orientation or other cognitive functions. With madness, it is a very severe mental illness, in which the person loses touch with reality, the type of which one is seen on the streets dirty and unkempt. In his explanation, he noted that mental illness was not one condition, there are minor mental illnesses like burning sensations in the head, sleeplessness and poor appetite, fear of lift, fear of water, etc. However situations such as social deviance, drug abuse and drug trafficking, suicide, streetwise, child delinquency, school phobia, fear of height, paedophilia and some aspects of homosexuality are mental illnesses. He mentioned depression, alcohol abuse and the abuse of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and many others.

Psychiatric situation in Ghana

The prevalence of mental illness in Ghana is practically the same anywhere else in the world, and 20%-30% population has had some kind of mental illness at any time. There are 1,875 patients on admission in the three psychiatric hospitals, namely the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Pantang and Ankaful in the Central Region. Last year 40,900 patients were seen at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital alone. There are three consultant psychiatrists active in the public sector; 11 others have retired, and 600 psychiatric nurses are available, instead of 2,000. Likewise the psychiatric hospitals are all located down south, five regional hospitals are with psychiatric wings, leaving five other regions without psychiatric wings, 115 community psychiatric nurses are available, instead of the desired number of 600, and over 70 out of the 138 districts have no mental health services.

Apart from the above problems there is also inadequate funding; hospitals work with an outmoded 1972 mental health decree. This decree does not address human rights issues. What's more, a revised 2006 Bill has still not been passed, and this bill pays particular attention to human rights issues. There is also the need to pass the mental health bill, and as well take care of inadequate human resources.

Right to Health as a Basic Human Right

The United Nations has defined human rights to generally mean "those rights, which are inherent in our nature, and without which we cannot live as human beings." Human rights mean the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution, or embodied in the international covenants, and enforceable by the courts in Ghana.

In 1948, the United Nations, through its Universal Declaration on Human Rights, affirmed the basic principle that persons with psychosocial disability, should at all times be treated with humanity, and respect for the inherent dignity of the person. Every person with a mental illness should have the right to exercise all civil, political, social and cultural rights.

According to the Director of Mindfreedom, a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), Mrs. Janet Amegatcher, even as citizens of Ghana, those with psychological disability are entitled to all those human and fundamental rights, which are guaranteed to each and every citizen by the Constitution of Ghana, to the extent that their disability should not prevent them from enjoying those rights, and their enjoyment is not expressly or impliedly barred by the Constitution or by any other statutory law. The fundamental right to life and liberty, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of Ghana in a number of landmark cases, includes the right to live with human dignity and the right to health.

The Universal Declaration states, "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care." Yet the human rights of those with persons with psychosocial disability are often severely compromised. Today, most countries still lack legislation to protect the human rights of these persons, and most national and regional health-care guidelines or plans, do no include specific goals, standards or budgets for caring for them.

Society and psychological disability

According to the Director, the traditional way of addressing disability generally, has been either through medical or charitable approaches. The charity model portrays disability as a personal tragedy, with persons with disabilities being objects of pity, and referred to as "crippled", "crazy" or "idiot". This model-long entrenched society's view of people with disabilities as dependent and in need of protection, often also leads to the belief that they needed to be hidden from society and institutionalised

A dramatic shift in perspective has been taking place over the past two decades, and persons with disabilities have started to be viewed as holders of rights. This process is slow and uneven, but it is taking place all over the world. The rights-based approach to disability essentially means viewing persons with disabilities as subjects of the law. Its final aim is to empower disabled persons, and to ensure their active participation in political, economic, social, and cultural life.

Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The development of the first-ever convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, reflects the growing international acknowledgement of disability rights as human rights. Until now, the rights of persons with disabilities have only been covered implicitly by existing human rights conventions - simply because they apply to all human beings. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been the only one that explicitly mentions children with disabilities. Having only legally non-binding instruments has often led to a situation where persons with disabilities continue to be treated within a social welfare approach, and not as rights holders.

All human rights and freedoms of all people with disabilities are enjoyed, promoted and protected; the dignity of people with disabilities is respected. People with disabilities include those who have long-term impairments, for example, physical, psycho-social, intellectual, and who cannot get involved in society because of different reasons, such as attitudes, language, stairs, and laws, which prevent people with disabilities from being included in society.

Conclusion It is important, according to BasicNeeds, not to write or speak about disability, in terms of charity. One does not have to talk about disability with pity, and also not to treat disability issues as strictly medical issues, or portray disability as a disease. If one makes an effort to treat persons with disabilities, as citizens with a right to participate in all sectors of society, one supports the human rights model of disability. It is all about inclusion and respect.



Japan commissions GH?75,000 project at Kibi School for the Deaf

Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2008, 17:54 GMT

The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Keiichi Katakami, on Wednesday, inaugurated a dormitory block and a three-unit staff bungalow for the staff and students of the Kibi School for the Deaf at a ceremony at Kyebi.

The GH¢75,000 project was funded by the Japanese Embassy in Ghana under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project Scheme (GGHSP) of the Japanese Government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Katakami said since 1989, the Japanese Embassy in Ghana had funded 18 educational projects in the Eastern Region under the GGHSP and assured that the Embassy would fund many more projects in future.

He encouraged the students of the school to learn hard and assured them that though they might be hearing impaired, as long as they continue to learn they would achieve their dreams of growing up to become brilliant men and women and contribute meaningfully to the development of Ghana.

The East Akim Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Victor Asihene, said within the past seven years, the Assembly had provided the school with a KVIP place of convenience and two boreholes fitted with iron removal plant.

He said the Assembly had also extended streetlights to the school compound and presented a set of furniture to the kindergarten department of the school.

Mr Asihene said through his own resources, he had purchased a corn-mill for the school and promised that the contractor working on the construction of the kitchen and dining hall for the school would be compelled to complete the project before December.

In a speech read on her behalf, the Director of Special Education Division of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Mrs Victoria Donkor, thanked the Japanese Government for their support and called on other benevolent organizations to come to the aid of the school.

The East Akim Municipal Director of Education, Mrs Kate Agyemang ?Badu, said many deaf children who are on the waiting list of the school could not be enrolled because of inadequate infrastructure.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the headmaster of the school, Mr Jordan Agbona, said the school, which was started in 1975 with a student population of eight now has an enrolment of 213 with more applicants on the waiting list.

Mr Agbona said only three teachers were being accommodated on the school compound making the supervision of the school children after school hours very difficult.

He said due to limitation of facilities, some of the students had to wait for their colleagues to have their meals first before the others and appealed for support to put up more structures.

Source: GNA



JICA「障害者リーダー育成」コース −パーソナル/団体レポート発表−


JICA「障害者リーダー育成」コース −パーソナル/団体レポート発表−

1.日程: 2008年10月31日(金) 午前10時00分〜午後4時30分
2.場所: 早稲田大学国際コミュニティーセンター
  10:10-10:40 コスタリカ
           Secretary, Costa Rican Association of Guide Dogs
  10:40-11:10 ヨルダン
           Head, Al Nahda Association for Physically Challenged
  11:10-11:40 カザフスタン
           Member, Young Disabled People's Organization "Zhiger"
  11:40-13:00 昼食
  13:00-13:30 ラオス
           Head of Media Unit, Media Relationship Department,
           Lao Disabled People's Association
  13:30-14:00 マラウィ
           Disability Rights Advocate, Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi
  14:00-14:30 フィリピン
           Head of Special Projects / Executive Assistant to the EVP and
           Chief Operations Officer, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc.
  14:30-14:45 休憩
  14:45-15:15 スリランカ
           Hon. President, Executive Committee, Organization for
           Rehabilitation of the Handicapped - Vavuniya District
  15:15-15:45 トルコ
           Specialist, Turkish Grand National Assembly
  15:45-16:15 ウガンダ
           Senior Rehabilitation Officer, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development

4.言語: 英語、日本語逐次通訳、手話通訳
5.参加費: 無料
6.お申し込み / お問い合わせ:
   日本障害者リハビリテーション協会 研修課 馬場
   TEL:03-5273-0633  FAX:03-5273-1523 Eメール:inquiry@dinf.ne.jp


Disabled to showcase talent on the ramp 30 October, 2008

GABORONE - Students with disabilities will celebrate the Disability Week in style beginning November 10. The event will culminate in a fashion show by students of the University of Botswana (UB) and the Tlokweng- based, I Am Special Education Society, come November 15.

The initiative is geared at sensitising communities on disability issues and to encourage positive attitudes towards students with disabilities.

Miss UB 2008, Tlotlo Lemmenyane said in an interview that the fashion show is an initiative of the UB office of Disability Support Service together with the Mr and Miss UB office.

She explained that students with various disabilities such as the visually impaired, the ones with learning disabilities and those walking on crutches will parade on the ramp.

The models will showcase clothing from various stores at Riverwalk Mall, she said.

She said the focus should be on what the person can achieve and not on their disablity, hence the slogan "We See, Hear, Dance, We are Able." There will be stalls at the event for the students to display their different talents before the fashion show starts.

This move is meant to display what they are doing to empower themselves and that they too could be involved in activities, which are mostly performed by people who are normal.

Student Assistant at the UB Disability Support Service Mr Matlhogonolo Baleseng felt the event will encourage other people with disabilities to actively participate in activities deemed to be the domain of normal people.

Mrs Kushatha Thapisa-Mase, culture officer in the UB Department of Culture, Sports and Recreation was hopeful the event will be held annually and that it will draw some local designers to dress the participants.

She said the occasion will encourage socialisation among students and instill the spirit of togetherness.

The main sponsor of the fashion show is Riverwalk, which will provide the venue and structural organisation. BOPA



ニュースレター「Human Rights Africa」2008年第2号

アフリカ障害者の十年事務局から、ニュースレター「Human Rights Africa」2008年第2号の案内が届きました。




Nigeria: Reps to Hold Hearing On Disabled Person's Bill

Daily Trust (Abuja)
2 November 2008
Posted to the web 3 November 2008

Abbas Jimoh

The House of Representatives will on November 26, hold a public hearing on 'The Nigerians with Disabilities Bill', Chairman House Committee on Human Right, Hon. Beni Lar, said in Abuja.

Lar said the bill sponsored by Hon. Abike Dabiri, Chairman House Committee on Diaspora, seeks to ensure full integration of persons with disabilities into the society and to establish a national commission for them.

She was speaking at a one-day workshop on "Mainstreaming People with Disabilities into Political Parties" jointly organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

"The Nigerians with Disabilities Bill, 2008, a bill for an act to ensure full integration of persons with disabilities into the society and to establish a national commission for persons with disabilities, which will be vested with the responsibilities for their education, health care, and protection of their social, economic, civil and political rights is currently being considered in the National Assembly," Lar said.

She said that the population of Nigerians with disabilities, as recently estimated by the United Nations stands at over 19 million and that the number is growing due to population growth, poverty and ageing.

"Stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities remains common in all societies. Women with disabilities often experience double discrimination, as women and as persons with disabilities.

"Common discriminatory acts faced by persons living with disabilities in their daily lives include difficult access into public buildings due to security doors, metal detectors, lack of ramps, non accessibility to, nor assistance at polling points and stigimatization at work places," Lar said.

In his remark, Hon Farouk Lawan said that people should see their disabilities as challenges that must be surmounted as potentials to realise and utilise their opportunities.

"Everyone has one or more challenges, for those who are physically challenged, there should be nothing to debar them from actively participating in the nation's politics," Lawan said.



Ghana: “Disability is not inability”

Posted on Monday 3 November 2008 - 11:55

Kent Mensah, AfricaNews editor in Accra, Ghana

"Disability is not inability" - this is what some Ghanaian children with physical and mental disability proved to the world over the weekend. Students of the New Horizon Special School showcased their own hand made woven baskets, dolls, beads, postcards, dyed table clothes and chains to the public.

The annual exhibition attracted dozens of well-wishers - ambassadors’ wives, journalists, tourists, volunteers and parents with children with disability. “This is quite amazing and I am highly impressed with their hand works,” Juliana Boateng, a Broadcast journalist said.

The head of the school, Mrs Salome Francois told AfricaNews that such exhibition is held to sensitize the public that “children with disability have a role to play in society as well as to bring them close to society.”

“We must not shun them. They are just like us and we must show our love and care to them. We need to appreciate them and put smiles on their faces. With little push and encouragement they can make a difference like what you are seeing now,” the founder of New Horizon School said.

The students graced the occasion with exciting cultural displays to the admiration of all. Watch a video interview with one of the children hoping to become a journalist in future though battling with speech and movement challenges in our subsequent uploads.



Benefits for persons with disabilities

Last Updated: Monday, 3 November 2008, 8:30 GMT

The government has initiated measures to ensure that persons with disabilities get adequate benefits from the District Assembly Common Fund.

As part of the measures, the government has directed that two per cent of the Common Fund be set aside for education and advocacy purposes to serve the needs of persons with disabilities.

The Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Nana Akomea, disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf at the 50th anniversary and graduation ceremony of the Ghana Society of the Socially Disadvantaged at the weekend in Accra.

He said the initiative was as a result of complaints received by the ministry about problems encountered in accessing the facility, adding that consultations were still ongoing to streamline access to the facility.

"Since 2005, micro-credit facilities to the tune of one billion has been extended to almost 950 persons with disability in 20 pilot districts throughout the 10 regions," he said.

The minister added that plans were far advanced to disburse more money to the rest of the districts and stressed that "this is aimed at creating equal employment opportunities for persons with disability to enable them to live in dignity".

Nana Akomea said the government implemented the National Social Protection Strategy to support and empower the extremely poor and vulnerable groups like persons with severe disabilities to access opportunities being created as a result of the growth of the economy.

According to him, the government was committed to the formulation of policies, implementation of programmes and activities geared towards the socio-economic integration and empowerment of persons with disability.

He added that the ministry, through the Department of Social Welfare, had played a supervisory role over the centre through the secondment of trained social workers, provision of technical instructors to head institutions and also train students.

Nana Akomea said the ministry had taken keen interest in ensuring that the centre had the requisite manpower to enable it train persons with disability effectively.

He said the National Disability Council had been constituted, although it was yet to be inaugurated by the President.

The minister advised the graduates to work hard since the country's job market had become more competitive.

He called on Ghanaians to stop paying lip-service when it came to issues pertaining to disabilities and rather offer more resources to support persons with disabilities in order to enhance their well-being.

The centre, which was established in 1956 for the physically challenged who were undergoing medical rehabilitation, has since been transformed into a centre for training persons with disabilities to acquire skills and support themselves economically.

In his welcome address, the Centre Manager, Mr Eric Ohene Adjei, said the centre had trained more than 181 people, who were mostly men, in shoe making batik and tie-dye and computer literacy.

Mr Adjei said the centre, with a population of 25 trainees, was being funded by the Ghana Trust Fund and benevolent groups and individuals in society.

He expressed appreciation to all organisations and churches which were supporting the centre and said despite the assistance from donors, the centre still had few challenges and therefore called on individuals and NGOs to come to their aid.

Mr Adjei advised the graduates to use the equipment which had been donated to the centre judiciously.

Source: Daily Graphic



National Bank donates to the visually impaired

BY PRECIOUS MSOSA, a Correspondent
10:04:54 - 04 November 2008

NATIONAL Bank of Malawi on Saturday donated various items to visually impaired students of Salima Resource Centre worth K600,000.

The assistance was meant to address some of the challenges the school faces.

The items include kitchen utensils, bags of beans and maize, brail books and sports materials.

Presenting the donation, Kisembe Partridge, who led an-all-women delegation said they thought of donating to the school after being concerned with the plight of the visually impaired students at the school.

“We believe that if these students face a lot of problems, they cannot fully focus on their education and this is why we decided to assist them as one way of encouraging the students,” she said.

She hailed the teachers for their hard working spirit despite the limited resources.

The school’s headmistress Juliana Chikandiro praised the bank for the initiative, which, she said, came at the right time as the school faced serious challenges.

The school was founded in 1969 by a German organisation- Christofil Blinded Mission-who later handed it over to government in 1992.



Disabled But Not Unable

Tuesday, 4th of November 2008

People with disabilities still feel the brunt of social exclusion, and young people with disabilities, especially, struggle with equal opportunities in the education sector and the job market, New Era reports.

By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK - Londi de Wee laughs when he tells of his welcoming remarks at a gathering with young people with disabilities.

His speech was spread out over more than 10 pages. The print had to be big enough and written with a special computer programme for him to be able to decipher what he has written down.

De Wee is visually impaired. He can see, but only slightly. When he walks across the room, he does so with uncertainty as he tries to avoid bumping into doorframes, tables and chairs.

But he finds his way, feeling with his fingers over the texture of a piece of furniture, and making use of whatever sight he has left to discern his environment.

De Wee is the secretary general of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN).

“According to the 2001 national census, there were 85 000 people with disabilities in Namibia. The majority of this number are people with physical disabilities, led by the visually impaired, hearing impaired and then other disabilities such as mental and learning disabilities, as well as albinos. But we do not see the real picture; many children with disabilities are being hidden by families because they are often seen as a curse and/or an embarrassment,” De Wee says.

Government, says Project Manager of NFPDN, Gerson Mutendere, does not consider albinos as “people with disabilities”.

“There is therefore not a proper link between albinos and organisations for people with disabilities. We need to come up with an inclusive definition because many albinos have visual impairments but they do not get special disability grants.”

In some African countries like Burundi, Tanzania and Sudan, says Mutendere, the status of albinos is worse because their body parts are considered strong muti by witchdoctors.

“As a movement for people with disabilities, we call for a stop to abuses against albinos and African governments must make a stand to eliminate such practices.”

In Namibia, adds De Wee, many disabled people are being abused by their families and institutions.

So, for example, he tells of eyewitness reports of physically challenged people tied to trees in Eenhana; and of a shelter in Oshakati put up in the name of the disabled with atrocious hygienic conditions, where children are left with no activities in bare rooms.

“We have heard of so many of such cases; it is really worrying,” he adds.

For the disabled, says Manfred !Howaeb, National Coordinator of the Organisation of Youth with Disabilities (OYD), an affiliate organisation of NFPDN), the biggest challenge for people with disabilities is social exclusion - still.

“We are being excluded from recreation, sport and cultural activities. Most importantly, though, is that many people with disabilities find that they are excluded from education and training opportunities. Many often go up to Grade 10 and get left behind.”

OYD was formed two years ago, but because of the special challenges faced by organisations of the disabled, the executive structure of the organisation collapsed.

Now, says !Howaeb, OYD is in the process of revitalising its structures, get more members across the country on board, and work out programmes and projects for the youth with disabilities.

OYD’s national congress will end today in Windhoek, where it will elect its leadership, and discuss where the organisation should take its membership.

Mandela Kapere, Secretary General of the National Youth Council, has urged the NFPDN and its affiliates to become members of the NYC, and form close working relationships with key institutions like the Office of the Prime Minister, ministries of Youth, Health and Education.

And, he urged, these organisations should use legal instruments to lobby for equal rights in a society still not as accepting to differences and differently able-bodied persons.

One such instrument is the African Youth Charter that was adopted by Namibia in March that provides for non-discrimination of all youth irrespective of ability.

But he acknowledges that youth with disabilities have never really formed part of the activities of the NYC.

“I have been in the youth movement for about 10 years and I have never educated myself on the challenges of the youth with disabilities. For a broader youth movement, we have the moral challenge to be more inclusive.

Young able-bodied young males are often beneficiaries of programmes with women and the disabled left out. This is not just a health issue but we should adopt a human rights-based approach,” Kapere says.

The NYC is currently running a survey on comprehensive sexual education for the youth, and Kapere says one focus should be the needs of young people with disabilities.

The NFPDN is also rolling out a living conditions survey, broadening its data base of people with disabilities, and including aspects such as gender, sources of income, education levels, access to health, and so on.

This survey, says Mutendere, should be completed by the end of next year. Mutendere lost the use of his legs in a car accident 18 years ago.

“The biggest thing when something like this happens to you is to accept the fact that you, a previously physically active person, will now be constraint in a wheelchair,” he says.

His accident was just before independence, and he was interned for one year where he was put through a very painful - but thorough - rehabilitation process, he adds. “I would not want to criticise the public services today, but since independence, people in a similar position are discharged from hospital after a month or two. The survival rate of these people who are sent home before being giving sufficient physiotherapy, or occupational and orthopedic assistance is very low. People should get proper rehabilitation after they are stabilised physically.”

Fransiena Hambira (22), who was paralysed after contracting polio as a young child, the future of disabled people can be bright.

“I have no complaints. I am a model [she will take part in the Miss Ability competition later this month] and an athlete. The only reason why I did not take part in the Olympics this year is because I did not have a coach,” says the wheelchair bound Hambira.

Her only problem - as with so many other young people in her position - is that they lagged behind at school because they are often laid off sick, and therefore do not have as many employment chances as their able -bodies peers.

This is the same problem Simpson Gariseb (30) has. His hands became deformed after having polio as a child, and since he has completed his Grade 10, he has not been able to land a job.

“There are so many disabled young people who start drinking and abusing drugs because they do not know what to do,” says Gariseb.

But the blind Simon Consta (26) has been able to finish his secondary schooling and a teacher’s degree. He is now hopeful that he will find a job at a special school next year.

Consta lost his vision when had measles and was not taken to hospital in time.

At the time he was living with his grandmother in a village in Oshana.

Albertina Ndapuka (26) of OYD is also hopeful. She has had her left leg blown off by a bomb in 1992. Ndapuka has since completed a diploma in carpentry and joinery, and in the absence of a job, she thinks of joining the Polytechnic of Namibia to receive a training for trainers.

“There is a lot of discrimination in the job sector. If people see you have one or the other disability, they send you home,” says Ndapuka.

And this is where organisations for the disabled come in say De Wee and Mutendere.

“It is the society that disables us; it is our responsibility to give a voice to the voiceless,” says de Wee.

Adds Mutendere: “We must create collective noise and sensitise the general public. Our physical disabilities do not hamper our intellectual abilities.”



Persons with disabilities are excluded from war against HIV/AIDS

Written by George Kebaso
Tuesday, 04 November 2008

Communication barrier has been identified as the major factor hindering persons with disabilities from accessing health care services they are entitled.

Just days since the Kenya AIDS Survey 2007 was published, reflecting a precarious situation facing persons with disabilities, evidence shows that most of the deaf are highly stigmatised. And according to Elizabeth Naliaka of Dandora Deaf Self Help Group (DDSHG), stigmatisation discourages the persons with disabilities from coming out in the open to declare their status.

It is also sad that majority of these people get their first encounter with sexual intercourse through rape. “And this is the biggest challenge for me given the fact I am deaf,” said also a member of DDSHG. Cecilia Wairimu is challenged of hearing and is jobless. She did not know how and where to access HIV awareness message.

She is however grateful that through the Liverpool Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Centre, she can access healthcare services including the provision of Antiretroviral (ARVs).

She said due to lack of proper communication, persons with disability can not reach the police for assistance.

A 16-year old girl and challenged of hearing was raped and left for dead in Dandora. She was living with her ailing grandmother.

According to Wairimu, it was difficult for the DDSHG to reach Nairobi Women’s hospital for assistance.

These and others are daily facts that were raised in a report surveyed by Steadman Research group commissioned by Handicap International recently that was launched in Nairobi.

The report showed that HIV/AIDS among persons with disabilities in Kenya puts the group in an even more precarious situation owing to the challenges they face.

According to the report, awareness of HIV by persons with disability stands at 91 per cent. Releasing the report at a Nairobi hotel, HI Disability Manager in Kenya, Farida Asindwa, Executive Director, Handicap International said this is lower compared to the national awareness score of 98.3 per cent men, according to Kenya Health Demographic Survey of 2003.

More than 50 per cent of the care-givers according to the report; are not making effort of passing information on HIV and AIDS to people with mental disability.

Further, the report reveals that, HIV testing among persons with disability, except those impaired of hearing, is low.

A look at various groupings of people with disabilities and how they stand on HIV testing, 83 per cent of persons challenged of hearing had taken an HIV test compared with 44 percent of those that with physical disability and 34 per cent of people with visual impairedness.

But the report says none of the mentally challenged people in the rural areas had taken an HIV test. “Twenty per cent of the deaf, 14 per cent of persons with physical disability and 11 per cent of the visually impaired who are sexually active recorded multiple partners in the six months preceding the survey,” says the report.

According to Nicole Curti, HI Regional Advisor on HJIV and AIDS, the study confirmed that persons with disabilities are at risk of contracting HIV through sexual violence, especially the women.

She told Africa Science News Service that the findings of the survey commissioned by HI, confirms that persons with disabilities need special focus in the fight against HIV and AIDS pandemic in Kenya.

The study using both primary and secondary research covered 157 caregivers and captured those with severe and mild intellectual disability.

HI commissioned the study to obtain scientifically processed information concerning the knowledge, attitude and practice among persons with disabilities on HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2008 )



Church assists disabled with wheel chairs

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has presented 750 wheel chairs worth 100,000 dollars to the Department of Social Welfare for distribution to disabled persons in three regions of the country this year.

They are Ashanti, Central and Greater Accra Regions and the gesture formed part of its social responsibility towards improving the living conditions of the vulnerable. Mr Charles Millet, Officer in-charge of the church’s charity in Ghana, announced this at the presentation of 250 wheel chairs to Ashanti Regional Office of Department of Social Welfare for distribution to some disabled persons in the Region in Kumasi on Monday.

He said last year, the church presented 600,000 wheel chairs to 60 countries world wide and provided some relief items to 52 countries as humanitarian gesture.

Mr Pascal Osei-Twumasi, Ashanti Regional Director of the Department who received the items, said Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Region had complied with government’s directive to support people with disabilities with five per cent of their share of the Common Fund.

This, he said, had contributed immensely towards enhancing their welfare and survival. Mr Osei-Twumasi expressed appreciation to the church for its support and appealed to individuals, churches and organizations to assist government in the maintenance of the needy in society to contribute meaningfully towards the country’s socio-economic development.

He later presented 24 of the chairs to some disabled persons in Kumasi Metropolis and advised them to make judicious use of them.

Master Prince Debrah, a beneficiary expressed appreciation for the gesture that would improve their welfare.




Gov't Urged To Prioritize Liberians With Disability

Wednesday, 5th November 2008
D. Webster Cassell

...As US Based Advocates Group Identifies With JFK, Others

US-based disabled advocacy group, the Florence A. Tolbert and Disabled Advocacy Inc. has continued its effort to improve the livelihood of destitute Liberians living with disabilities with a call on government to prioritize Liberians living with disabilities.

Speaking at a presentation ceremony held at the John F. Kennedy Hospital (JFK) through its Rehabilitation Department, the disable advocacy CEO, Mr. Samuel S. Dean, Sr., urged the Liberian Government to prioritize the well-being of Liberian with disabilities by empowering them in several areas of disciplines.

Mr. Dean, who also presented fifteen wheel chairs to disabled street beggars, said that being a disabled does not necessarily mean that you are an outcast in the society. At the same time, he challenged the disabled to make them self-sufficient and resourceful in their communities so as to contribute positively to the society.

The US-based Advocacy Group however urged the Liberian Government to have accessible incentives for disabled Liberians so as to encourage them in whatever they find themselves doing.

According to him, there is also a great need for experts, orthopedic technicians, who he said would come to assist in producing orthopedic materials, which according to him could help some disabled Liberians regain mobility to some extent.

Additionally, he called on the senators and representatives of various counties to assist in the distribution process so as to ensure that additional wheel chairs are taken to other disabled Liberians living in the rural areas.

The FATDA Inc boss however noted that by so doing the disabled populace in the rural counties would benefit from the distribution and form part of its nation wide effort aimed at improving the livelihood of every Liberian living with disability.

He also called on the Liberian government and the international community to help facilitate the sponsorship of planned trips intended to take some of the wheel chairs to clinics and hospitals in rural Liberia so as to assist in administering proper medi-care in other parts of the country.

Mr. Dean further said that he was glad to see the needed disabled benefit from the distribution process and then urged the disabled not to get involved in any act that would lead to the selling of the wheel chairs given them.

At the same time, he praised the Bomi County, Senator Richard Divine for facilitating a trip to Bomi County which saw FATDA Inc presenting over nineteen wheel chairs to the county’s main hospital and other disabled Liberians.

Mr. Dean also lauded his overseas partner for providing the wheel chairs and noted that the distribution is a clear example that Liberians are ready to assist in the human resource development aspect of the country.

Responding on behalf of the JFK, Mr. Aaron Marvolo, Director of JFK Rehab Department, lauded the leadership of FATDA Inc for the gesture and urged him to increase the quantity of consignment during future distributions.

Mr. Marvolo added that the JFK Rehab Center is there to provide repairs whenever the wheel chairs develop problems, stressing that it should also serve as a means to keep them off the streets.

He further said that being a disabled does not make them to be unable to do any meaningful thing in the society.

Mr. Marvolo however requested that the FATDA Inc include crutches and other spare parts for the wheel chairs in the next distribution.



Princess Lalla Salma chairs show of China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe

Rabat, Nov. 5 (MAP) - Princess Lalla Salma, spouse of king Mohammed VI, chaired, Tuesday evening at the Mohammed V National Theater, a show by the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe.

The "My dream" show, initiated by the Ministry of Culture, China Embassy and the Mohammed VI National Center for the Disabled, is part of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Rabat.

"My dream," an exceptional singing and dancing show, allowed deaf, partially sighted and disabled artists to express their feelings through their dances and traditional costumes.

China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe was established in 1987, subject to China Disabled Persons' Federation. It is a mass art troupe of amateur organization and professional management, with is troupers coming from all over the country, including the visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled and Mental Handicapped.

It toured some 18 countries, including Switzerland, the U.S, Egypt, Australia, Japan and Italy.

Last modification 11/05/2008 12:37 PM.



Public service urged to cater for disabled

Patrick Hlahla
November 05 2008 at 02:03PM

Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Ntombazana Botha has expressed concern at the public service's failure to properly cater for people with disabilities.

Speaking at the launch of an exhibition of works by people with disabilities at the National Cultural History Museum on Monday, Botha said: "We are not doing well with disability equity in the public service."

The exhibition features photographs from a coffee table book, Look at Me - a ground-breaking work telling the stories of disabled South African women.

It profiles women in a holistic way, portraying them as beings that have needs and skills like every other woman.

Botha said she was disturbed that her own department (Arts and Culture) was not doing well with the issue of catering for people with disabilities.

"But I am happy that the department has now taken the initiative to assist people with disabilities.

"The profiling of people with disabilities should be high on our agenda," Botha said.

She said the majority of people with disabilities come from the poorer provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

"We need to put more resources in those provinces.

"We also need to eradicate poverty, especially among people with disabilities".

Botha said 2008 was a very significant year for South Africa and that the country will mark the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3.

"The major focus is on raising awareness through practical action," she said.

Marlene le Roux, who compiled the coffee table book, said it was aimed at changing perceptions about people with disabilities.

"It is hoped that it will change the mindset of South Africans," she said.

Le Roux said it is always a challenge for people with disabilities.

"One of the problems is that people with disabilities are lumped together," she said.

"People with disabilities have different challenges," Le Roux said.



Impaired Learners Get a Library

Thursday, 6th of November 2008

By Frederick Philander

WINDHOEK - A well-equipped library for the intellectually impaired learners at the government Moreson School in the capital was officially opened last Friday.

The library, stocked with 300 books, was made possible by an American volunteer teacher, Wesley Cymermann, working at the school for almost a year as part of a World Teach Project.

“The intellectually impaired learners of this school are very fortunate to have a library at our school. Though not all learners will be able to read, I know our teachers will take this opportunity to train the learners to make use of the library,” said the school principal, Celie Strauss at the opening.

Invited guests, a senior official of the Ministry of Education and parents attended the event.

The school was started 35 years ago in Khomasdal by private initiative by the then Association for the Handicapped. It became a government institution in 1990 after independence under special education.

The school has a staff component of 14 and 84 learners from around the country.

The school also caters for all kinds of mentally impaired. The teaching approach is of a practical nature by specially trained teachers.

The school will stage a fundraising day on November 28 and 29 for toys and other teaching aids.



He will lobby for Disability Policy implementation

Among the things that Mndzebele will lobby for as a member of Senate is the drafting and implementation of a disability policy in the country.

Without such a document to guide our fortunes, the country can never be said to be addressing issues of people with disabilities. I have heard that such a policy was being drafted and was nearing completion, but what is surprising is that “we have never been invited to make an input, then you ask yourself whose policy is it anyways,” Senator Mndzebele stated with a chuckle during an interview this week. He continued that it was the policy that can deal with other matters like discrimination against disabled people which has cost them dearly, their advancement in the country. He continued that he will also fight for the ratification and domestication of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Disabled, which he says can be compared to a ‘Magna Carta’ of disabled people’s rights and welfare.
“Well, I must state that as a country, we do have a tendency to sign for things when we are not prepared mentally and politically. Well, other Senators must brace themselves for serious lectures about this convention which the country has already signed. It will open their minds to a lot of things, currently not available for disabled people in the country.” He made an example of the construction industry in the country, saying according to the convention, every building where the public goes to get assistance of any kind, should have a wheelchair ramp to accommodate physically challenged people.

‘We are citizens of this country, and we should enjoy the rights, advantages and benefits enjoyed by all other citizens from any sector of the populace.” Senator Mndzebele continued that he will also lobby for the establishment of a Disabled Fund, where such people can get loans to start small enterprises so they can make a living, since companies and industries are reluctant to employ disabled people.

“For example, we have three vocational colleges for disabled people in the country, but no one ever follows the progress of the products of such colleges, hence they go back home and waste as they can hardly find employment. Such a fund can assist greatly in this regard.”

He also mentioned the establishment of a disability grant, which would be similar to the elderly grants, saying many disabled elderly people, especially in the rural areas would be greatly enhanced by such a grant.

He would also like to see special education being introduced in all our schools, saying there was no point in uprooting a disabled child and dumping it at institutes like St Joseph’s school for the disabled, saying it were communities that know its disabled people and they (communities) should know and understand the needs of its disabled people. “We need total integration to do away with the evil of stigmatisation.”

He also hinted about laws that will force companies to hire a certain percentage of disabled people to boost their employment opportunities, while also greatly reducing their suffering.

Mndzebele said every Swazi should enjoy equal opportunities as Swazi citizens, while adding that a HIV and Aids policy for disabled people should also be prioritised.

He made an example of blind people, who go through the trauma of rape.

“The perpetrators of such normally go scot-free as the evidence provided by a blind rape survivor does not normally hold water according to the country’s laws. The evidence is considered doubtful as the person is supposed to not have seen the perpetrator since she was blind. Courts should ensure justice even for the disabled people. All such loopholes have to be tightened, and it is the kind of things that I will seriously lobby for.”



Nigeria: Anirank - Lesson in 'Ability in Disability'

Daily Independent (Lagos)
7 November 2008
Posted to the web 7 November 2008

Victor Ebimomi

It is a common thing in the contemporary Nigerian society to see people with slight disabilities taking to the streets to beg for alms.

In some states, such as Lagos, the practice has become so worrisome that on several occasions, successful governments had had cause to take drastic steps to curb the practice. It is understandable that the allure in Lagos is because of its status as the commercial epicentre of the country, as such, it attracts beggars from outside the state like bees to honey.

But despite the preponderance of the practice, there still exists a set of people with disabilities who will never venture into such odd way of earning a living; rather they are ready to give to other people, both the disabled and able-bodied. They are ever ready to explore their potentialities because, to them, there is strong ability in disability. One of such people is Anayo Kirian Onyejiaka, who is suffering from the paralysis of the legs.

Popular known as Anirank by his friends and admirers, he has become a preacher of sorts against begging, just as he has taken the mantle to bring out the best in other people like him. To achieve this, he takes to music, which, according to him, he discovers as an area where he is potentially great and can easily propagate the message.

"I am using the medium to reach out to the people, who have problems in different ways, particularly I am using the opportunity to touch those of my kind so that they would not be thinking too much or that they are finished but to believe that God is by their side and that with Him they could survive," he said.

He added: "It is also to encourage and inspire those who have great potentialities in them to believe that they can use them to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life."

Not done yet, in November 1996, he went into what could be described as direct battle against begging, as he started a foundation known as Anirank Foundation with office in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government. Today, the foundation has 18 members, including five girls, who are not only discouraging begging by their personal achievements, but are also showcasing their potential beyond the expectations of average persons who have for long associated disability with begging. They engage in computer operation, cloth making and hairdressing, among other vocations.

"The purpose of the foundation is to change the common impression that the only thing the physically challenged people know is to be begging for alms," he explained, lamenting that many physically challenged persons even have the wrong impression that the only way they can survive is by begging. "As far as I am concerned, that is a very wrong thing. If you think your situation is the worst, it is a lie. What of those that are blind," he queried.

He noted that the society itself is not helping matters, as it makes some people with disabilities to lack confidence in themselves.

The foundation, he said, is assisting the physically challenged but with great potential to realise their dreams just like he is doing with his music.

"We are already reaching out to those with potential. We want them to come forward, leave begging and develop themselves. The message is that if you know you are physically challenged and you have potential, do not hide it, make the best out of it rather than going about begging; there is no amount of money they will give you on the street that will be enough for you. Don't waste the talent that God gives you. Look inwards, assess yourself and release your potential," he counselled.

To Anirank, disability goes beyond physical thing; it is more of a thing of the mind. "As long as your brain is working, how you look like does not matter. If your hand is not working but your brain is working, you can still achieve something," he said.

Recalling his personal experience, he said though he finished secondary school, he believed that it was his determination and brain that were working for him.

His words: "When I realised that on finishing schooling, it would not be easy getting job because of the Nigerian environment, I quickly went into music to raise money and make ends meet as well as to finance the foundation."

So far, the foundation, he said, has been able to rehabilitate some people in need even though the major source of revenue is through musical shows, which enjoy the support of many popular musicians.

"When we started, we involved Daniel Wilson, Daddy Showkey, Daddy Fresh and others. Since them, many musicians have come to our help," he recalled, stressing that come Friday, one of such musical shows is going to take place at Comfort Hotel, Olodi-Apapa.

According to Anirank, the major target now is to establish a centre for the disabled where they can use as an avenue to discover themselves and showcase their potential. Once this is achieved, he said, the project would be expanded beyond Lagos to cover other parts of the country.

To him, it is lamentable that people living with disabilities are often neglected whereas if they were assisted, it would reduce their burden on the society.

"If I have my way to see Governor Babatunde Fashola or President Umaru Yar'Adua, I will advise that they build special institutions for the disabled and they will never regret because that will reduce the burden of such people on the society," he stressed.

Buttressing his point, he argued: "It is a very wrong thing if anybody is looking down on the physically challenged people. I believe that there is nobody that is not challenged. There are some people whose hands and legs are complete but their brains are not functioning very well. There are some whose brains are functioning well but how to use the brain is a problem."

Based on this, the foundation is free for both the physically challenged and able-bodied, except that it gives preference to the disabled.

"For those who are physically challenged and have potential, it is free. All they need is just to collect form. Those not disabled are also free to join because we also help them," he explained.



Nigeria: Physically Challenged Urges Disabled Persons to Stop Begging

Daily Trust (Abuja)
9 November 2008
Posted to the web 10 November 2008

Ibraheem A. Fatai

People living with disabilities have been advised to look for better means of livelihood rather than engage in begging.This advice was given by Rabiu Abdullahi, 28, a physically challenged person, whose legs have been paralyzed since the age of five.

Abdullahi told City News that he was once a beggar but because of the degrading nature of the act, he decided to abandon it completely and opt for a more decent form of livelihood.

"Now I'm selling materials such as identity card holders, sports souvenirs and stationery and since I started this trade, my life has changed from that of a beggar to that of a self-employed person," he said proudly.

Rabiu's position was supported by another disabled man, Aminu Shehu, 30, who trades in sports souvenirs at Wuse Market.

Shehu recalled the way people looked down on him when he was begging for alms to survive and he said the embarrassment motivated him to quit begging for trading.

"I've now discovered that with a small amount of money, you can engage in petty trading and your daily bread will be assured, he said.

Another disabled person, Jamilu Aliyu, 24, called on well- meaning Nigerians, NGOs and the government to come to the aid of beggars by empowering them economically.



Angola: Head of State Invited to Sponsor Disabled People's NGO

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
9 November 2008
Posted to the web 10 November 2008


The Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, has been invited to be the patron of the non governmental organisation "African Decade of Disabled Persons", as from the year 2009.

This information was given last Friday by the executive secretary of the mentioned NGO, Thomas Ongolo, during a press conference at which he made a balance of his visit to Angola that started on November 04.

This NGO works on improving conditions of disabled people, as well as on the ratification of the new International Human Rights Convention for Disabled People and the implementation of the convention on the creation of employment for disabled persons.

According to Thomas Ongolo, this invitation was made last Thursday during a meeting he held with the Angolan minister of Welfare and Social Reintegration, João Baptista Kussumua, and has to be reiterated by all of the southern Africa countries.

"During the audience we had with minister Kussumua, we were requested to instruct all southern Africa countries to make this invitation to the Angolan Head of State (...)" Thomas Ongolo revealed.

He also explained that his visit was aimed at making contacts with Angolan association that work for the benefit of disabled people and check the kind of work they have been doing in favour of this group of citizens.

"We held meetings with Ammiga, Anda, Cvia, Lardef, Faped and the Lwini Fund, and we are really impressed with the work being carried out by these associations (...)", he admitted.

Thomas Ongolo also revealed that the executive secretariat of his organisation intends to open an office in Angola, to be under the responsibility of the association ANDA, so as to facilitate the flow of information throughout the continent.

Last October 27-31 was held in Windhoek, Namibia, the first session of the African Union Conference of minister in charge of social development, a gathering that approved matters linked to the improvement of disabled people's living standards.














GADHOH’s headquarters and learning centre inaugurated

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) on Wednesday inaugurated its headquarters and learning centre, located in the Kanifing extension layout.

The new centre will give GADHOH the opportunity to further develop its services to deaf people, as the organisation is carrying out projects that are meant to help improve the living conditions of deaf people.

Giving the opening remarks, Amadou Touray - hounorary life president of GADHOH - said deaf people are part of the society and they need to be fully supported. He appealed to donors and philantrophists to come on board and support GADHOH.

The Alkalo of Bakau, Luntang Jaiteh described the occasion as important. He then recalled that the deaf are now attending GTTI and studying different fields. He also thanked the donors for funding the building of the complex.

For his part, Doudou Loum, the executive director of the charitable organisation, which is being run by deaf people, noted that a lot of achievements have been made over these past years.

In his keynote address, Muhammed Kora thanked the donors on behalf of the disabled family of the Gambia. He further stated that being deaf or dumb does not stop them from achieving something in life.

Roger Hewitt of Education Development in UK expressed his delight to be in the Gambia and seized the opportunity to thank V.S.O for their support to GADHOH. Mrs. Isatou Sanyang, director of the female wing, gave the vote of thanks.



Fashion Show for Students with Special Needs Raises Awareness

The Culture Unit of the Department of Culture Sports and Recreation in collaboration with Disability Support Services and Mr and Miss UB Office held a Fashion Show for students with Special Needs at Riverwalk on November 15, 2008 in recognition of Disability Awareness Week celebrated to promote the rights of people with disabilities world wide.

This year’s theme See beyond the Disability recognizes that People with Disabilities (PWDs) have much to offer to contribute to their local communities. It encourages people and communities to focus on a person’s achievement and abilities rather than their disability. At times the society tends to evaluate people with disabilities not by their abilities and achievements, but by their disability.

The aim of the Disability Awareness Week, among others, is to encourage positive attitudes towards students with disabilities, make communities a better place for everyone, sensitize communities on disability issues and improve their access to facilities.

This event attracted a huge audience from around and outside Gaborone who was treated with cat-walk models dressed in fashionable clothing from Options, Billabong, Hotness, UB Souvenir Shop and Nelly Modiga, a local designer with Disability. The audience also enjoyed great entertainment displayed by UB Diphala Traditional Dance, UB Poet and the MC of the Day Kabo Matlho.

Participating models were drawn from the University of Botswana and I am Special Education Society. They were awarded cosmetic gifts from sponsored by Status Soap and World of Music. The Culture Unit is thrilled at the supportive response given by the audience and the parents of the participants. It became evident that students with special needs have the urge and need for such exposure and socialization.

The sum of P 365.00 raised from the event was formally handed over to the management of I am Special Education Society. The event was sponsored by River Walk, Status Soap, World of Music, UB Souvenir Shop, Choppies Distribution Centre, Eureka Wholesales, and Glamour Salon. Others who supported the events include Btv, Daily News, Radio Botswana 1, RB2 and Yarona FM, and UB Horizon.



KNUST to offer courses in Disability Studies

Kumasi, Nov 17, GNA - The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), will from next academic year, begin Disability Studies, Rehabilitation and Development programmes at the School of Medical Sciences (SMS).

The programmes, which will be at the undergraduate and post graduate levels will commence after approval had been received from the National Accreditation Board and the University's Academic Board. The introduction of the programmes had become necessary due to the approval of the Capacity Building and Community Health for the Prevention and Response to Disability Project.

The project is being financed by the Netherlands government, through the Netherlands Programme for the Institutional Strengthening of Post-Secondary Education and Training Capacity (NUFFIC). Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, Vice Chancellor of the University, made this known at a sod-cutting ceremony on Monday for the construction of the first phase of the KNUST Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (CEDRES) at the KNUST campus, where the programmes will be offered.

The first phase which will comprise the construction of classroom blocks, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre, library, conference hall, toilet facilities and car park is expected to cost about 300,000 euros.

Professor Adarkwa said other components of the Disability Project would include staff capacity building through Ph.D and Master of Science training and staff/student exchange programmes with some reputable universities in the Netherlands and South Africa. Other components are short courses for disabled peoples organizations as well as collaboration research in disability issues and the subsequent creation of a credible database in Ghana and the sub-region.

He said the programme, which was the first in West Africa, had strong links with the Foundation Africa Next Door, an international Non Governmental Organisation and the Disabled People's Organisation. Professor Adarkwa said KNUST appreciated the challenges confronting disabled citizens in Ghana and would initiate programmes that would ensure their full integration into society.

Dr Anthony K. Edusei, Project Manager, said the Disability Project aimed at "finding ability in disability" through capacity building to help address all forms of disability be it physical, visual, speech and hearing, mental and intellectual.

He said the project sought to realize these through the establishment of advanced education capacity in disability and rehabilitation in Ghana and the creation of research and development capacity in the field of disability and rehabilitation.

Dr Edusei said this would contribute in ensuring better integration into society and creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities in Ghana.

Nana Anokye Frimpong Ababio, Paramount Chief of Asante Agona Traditional Area, said through the centre, Ghana would accept that disability was not inability and that given equal opportunities, people with disability could contribute positively to national development.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=153222 http://news.myjoyonline.com/education/200811/22865.asp


Eritrea: Ministry Striving to Enable Disabled Persons And Needy Families in Mendefera Sub-Zone Become Self-Supporting

Shabait.com (Asmara)
18 November 2008
Posted to the web 18 November 2008


Efforts are being stepped up in Mendefera sub-zone to enable disabled persons and needy families become self-supporting and productive through extending different types of assistance, according to Mr. Tesfagabir Gebreslassie, branch head of the Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare in the sub-zone.

He indicated that about 3 million Nakfa interest-free loan has been extended over the past two years to 125 war-disabled nationals directed to agricultural activities, dairy farming and business ventures. Mr. Tesfagabir further pointed out that the branch office has extended school materials and paid tuition fees to more than 200 needy students and street children.

Moreover, the branch office, in collaboration with the government's garage, offered training to 10 children who have already secured job opportunity in mechanics, electricity and metal works.



アルビノの6歳少女、殺害後に手足を切断され持ち去られる ブルンジ

【11月18日 AFP】ブルンジの首都ブジュンブラ(Bujumbura)の東220キロにあるBugongoで17日深夜、アルビノ(先天性白皮症)の6歳の女の子が殺害され、バラバラに切断される事件が起きた。犯人たちは呪術師に関係しているとの疑いをもたれている。地元当局者が明らかにした。



ブルンジ・ルイギ(Ruyigi)県のニコデメ・ガヒンバレ(Nicodeme Gahimbare)主任検察官は、「今回殺害された少女は、9月以来ルイギ県で発生している野蛮な犯罪の3人目の犠牲者だ。犯人を見つけるために全力をあげる」と語った。






Nigeria: 20 Disabled Students Get Health Insurance

Muhammad Abubakar
18 November 2008

Bauchi - Twenty students with various forms of disabilities who are receiving training in vocational skills from the "Challenge Your Disability Initiative" (CYDI) have been registered for the National Health Insurance Scheme by a health maintenance organization, Healthcare International.

Presenting Healthcare International identity cards to the wife of the Bauchi State governor and founder of CYDI in Bauchi, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Tosin Awosika, said the gesture was in support of the activities of the project in uplifting the standard of life of the disabled.

He said the ID cards would help the students to get free access to healthcare such as out-patient care, laboratory tests, drugs, hospitalization, specialist care, eye care and dental care among others.

Meanwhile, the wife of the Bauchi State governor and founder of CYDI , Hajia Hauwa Abiodun Isa Yuguda has presented a bill for a law to establish the Bauchi State Agency for Persons Living with Disability to the state House of Assembly.

Presenting the bill before the Public Service Committee of the House, Hajia Hauwa Abiodun expressed concern that a number of disabled people in the state were not being adequately catered for in the areas of provision of education, healthcare and protection of their rights as citizens. She said a survey conducted by CYDI at its inception in 2007on the blind, lepers, cripple and the deaf found that they required urgent attention in the state to make them relevant, calling on the state legislators to expatiate action on the bill to ensure that it was passed into law for the good of the disabled in the state.

In his response while receiving the memo from the governor's wife, the chairman, Public Service Committee of the House, Babayo Garba Dali, assured that it would be presented to the House for deliberation and passage.



Deaf deserve better - disability boss

Wednesday, 19th November, 2008

By Francis Emorut

THE National Curriculum Development Centre (NCC) should design a syllabus that adequately caters for children with disabilities.

If this is implemented the children will be able compete favourably with their peers who are not disabled, an education official has said.

Juliet Tumuhairwe, the head teacher of the Uganda School for the Deaf, said on Tuesday that it was unfair for children with disabilities to sit the same examinations with their colleagues who do not have any disability.

She cited English Language as a subject where deaf pupils perform poorly because of difficulty to interpret using sign language. “I appeal to the NCC to modify the syllabus to take care of the deaf learners,” Tumuhairwe told journalists at a press conference at the school in Ntinda, Kampala.

The school has organised a charity walk code-named; “Silent Walk” on November 29 to create awareness of the plight of the deaf children. The walk is also meant to raise funds for a vocational centre to be constructed in the school campus.

Tumuhairwe said the centre is expected to offer the children skills in carpentry, computer science, tailoring and home economics and is estimated to cost sh800m.

The walk is scheduled to start at Buganda Road Primary School, go through the city centre and end at the Peoples’ Space at Hotel Africana.

Gordon Wavamunno, the proprietor of Spear Motors, is expected to be the chief walker.

The walk is sponsored by Phoenix, National Insurance Corporation, and Capital Radio among other organisations.



Tema West parliamentary candidates engage in debate

Tema, Nov 19, GNA - Two parliamentary candidates contesting the Tema West constituency seat have promised to address pertinent issues facing people with disability in the constituency when voted to parliament on December 07.

Mr George Medie and Mr Isaac Kofi Asempa, parliamentary candidates for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People's Party (CPP) respectively gave the promise on Monday during a parliamentary debate for parliamentary candidates in the constituency. Madam Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was however absent from the debate. The one and a half hour debate, which was organized by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) was attended by residents of the constituency, students of the State School for the Deaf and other physically challenged persons.

The constituency covers communities two, three, five, six, 10, 11, 12, Lashibi, Sakumono and Adjei Kojo.

The two took turns to answer questions on local government, sanitation, youth employment, violence and other national issues, asked by the moderators Mr Kofi Quantson, a member of the Coalition of Election Observers and Dr Bashiru Koray of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled.

Mr Medie stated that he has already initiated a project to establish a special school to cater for children with disability in the constituency.

He said under the project, parents would be trained to properly care and educate their physically challenged children, adding that, the State School for the Deaf, which is located in the constituency, would also receive infrastructural improvement.

Mr Asempa on his part said a CPP government would ensure that two percent of the district assembly's common fund would be given to the disabled federation to address welfare problems of its members. He noted that the CPP would also establish a National Disability Council with offices in all the districts in the country, to effectively handle the numerous problems facing physically challenged persons. The two candidates agreed that district chief executives should be elected to ensure accountability as well as strengthen the local governance system.

They also shared common view that unit committee members should be paid to motivate them to work efficiently and effectively for the rapid development of the districts.

Mr Theodore Dzeble, Public Affairs Officer of CDD-Ghana in a welcome address said the Centre organized the parliamentary debates in 30 constituencies in all the 10 regions of the country, as part of its programmes to make this year's election campaign issue-based and less personality driven, to enable the electorates make informed choices during the polls.

Mr Dzeble further stated that training programmes have also been held for all the parliamentary aspirants in the 30 selected constituencies to help candidates effectively communicate their programmes to the electorates.

He said the criteria for the selection of the constituencies included traditional strongholds of specific political traditions, electoral areas prone to violent conflicts, constituencies with female candidates or disabled candidates, and seats that were keenly contested in previous elections and those likely to be intensely contested during the forth coming elections. 19 Nov 08




Blunkett: Enrol more disabled in universities

By JOHN NGIRACHUPosted Wednesday, November 19 2008 at 21:56

Kenyan universities should reduce the entry marks for disabled students, a visiting British MP has said.

Mr David Blunkett, himself blind and a former Education minister, said the reduced cut-off points would greatly benefit the disabled students, some of whom already faced the challenge of learning in schools that do not make special provisions for them.

The Joint Admissions Board allows the admission of women who have two points below the set cut-off points.

He said this was one of the ways Kenya could reduce the burden of caring for disabled people. A survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics this year put the disabled population at five per cent, an estimated 1.5 million.

Speaking during a visit to Education minister Sam Ongeri, Mr Blunkett said this, coupled with additional investment in education for the disabled at lower levels, would pay off in the future by having the disabled take care of themselves.

Extra energy

“The disabled are always willing to put in extra energy for success and education is the main driver of development and will make them self-sufficient. In deprived areas, it is a matter of checking whether the kids can actually make it to school,” Mr Blunkett said.

Prof Ongeri said the ministry had this year increased the allocation towards the provision of teaching and learning materials for special needs students to Sh400 million. The ministry, he added, allocated an additional Sh4,000 above the Sh1,020 per student under the free primary education programme.

He said the ministry was developing a policy on students with special needs.

Prof Ongeri said the Kenya Institute of Education, now reviewing the curriculum, would make special provisions for such students, with the Kenya National Examination Council expected to follow suit.

NGOs say a blind learner needs Sh18,000 per year to be at par with their able-bodied counterparts. Sight Savers International country director Nancy Thuo said copyright laws prevented the organisation from converting KIE books into tapes and braille for blind students.

Prof Ongeri said he would look into the matter so that the laws could be lifted in dealing with materials for the blind.




た。Mainstreaming Disability Issues in Japanese and Finnish
Development Policies and Practices.  研究に参加してくださっ

のであわせておしらせいたします。Downside of the Human
Rights-Based Approach to Disability in Development.






本日は11月の25日から28日までUNESCOとIBE(International Bureau of Education)が開催した、ICE(International Conference on Education)のご報告をしたく投稿いたしました。


会議では、“Approaches, Scope and Content”、”Public Policies”、”Systems, Links andTransitions”、”Learners and Teachers”という四つの分科会で議論が行われ、最終日には勧告が決議されました。

私 は普通学校で学んだ視覚障害当事者として”Learners and Teachers”の分科会で発表する機会をいただきました。













※ この研究会の成果については来年に出版予定です。メモ程度にお読みく

2008年12月4日 宮本

は国連経済社会問題局のKei Nagata氏と宮本の2名だった。


3-1 東京外大 亀井伸孝氏の発表

・ 政府統計を障害者団体が信じない背景には、家族や村民が障害児・障害
・ DPPHの部長は、たまたま就職後に失明した人をそのポジションに当てた
・ 公務員採用は、各障害者団体がバラバラにリストを提出し、政府がそれ



Disabled seek better status

By SAMMY CHEBOI Posted Sunday, November 30 2008 at 21:45

The Government has been urged to fully implement the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003 to improve the welfare of those living with disabilities.

Failure to fully enforce the Act, which came into effect in 2004, has denied people with disabilities a chance to seek tax exemption, Mr Simon Ndubai of the Federation of People with Disabilities said on Sunday.

Despite progress having been made in promoting the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities, he said, a lot more needed to be done.

He cited failure to enforce Section 35 of the Act, which provides for tax exemption.

“All persons with disabilities, who are in receipt of an income may apply to the minister responsible for finance for exemption from income tax and any other levies on such income,” states section 35 (one) of the Act.

Mr Ndubai said it was hypocritical to deny those with disabilities their rights while MPs were refusing to pay taxes.

Speaking during a press conference in Nairobi ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to be marked on December 3 worldwide, Mr Ndubai said provisions of the Act were being ignored even by Government agencies.

“The provision for reservation of five per cent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions in employment in the public and private sectors for persons with disabilities is not being observed. Not even by the Public Service Commission,” he said.

He said failure to establish the proposed National Development Fund for Persons with Disabilities was confining those who were supposed to benefit to poverty and dependence on handouts.


The Government has established funds for youths and women so that they can venture into income-generating projects.

He said the theme of this year’s celebrations was “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and Justice for all of us”.

The celebrations will be held at the Wamagana playground in Tetu East Division, Nyeri District.



Simphiwe scoops Miss Deaf title

By Mphikeleli Msibi

SIMPHIWE Magagula, a Form one pupil at the School for the Deaf in Siteki on Saturday walked away with the Miss Deaf Swaziland title, outclassing 10 other hopefuls.

This was during an event held at the school hall.

The beauty queen’s princesses are Sizakele Dladla (first) and Nomphilo Maseko (second).

The 10 hopefuls paraded in their casual wear, school uniform, swim wear and evening wear, sending the crowd into wild jubilation.

They looked stunning in their evening wear.

Miss Swaziland lincence holder, Vinah Mamba-Gray, Miss Swaziland first princess Nokwanda Simelane, Baby Sharp and Rheodora were among the panel of judges while Lenny Shoulder from Swazi TV was the MC.

The event was also attended by MPs Lutfo Dlamini, Macford Nsibandze, Joseph Souza, Mandla Dlamini, Robert Magongo and Nichodemus Mashwama.

The contestants were vibrant, bringing life to the whole event and each time they took to the stage the vibey audience screamed their lungs out.

The queen was obviously the audience’s favourite and it would seem the judges of the event made the right choice.

It would seem everyone approved of the judges’ decision as they all shouted in jubilation ,some going on stage to hug the winners.

The crowd would now and again scream each time Magagula took to the stage which might have worked to her advantage.

The top five girls oozed confidence and none of them were nervous. Of note is that they all got the questions right during the question and answer session.

After being pronounced the winner, Magagula said she had not expected to win.

“I am very excited about being crowned the winner. I thought it would be someone else and could not believe it after I was announced the winner,” Magagula said.

Her wish is to preach abstinence among the youth.

“I will definitely be a good ambassador and educate my peers on a number of issues affecting the youth in the country,” Magagula said.

She said she would love to help the needy and promised to be an ideal role model.

The event featured performances by a number of the school’s dance groups who all gave astounding performances, sending the crowd into a wild frenzy.

... Prize money

raised on the night

The prize money for the Miss Deaf Swaziland winners was raised on the same night.

Thanks to donations that were made by the MPs and certain individuals who attended the event. They were able to raise a total of E5 400.

The queen walked away with E2 000, first princess (1 500) and the second princess (E1 000).

Lenny Shoulder thanked all those who made the donations.

“There was no where else this money could have come from except from the very same people who attended the event. They did not only support by attendance but also donating for the prize money,” he said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Lutfo Dlamini also thanked all those who made donations.

“This initiative is supported by His Majesty King Mswati III and we should by all means be seen to be following his footsteps in as far as Miss Deaf Swaziland is concerned,” he said.

.... winners to spend

weekend at Orion

MINISTER Lutfo Dlamini has sponsored the three Miss Deaf Swaziland winners with a weekend at Orion Hotel in Pigg’s Peak.

“I was so touched to see the children doing this that my children who are not deaf can not do. It was so amazing to see them dancing and doing other entertainment activities,” he said.

He added that there was no better way of showing his appreciation other than taking the three winners to the Orion Hotel for a weekend.

“The teachers will have to strategises and find a weekend off for the winners. They will just enjoy themselves at the hotel,” he said.

... A cow for teachers

School for the Deaf teachers will celebrate the festive in style, Minister Lufto pledged to buy them a cow so that they could celebrate having done a wonderful work with the deaf pupils.

“This is not an easy job and its only fair to them that they get something as well. They take good care of these children and everybody can see that,” he said.

He added that they should just tell him that they had found the cow and he would pay for it.

“With the cow I just thank and appreciate you for the wonderful job you do with the children. It was because of you that we are seeing something some of us have never seen,”.

He added that it was so unbelievable to see the children dancing without missing the beat.

.... deaf dance group

to get E20 000

The School for the Deaf dance groups will be performing during Philani Maswati Charity Organisation’s activities and will get E20 000 for the services.

This was said by Minister Lufto Dlamini after seeing the children performing before the audience at the event.

“They have won my heart and they are now the ones who will be performing during the Philani Maswati Charity Organisation’s donations to be held at Lomahasha (December 26) and Tikhuba (January 1, 2009).”

He said the dance group would be entertaining the audience at the two places.

“Just allow all those who do not have money to get in, I will pay for them all,” he said.

Soon after that the doors were opened and everybody gained free entry thereafter.



Miss Deaf needs money for world contest By Mphikeleli Msibi

THE Miss Deaf Swaziland organising committee is appealing for funds from companies and individuals to send the winner to the Miss Deaf World Pageant. Simphiwe Magagula was over the weekend crowned Miss Deaf Swaziland during a contest held at the School For The Deaf in Siteki. She is now expected to represent the country at the Miss Deaf World 2009 pageant to be held in Peru next year. "We would love to see Miss Deaf Swaziland participating in the Miss Deaf World contest to be held next year," said Sizwe Ndlela, who is a teacher and director of the theatre programme at the School For The Deaf in Siteki.

Ndlela said their main concern was getting funding for the girl who would be attending the event.

"We appeal to companies and members of the public for funding to send the winner to Peru. There is still time to host other fundraising activities since the event will be held next year."

He added that His Majesty King Mswati III funded the programme in 2003 and 2004 and that the committee was grateful for the gesture.

Ndlela said they were at the moment not certain about the amount needed because they were waiting for the Miss Deaf World organisers to finalise a number of logistics concerning next year's event.

"The winner will be accompanied by her manager, interpreter and a chaperone. We are very much optimistic that the winner will eventually attend the Miss Deaf World pageant. We just have to start organising ourselves early for the event as soon as possible."

On another note, Ndlela thanked all who attended the Miss Deaf Swaziland contest over the weekend.

"I thank all those who supported the event, either by donating and attending. It was great to see people in their numbers."

He added that the attendance itself meant a lot to the pupils because it showed that they were loved. "I thank all those who supported the event, MPs, judges, performers, contestants and everyone who was at the contest," he said.

He added that they would regularly be updating members of the public about latest developments on the Miss Deaf World contest.

Objectives of the Miss Deaf Swaziland beauty pageant are to bring out the inherent talents of Deaf pupils, to develop artistic and creative ability of deaf pupils, elevate the image and self-confidence of the children and encourage and foster future leaders.

Others are to create a more caring and compassionate environment for the deaf pupils as well as to promote deaf culture and community.



Disabled persons urge on rights

Tuesday, 2nd December, 2008

By Vision Reporters

THE National Union of People with Disabilities of Uganda has called for urgent intervention by the Government to fight discrimination and stigma.

Executive director Michael Sebuliba said most societies consider people with disabilities as second-class citizens. He was speaking ahead of celebrations to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which will be marked today.

A statement on their website criticised the social development ministry for failing to include people with disabilies in its programmes.

But state minister for the elderly and disabled, Sulaiman Madada, cited the Universal Primary Education Act that requires parents to give first priority to children with disabilities.

“We also have the extra marks awarded to disabled students at secondary and higher education levels,” he said.



Zambia: Fortune's Rare Fortune Begins to Pay Off

Sam Phiri
3 December 2008

FORTUNE Chirwa's quest for excellence among the people who are differently-abled is seemingly beginning to bear fruit - unless all signs deceive!

Many people, including organisations, have taken keen interest in Ms Chirwa's story of a rare determination and ambition, despite her living in a peaceful silent world of her own where sound serves no purpose at all.

Ms Chirwa, a hearing-impaired lady working for Spar Soweto as a confectioner, was last in the news pages of this publication a few weeks ago. It was a tale of how she has been managing her work proficiently and efficiently at the supermarket, where she has been dealing with thousands of people who live in the world of sound.

Her human resources manager, Shupiwe Ngoma-Dindi, told this newspaper that Ms Chirwa is one of the best assets Spar Soweto has at present, and described her as a fast learner and disciplined employee who knows what she is doing at any time.

Ms Chirwa's amazing ambition, which is one of wanting to make it as a teacher for the deaf, a successful business woman, and as an employer, has moved and motivated a number of people and organisations.

Many who came across her story failed to hold back their acts of charity after perceiving her as a motivating vision carrier. They are now prepared to do everything there is to ensure her goals in life are achieved.

One of Ms Chirwa's passions is tackling the HIV and AIDS epidemic, especially with regard to its impact among the deaf and dumb. She contends that most deaf people lack entertainment activities and they in the end resort to unprotected sex as the only source of leisure.

"When I successfully complete my teaching course, I will make sure that I use my acquired teaching techniques to teach my fellow deaf about the dangers of HIV and AIDS and come up with a special programmme that will be used as a special teaching aid for the deaf in the campaign of fighting the HIV pandemic on TV and in the news papers," Ms Chirwa, who has been saving part of her pay to ensure she sponsors herself for a special course for the deaf, says.

She looks torwards to a day when she will be "personally be going round conducting workshops for the deaf, teaching them that there is more to life than just begging and indulging in illicit sexual activities, which consequently lead to the spread of HIV and AIDS."

Recently, the International Women's Symposium registered their interest in Ms Chirwa by giving her a VIP complementary ticket worth K220,000 to attend a one-day leadership conference for women, which was held on November 29, 2008, at Lusaka's Mulungushi International Conference Centre.

That was a development that excited Spar Soweto management, with the human resources manager saying it was interesting to learn that through her hard work, Ms Chirwa had started receiving some rewards.

"We are so proud and happy for her as a company that we are sending Fortune as our ambassador for Spar Soweto.

"We believe that by so doing, a lot of stakeholders will realise that employment should not be based on disabilities but capabilities," said Ms Dindi, who was also instrumental in granting Ms Chirwa a day's leave on November 29.

Among other issues, the women leadership conference was earmarked to look at 'Self-discovery and finding your spark again', 'Becoming a great and powerful leader', 'Balancing personal, corporate and spiritual power' as well as 'Business and financial management'.

During the presentation ceremony of the complementary ticket to Ms Chirwa by conference organiser Mubita Nawa, service department manager of Spar Soweto, Keith Chilufya, said: "We as Spar now know that we have got a great and reliable partner to help us fight for the plight of those who are less privileged in our society because of any form of disability."

During the conference, Ms Chirwa was given a standing ovation together with former Lusaka mayor Patricia Nawa, DHL managing director Carol White, director of Palmwood Lodge Mable Sissing, Standard Chartered Bank managing director Mizinga Melu, and Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission director general, Mable Mung'omba.

Speaking after the conference, Ms Chirwa said she was overwhelmed with the manner in which she was treated during the conference by the event organiser and the women at the conference.

"Imagine that we bring up a television station for the deaf, where all the programmes are presented in sign language as entrepreneurs. How wonderful it can be," she said in a sign conversation through renowned sign language interpreter, Chipampe Ngulimba.

She was motivated by high-profile speakers and other women she got to interact with and exchanged cards with. She acknowledged having learnt a lot on how to lead a modern life as a modern woman in entrepreneurship planning.

Mr Chilufya said Ms Chirwa had came a long, hard way alone and that time had come for her to receive support that would enable her accomplish her vision.

He called on individuals and other stakeholders to pay attention to Ms Chirwa's plight and vision of wanting to liberate the deaf community from the HIV pandemic.

"Using Fortune as a platform, the non-governmental organisations dealing with the mitigation of HIV and AIDS can successfully reach out to millions of people who are really in great danger of the pandemic. She has proved to be a great upcoming pioneer in this particular fight and everybody knows here at Spar how," he said.

Mr Chilufya said Spar is proud to have given Ms Chirwa her first step in life and that all she requires is just to be met half-way.

"If someone can come up and take this young lady to school, I can guarantee you that the next thing we will see is this great, young, intelligent and beautiful pioneer on the television saving millions of lives using the special skill that she would have leant and developed at school," he said.

He also challenged other stakeholders who spend large sums of money on sponsoring games like football, golf, basketball and boxing to also look into such unique quests like Ms Chirwa's with serious consideration for it stands out as a rare and life-saving programme.

"We spend a lot of money on leisure and entertainment. Now here comes a genuine challenge, this young leady has given herself to be used as a vehicle to disseminate information on the dangers of HIV and AIDS among the millions in the deaf community.

"Above all, she wants to tell the word that being deaf does not cut one off from the rest but that it's just a different type of lifestyle that can equally be enjoyed to the full," Mr Chilufya said.

Spar is ready to award Ms Chirwa up to two years leave should sponsorship for her to go to school come along.

Ms Mung'omba hailed Ms Chirwa for her unique and challenging efforts in life, saying she is one lady who has sent a special message to society by accepting her condition and fighting hard to earn a good living on her own.

"It is so encouraging to see such unique passion for development among such young women like Fortune and this must not surely go unnoticed. People must learn that being deaf does not exempt you from the rest.

"Just see the example of this young lady we were together with since morning, we learnt together and at the end of it all we all got the same knowledge," Ms Mung'omba, who encouraged Ms Chirwa to seek support from her office if she decided to venture into business, said.

A prominent Zambian businessman who preferred anonymity pledged to help push Ms Chirwa's dream of not only serving her interests, but those of the community at large.

"I wouldn't like the public to know what I am pledging, but certainly there is something I will be contributing as an individual to help this young lady medically, or perhaps to regain her hearing senses," the businessman said.

Already, Ms Chirwa has been booked to see a Dr Lukwesa, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka this week under the auspices of the businessman.

By the end of the day, it is every person's wish that many more such young women could be born among the country's hundreds of differently-abled people who could fight to stand on their own feet in the country's growing economy.



Disabled persons call for new national curriculum

Wednesday, 3rd December, 2008

By Jeff Lule

THE Government has been asked to adjust the current education curriculum to catered for the disabled. The National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda project assistant, Rehema Namarone, said: “There are no special exams for persons with disabilities. How do you expect a blind person to read?”

She said children with disabilities were also entitled to quality education. Namarone was addressing journalists at their offices in Bukoto last week.

“The teacher recruitment exercise also needs to be considered. “Teachers who specialise in teaching children with special needs are never recruited. This affects our children in the main stream schools,” Namarone said.

She said resources for disabled persons were needed to uplift their standards of living. Namarone also said HIV/AIDS campaigns had not catered for persons with disabilities.

“Many of our people are being infected through rape and most of them do not know where to go. Those who know are not assisted by the concerned authorities,” she said.

“Disability is not inability. Many disabled people have been successful,” Namarone added.



Disabled athletes call for peaceful election in Ghana

www.chinaview.cn 2008-12-03 17:02:27

LAGOS, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Ghana's national football team for people with hearing impairment will play a friendly with a team of people suffering cerebral palsy, aiming to urge all parties to run a peaceful general election, according to official Ghana News Agency.

The match is organized by the Association of Sports for the Disabled, with Danlize Motors Ghana Limited as sponsor.

The organizers said the game will be attended by leading members of various political parties.

Editor: Chris



Disability Not an Impediment

Published: 04 December, 2008

Persons with disabilities, mainly the physically challenged, took their advocacy for access to public facilities to an extraordinary height yesterday, December 3, 2008, with the inauguration of a ramp built at the Monrovia City Hall. The ramp could be a small project when one only considers the barely three feet wide and not more than six feet long ramp.



Nigeria: Taking HIV/Aids Campaign to the Hearing Impaired Stella Odueme

Daily Independent (Lagos)
4 December 2008

Lagos - As the rate of HIV/AIDS pandemic increases, there is a need to provide young people, especially the handicapped population, with adequate information on the deadly virus. This is necessary to enable the people be well informed on sexual and reproductive health issues to enable them take informed preventive measures.

Though there have been some successes in the campaigns, however, these intervention programmes for young people often neglect the special and handicapped youths and children. It was to ensure that special people are not left behind in this important campaign that Leaders With New Dimensions {LeND) in partnership with MTV-Staying Alive Foundation put together an awareness campaign for Wesley School 1 & 2 for the hearing impaired to create awareness on HIV and AIDS among the adolescents and young people who are impaired in hearing.

At the programme held at the school premise, the students and other young people in the same condition came out with paintings and artworks where through sign language they explained the illustrations. Some of the paintings had these messages; 'Say no to unprotected sex; parents teach us about HIV/AIDS; screen blood before transfusion; HIV/AIDS is real; stop child abuse and do not share sharp objects, among other messages.

There was a drama presentation also depicting these messages, which were explained through the use of sign language. The students also did a choreography with the song Igwe.

Surprisingly, even though held down by hearing impairment, their choreography performance was quite impressive and challenging. Their teacher, Mrs. Mabel Nzeh, who conducted the choreography, explained that she decided to put up the art to prove that there is ability in disability. She expressed bitterness about the relegation of special people to the background by the Nigerian society.

"They are children with special needs and to me they are special. I decided to put up this performance because people tend to place them at the background that they cannot do anything. But with this performance, it has shown that there is ability in disability. Most times when they see other children dancing, they feel excited. They can dance very well and do everything that every normal child can do when encouraged," she stated.

She recalled the feelings of the children at first when told about the choreography. "When I put up this choreography, they felt excited and they asked questions, such as 'can people like us be called to dance and perform choreography'? So anytime I asked them to come out, they always show interest and I see joy in them. Each time I see this whenever we rehearse, and that explains why I am happy coordinating this performance since I always like to see them happy," she explained.

She said that the major work to be done to enable the children fit into the society rested on her shoulders since the children have hearing challenge.

"There are so many challenges. People without hearing problem can be given song or cassette to take home and practise, but the revise is the case here, as the bulk of work is on me. I have to listen to the cassette, even the ones I do not know. No matter how long, I will cram it and then teach them the dancing step when a particular rhythm has stopped and when another one is to start. But had it been that they hear, I would not have much work," she explained, adding: "To tell you the truth, anytime I do rehearsal with them, I will not be able to do much that day. Even in my house before 8 pm, I would have slept off after taking care of the home front."

Some of the students spoke about what they have learnt.

"I have learnt that HIV/AIDS is real. Young women should watch what they do. We should not share sharp objects with others. Those that go to the salons must ensure that clipper is sterilised before barbers use it on them. People should avoid unprotected sex," said Bose Omosefunmi.

"HIV/AIDS is a dangerous disease that can kill on contacting it. It is incurable at the moment. People must therefore shun immoral acts. But we cannot contact the disease by shaking hands with those that are positive. We should be friendly with them and at the same time ensure that we do not engage in acts that can make us positive," stated John Fiso.

"Many people do not know about HIV/AIDS. We do not pray to contact it, but the time has come to enlighten people about the true form of the disease. Since I got information about it, my life has changed and I have been able to talk to my friends about it. We need to be very careful so that we do not end up contacting the disease," said Akujobi Christopher, a student.

According to Desmond Buchi of LeND, his group's main focus centres on bringing qualitative information to special people about the prevalent of HIV/AIDS scourge.

"What we are out to achieve is to raise public awareness about the need for HIV/AIDS control among young people, especially the hearing-impaired community, because largely we find out that they are often neglected in terms of information and service delivery," he said.

He lamented that most of the counselling centres for the People Living With HIV/AIDS lacked the essential requirements for special people. "Right about now, we have been hearing a lot about HIV/AIDS victims going for counselling but if you go to these centres, do they have personnel that are trained in sign language to be able to communicate with these people? How much of information do they share with them?" Buchi queried.

He called on the relevant authorities to put this set of people into consideration in the campaign against HIV/AIDS in order to achieve the desired results.

"Even if you look at the National Strategic Plan and Action Against HIV/ AIDS, you see that this particular group and other vulnerable resource constrained youths are not fully integrated into the scheme. That is why in our little way we are trying to do what we can to raise awareness, build capacity and at the same time look forward to more resources and more avenue for them in this regard. Government is yet to take the lead in this regard and that is why we are taking up this initiative. But we hope that from today and with what we have done, government will be able to look critically into what it can do because we are looking forward to having more of this programme not just in Lagos alone but also in different parts of the country," he stated.



Deaf Soccer Championship

Nairobi’s Planet Deaf team became
the winners of the tourney title

Coastweek - - Nairobi’s Planet Deaf team became the winners of the 4th edition of the Deaf Games soccer championship, writes ABDULRAHMAN SHERIFF.

Planet edged Western Kenya Deaf 4-3 during the final match played at Mombasa Polytechnic University College ground last Sunday.

The games were concluded with the hosts, Pirates Deaf of Mombasa failing to win a single title after Western Deaf from Mumias clinched the volleyball crown in men category after beating Nairobi’s Planet 2-0.

Earlier, Planet Deaf won the women volleyball trophy after beating Pirates of Mombasa 2-0 (25/19, 25/12) in the final match held at Ziwani School for the Deaf ground.

In the soccer semi finals, Western beat Kiserian mabao 3-0 with goals cored by David Oduor (2) and Peter Akhango with Nairobi knocking out Nakuru Deaf after recording a hard-fought 4-2 win.

Western got their goals through Jared Omondi who netted a double with George Gatitu and Stephen Ochieng netting a goal apiece.

Nakuru replied via Isaac Maunga and Simon Njane.

During the men’s volleyball semis, Western Deaf defeated Mombasa’s Pirates 2-0 as Nairobi got a walkover after their opponents Nairobi failed to appear at the ground for the match.

The games are organized by Mombasa Deaf Sports Group whose coordinator, Samuel Ouma appealed to sponsors to come forward and help them organize sporting activities with teams from all over the country to participate.

“We have many talented players who however lack exposure.

“I’m sure some of them could even play for the national team, Harambee Stars if they are seen by the selectors,” Ouma said.



Touched by the plight of the mentally disabled

By DANIEL WESANGULAPosted Saturday, December 6 2008 at 22:27

A chance visit to Sagana town last December left a burning image on the conscience of Mr James Gitau. For a man who had up to then spent little time thinking of the mentally handicapped, he got his Damascus moment at a small market in Sagana.

“There was this girl lying next to a shop all alone. She was half-naked, covered in dirt and none of the people around her seemed to care despite the fact that she knew little of what was going on around her,” said Mr Gitau.

Upon further inquiry about the little girl by the roadside, Mr Gitau learnt that the 18-year-old, who had the appearance of a 12 year-old, was mentally handicapped and had no one to look after her.

“I thought that was the worst that could have happened to her and that someone somewhere was neglecting his or her duties. But the worst was still to come. People around the market told me that she had been raped. Twice,” he said.

Touched beyond words, Mr Gitau decided to discover more about the the girl’s condition and do as much as he could to make her life much better than it was.

“I was intrigued by the girl’s story and decided to do something for her. As a mode of empowering her, I decided to pay for her school fees,” said Mr Gitau.

However, even after such an act his conscience did not rest easy. Mr Gitau then approached his colleagues and decided to raise awareness of the plight of the mentally handicapped through the country’s best-known sport - running.

With the help of friends who were equally moved by the plight of Kenyans affected by this condition, Mr Gitau has now organised a charity race scheduled for December 12 to highlight the severity of the problem in Kenya.

The 110-kilometre race will begin at City Park and end at Riandira market in Sagana, the spot where Mr Gitau first met the girl.

Other than the race, Mr Gitau, through Peak Performance Company of which he is chief executive, and other companies will seek to raise more funds through the short message service. All one needs to do is send an SMS with the words ‘watoto wetu’ to 5665.

There will be a road show throughout the race with stops at selected market centres to raise awareness of mental disability. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are more than 600 million people in the world living with both physical and mental disabilities.

The Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped (KSMH) estimates that a big percentage of the handicapped are living with mental disabilities. Most of them live in isolation and under deplorable conditions.



The Senate This Week:Senators on wheel chairs

Written by Emmanuel Aziken
Saturday, 06 December 2008

As prominent figures in society, Senators are role models whose actions and inactions help to influence the thinking of ordinary Nigerians.
Hence, the symbolism given by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and several other Senators who rode on wheel chairs in demonstration of the daily pains of the disabled last Wednesday. Ekweremadu was rolled into the Senate chambers in a wheel chair while several other Senators mounted the paraphernalia of the disabled in symbolic solidarity on the occasion of the World Disability Day that Wednesday.
While some Senators chose to be on wheel chairs, some others chose to be blindfolded in imitation of the challenges faced by the disabled daily in banks, high rise buildings and other public and private buildings.

While the Senators felt the temporary disadvantages of the disabled, hundreds of genuinely disabled persons on crutches, wheel chairs and other supports watched from the Senate gallery. Others more, were clustered in the lobby of the National Assembly.

Other Senators who wore the gear of the disabled on Wednesday were Senators Bode Olajumoke (PDP, Ondo North) Senator Julius Ucha (PDP, Ebonyi Central), Ganiyu Solomon (AC, Lagos West), Annie Okonkwo (PDP, Anambra Central), Dahiru Kuta (PDP, Niger) and Chris Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East).
Senator Gbenga Ogunniya (PDP, Ondo) was blindfolded in imitation of the blind while Senator Olajumoke interchanged a blindfold and a walking stick with the wheel chair. Senator Grace Bent (PDP, Adamawa South) praticalised her empathy with the use of a walking stick.

The concept was an initiative of Senator Olajumoke who is a patron of the Association for Comprehensive Empowerment of Nigerians with Disabilities (ASCEND), the group that co-facilitated the initiative.
“We believe that except you have a feel for the disabled you might not appreciate what it is to be disabled,’’ Olajumoke said last September when he first gave notice of the initiative.

Rising from the wheel chair that Wednesday, Senator Chris Anyanwu, who is the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence (Army) led Committee members to a meeting with a delegation from the United States congress led by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).

Anyanwu led the Nigerian parliamentarian team in the absence of the substantive Chairman, Senator Ibrahim Ida.
A former journalist who trained in the United States, Anyanwu’s dignified poise and language was reassuring as she held her own against her opposite counterpart from the United States Senate. The meeting was centred on how the United States could help Nigeria in the provision of training and equipment for the Nigeria Armed Forces.
After weeks of procrastination, President Umaru Yar‘Adua on Tuesday presented the administration’s 2009 spending proposals to the National Assembly. The delay in presenting the proposals had raised questions with some suggesting that the President may not be physically up to the challenge of standing for the duty.

However, after standing for fifty-five minutes Yar‘Adua movingly dismissed questions about his physical fitness. However, the reception given the President by the legislators should raise serious concern among his handlers on the administration’s drift.

When he presented his first budget on November 8, 2007, President Yar‘Adua received a total of twenty-one rounds of applause from the legislators, many of them standing ovations. However, on Tuesday as he tabled the 2009 fiscal proposals the President got a miserly four rounds of applause, none of which could even be described as warm.
Senators commenting on the proposals re-echoed the complaints of the Obasanjo era during which they lamented the poor implementation of budgets.

Senators are indeed generally dismissive of the administration’s much publicized haul from unspent budget funds. The lawmakers asserted that if the administration is focussed it should allow itself to be praised for purposefully utilizing the funds it has been mandated to utilize rather than commending itself for keeping money it is supposed to use to build roads and provide power to Nigerians.
It was as such not surprising that when Finance Minister, Dr. Shamsudden Usman was reported to have last Wednesday blamed the poor level of budget performance on the National Assembly, that Senator David Mark would attack him from the dais.

“He is passing the bulk of the inefficiency from the executive on to the Senate. They are just finding excuse for their inability to carry out simple project that they even put themselves in the budget,’’ Senator Mark said in an unusual tone of criticism of the Yar‘Adua administration.
The Senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze who was mandated to give a fitting response to the Finance Minister relayed one from Enugu.
“We believe that that failure or absence of lack of capacity to run the budget should not be an excuse to blackmail the legislature,’’ Eze said.



Three disabled persons voted at St. Andrews Polling Station

Wa, Dec. 7, GNA - Two blind women and an amputee were among the 279 people out of 1,416 registered voters who cast their votes at the St. Andrews Catholic Junior High School Polling Station as at 11.37 am. Two other blind persons were also among the 306 people out of the 530 registered voters who exercised their franchise as at 11.03 am at the Danku Primary School Polling Station. At Bamahu Primary School Polling Station, out of the 663 registered voters, 399 people had cast their ballots at 11.18 am. The Wa School for the Deaf Polling Station recorded 186 voters including three deaf persons out of 634 registered voters, while the Wa Technical School Polling Station also recorded 102 voters as against 289 registered voters as at 11.48 am.

Some of the Presiding Officers the GNA spoke to described the voting as incident free and that it was their prayer that the conduct of the voting would continue and end in like manner. 7 Dec. 08



Disabled to get 18 schools

Sunday, 7th December, 2008

By Fred Turyakira and Amon Natweta

THE President has directed the education ministry to establish 18 schools for persons with special needs.

In a speech read by the 3rd deputy Prime Minister, Kirunda Kivejinja, Museveni said the schools would particularly cater for the deaf and blind at the sub-region levels.

Kivejinja was speaking at celebrations to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Boma Grounds in Mbarara.

“My Government is aware of the existence of obstacles to accessibility by persons with disability to buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and work places,” Museveni said.

He said the theme of the celebrations, “The convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, dignity and justice for all” comes at the time when the Government is committed to ensuring that the national policy on disability, contributes to the improvement of the lives of persons with disability.

Government plans to provide free sign language interpretation to facilitate their mobility and communication.

Museveni said the Government was strengthening awareness programmes to reduce the high rate of death and disabilities caused by road accidents in the country.

“The Government is also aware that most persons with disabilities do not access services on HIV/AIDS. My government will ensure that they access information, education, counselling and ARVs like other persons,” Museveni said.

Museveni urged law makers to avoid making stigmatising laws that might result in societal misconceptions and prejudice against persons with disabilities.



World Bank Loan: Unending Debate Between The Blind...And The Deaf?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

By Marcel Mbamalu

WHAT is the role of debt financing in a country's socio-economic development and growth? At what point does a nation consider taking that plunge and what are the basic indices of ripeness for such decisions? How does a developing nation weigh the benefits accruing from foreign loans against the conditions associated with them and possibly put a hedge against contingencies? At what point should such loans be repaid? Does zero debt profile for any country really translate to its economic buoyancy?

Indeed, Nigeria, the most populous nation on the African continent has, at different times in its history been confronted with the onerous task of making a blend of these difficult decisions.

With a citizenry that is almost averse to indebtedness, and successive governments that have exhibited great appetite for loans (but have equally shown consistent signs of poor debt management), Nigeria has often been locked up in terrific debates over the issue of foreign loans: From the IMF /Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) debate of 1980s, the Obasanjo days of Paris Club debt repayment public argument, and now the National Assembly-defeated World Bank loan ambition of President Yar Adua's administration, the issue has, indeed, remained contentious - a semblance of an argument between the deaf and the blind!

FOLLOWING an earlier plan by the federal government to obtain a $3 billion-World Bank loan, and the subsequent decision of the House of Representatives to prevent it from doing so, economists and other stakeholders, have continued to express divergent opinions on the issue.

Although the trio of Professor of Political Economics, Pat Utomi, former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, and Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa agreed that the country needed to take loans for infrastructural development and economic growth, Utomi, however, cautioned that, since such loans were usually targeted at achieving specific developmental objectives, Nigeria should avoid the mistakes of the past by carefully defining its policy on taking such loans.

It would be recalled that the issue of the World Bank loan came into public discourse recently, when the federal government began to shop for funds 'to develop infrastructure and eradicate poverty.'

The Sustainable Development Sector Manager of the World Bank in Nigeria, Mr. Simeon Ehui, through the International Development Assistance (IDA) had announced a loan facility of $3 billion to Nigeria as concessionary loan (with zero interest) to be drawn in 2009 through 2011

The House of Representatives had subsequently stood down the move after the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon. Dino Melaye, as a matter of urgent national importance, raised the issue on the floor of the House.

Dino had argued that having just been forgiven huge amount of debt by the Paris Club, Nigeria would be treading the wrong path by borrowing again. But Idika Kalu argued that Nigeria was rather too under-leveraged for any meaningful development or growth.

Cautioning against abuse, Utomi, on his part, told The Guardian that such loans could be problematic if there was no clear policy on the nation's goals and plans on managing eventualities and changing circumstances.

"As a matter of principle, one can define this appetite for debt in relation to development, but I think that, to make a decision of not borrowing and taking a plunge into a situation, where everybody just goes and borrows are equally dangerous, because there are circumstances where borrowing would accelerate development and stress competitive advantage because it helps create an opportunity that a country, ordinarily, would not have created if it were growing organically," he said.

He recalled that Nigeria got into a huge problem in the 1970s because, according to him, it did not have a perceptive initiative.

"We did not consider the money we had. If we were to borrow, what should we borrow for? How should we use it, what must be criteria for measuring whether or not we should abandon this kind of borrowing, pursue this line, and get this kind of returns?

"And from being 'under-borrowed', we woke up one morning, literally speaking, and found out that we were over-leveraged, because as the volatile oil prices dipped, we found that we were unable to service our foreign obligations and our banks began to have problems with foreign correspondent banks.

He, however, said, "for the level of our reserves, for the size of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), I think $3.5 billion is manageable.

The key is to make sure that we use the borrowed money as efficiently as possible."

But Idika Kalu, said that, in view of its massive infrastructural needs, Nigeria could not afford to be complacent. According to him, an effective legal framework could take care of corruption and prevent abuse. "You have to bring in the discipline of managing the financing - your own funds as well as the borrowed funds.

"So, if you look through our whole landscape, you will see the basis for financing. When you appraise it, you will find that the benefit to the economy is way beyond the cost of the borrowing," he said.

Similarly, Ohuabunwa said the country needs loan but must time its borrowings

"I believe that a country should borrow when it's strong and I believe that Nigeria is comparatively strong now, with a potential to be weaker. The weakness is going to come first from the fast decline in oil price, and this will lead to another thing," he said.

He however said that the challenge in Nigeria was that of management, even as he expressed confidence in the ability of President Yar Adua, to properly manage whatever funds was borrowed.

"I have confidence in Mr. President. He is not profligate; he will ensure that every kobo that we borrow is used well. We can accuse the President of anything, but I don't see anybody accusing him of profligacy," Ohuabunwa surmised.

Just as the dust over the debt issue was yet to settle, the federal government, two weeks ago, signed up another $780 million (about N90 billion) loan with the World Bank. The loan is for three schemes -the Fadama Development Project (NFDP), Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), and the Federal Roads Development Project.

Reacting to this and indeed the growing need of the current administration for funds, economists have continued to speak on both sides of the divide.



GH¢1000 for hearing impaired


Mr George Mireku Duker, Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive has presented a cheque of 1,000 Ghana cedis to a group of deaf and dumb people at a ceremony at Tarkwa.

Presenting the cheque, Mr Duker told the group not to use their disability to beg for alms at roadside, but to find other ways of making ends meet.

He said their plight was natural and that should not deter them from pursuing ventures that will enable them make a living.

He said the Municipal Assembly was prepared to help the physically challenged when they come together and embark on a project, adding, “a percentage of the Common Fund has been set aside for them and they should form groups to access”.

Mr Duker disclosed that the Assembly will help open workshops to help physically challenged people learn a trade.

He advised the group to use the money judiciously.

Mr Abraham Quayson, Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Social Welfare Officer commended the Municipal Chief Executive for his commitment towards the plight of physically challenged people.

He said the Assembly promptly paid GH¢400 school fees for a blind student at Legon.

He promised that Social Welfare will supervise the group to put the money to good use.

Mr Duker disclosed that the Municipal Assembly will employ an interpreter at the government hospital, Tarkwa to explain to the health personnel the health needs of the deaf and dumb, and pleaded with the Ministry of Health to do same. Mr. George Kakra Usher, a representative of the group thanked the MCE for the money.



Children With Disability Are Not A Liability

In Ghana, approximately two million out of the nation’s estimated 20 million people are persons with disability. The life and dignity of these persons with disability depend on policies and programmes put in place by government and related agencies.

The principal goal of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Ghana’s Children's Act (Act 560) and the African Charter of Rights and Welfare of Children seek to promote self-reliance and active participation of children with disability in nation building.

Provisions of the country’s constitution guarantees free and compulsory basic education for all children, including children with disability. The constitution also guarantees a free adult literacy programme, and free vocational training, rehabilitation and resettlement of disabled persons.

Section 18 (a) of the Disability Act 715 (Act 2006) states that “the government shall provide free education for persons with disability”. Education is considered a fundamental human right for all persons regardless of physical structure, fitness or appearance. Accessibility to quality education is the basis of empowering children, who are our future leaders.

To realise the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which requires governments to make education accessible to all children, it is important to consider the needs of children with disability.

Hunger and malnutrition, as well as disability and poverty are inextricably intertwined. Fifty per cent of disability is preventable and 20 per cent of impairments are caused by malnutrition, according to the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The mortality rate among children with disability can be as high as 80 per cent even in countries where under-five mortality is below 20 per cent. In relation to MDG 3 which enjoins governments to promote gender equality and empower women, it is important to state that disabled women and disabled girls are particularly vulnerable to abuse.

A survey in Orissa, India, conducted by Mohapatra and Mohanty in 2004 established that 100 per cent of disabled women and girls in that country were beaten at home; 25 per cent mentally challenged women had been raped and six per cent of disabled women had been forcibly sterilised. The United Nations Fund (UNFPA) estimates that globally, as many as 20 million women suffer disability and long-term complications every year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Abnormal pre-natal or peri-natal events are a major cause of disability in children. A large number of peri-natal disabilities in children can be prevented by access to skilled midwives and birth attendants.

The alternative is to acknowledge children with disability as a human rights issue and translate rights on paper into real improvement for the lives of disabled persons in Ghana.

It is the right of all children to access maintenance, rehabilitation and reintegration. Maintenance and rehabilitation of children with disability remain very important for the purposes of inclusive education. The assessment process provides means of identification, support and placement of children with disability in educational institutions.

Due to different types of disabilities like learning, hearing and visual impairment, mental handicap, autism, communication difficulties, cerebral palsy and behavioural difficulties suffered by children, it is important to recognise the need for placement for such children. The process helps to carry out placement of children in the mainstream of education.

The placement and support are based on the severity of a child’s disability. Children with mild disability are placed in formal education while those with severe disabilities are placed in a home for experts who provide services for them to enhance their intellectual ability and enable them to be accepted in the formal educational system.

The stages of identification and placement are vital to ensure that each child with disability receives the needed assistance in order to become self-reliant since disability is not inability.

What it means is that children with disability require support systems in order to grow and develop. The process requires institutional structures to provide them with the needed services.

It is important to recognise the special needs of children with disability in order to promote the greatest degree of social integration and the attainment of the child's inherent right to dignity and self-reliance.

One does not need legs, eyes, and hands to fit into society but rather the function of the brain power. However, our ability to educate children with disability does not only enhance their existence but also their contribution to the economy.

- The writer is the Executive Director of Child’s Rights International.

Article By Bright Appiah



Angola: Handicapped Persons Receive Motorcycles and Vehicles

9 December 2008

Lubango - Seven motorcycle-taxis were on handed over on Monday, in Lubango city, by the minister of Assistance and Social Welfare, Jo?o Baptistas Kussumua, to the reference centre for disabled persons dubbed "Elavoco", so as to reinforce the "Moto-taxis" project, under the Programme of Integration of Handicapped People.

The motorcycles shall be added the 65 that have already been distributed, since 2006, to these persons of the society, in Lubango city and in Quipungo district, by the local Association of Motorcycle-Taxis linked to the Provincial Welfare Department.

The minister also handed over two vehicles, being one to support the activities of the local home of the elderly and another for the "Elavoco" centre, as well as a generator.

At the handing over ceremony, the official urged the directors of both institutions to take good care of the means, and affirmed that the government will continue developing activities in favour of the disabled, children and elderly persons, who are facing difficult times.

During his field work in the southern Hu?la province, the minister visit the construction works

of the children's social integration centre, the home of the elderly, as well as the Children's Community Programme (PIC) in Humpata district, 22 kilometres to the south of Lubango city, provincial capital.



Uganda: Education of 173,000 Pupils With Disability in Jeopardy F. Womakuyu

9 December 2008

Kampala - WHEN the boy sees us, his face lightens up, as if expecting something good from us.

For six months, the five-year-old nicknamed Master Unknown, has been idling at Padibe People's Displaced Primary School, 40km north of Kitgum district.

He is deaf and mute and cannot communicate using sign language. None of the pupils or members of staff can understand him, but they can tell when he is hungry - he gestures with his index finger.

Moses Ogwang, the head teacher, says they reported the matter to the Police and announcements were made on radio, but no one claimed him. The school now takes care of him, but his education is in jeopardy.

"None of our teachers can communicate using sign language and neither is the boy trained to understand the language," Ogwang says.

The boy's health has improved, except for having a scaly skin. He is yet to recover from a skin infection.

There is no institution in Kitgum for the deaf and dumb. It is also hard to get the boy into such an institution because he needs psychiatric care, which is still not available in the district.

"He can be transferred to Kampala, but there are a few schools there that can accommodate people with disabilities, and besides, they charge not less than sh200,000 per term," Ogwang adds.

His admission brings to the fore the tribulations of children with disabilities in the face of government efforts to implement universal primary and secondary education.

According to the ministry of education, there are 173,143 pupils with disabilities, constituting 3% of the school-going population.

The mentally retarded comprise 21.7%; the visually impaired, 23.8%; those with hearing impairment, 29.4%; the physically impaired, 17.5%; autistic (with a genetic disorder), 4.3%; and 3.3% are multiple handicaps. Fifty-five percent of the total are male.

There are 18 schools in Uganda for children with disabilities, but most of them have limited facilities.

There are only 746 teachers trained to handle those pupils and one institution, the Uganda National Institute of Special Education at Kyambogo, that trains such teachers. Uganda has six schools for children with hearing impairment.

The schools offer accommodation for the students and have specialised equipment and educational materials .

A policy on special education should, therefore, be implemented.



MPs barred from NUDIPU board

Wednesday, 10th December, 2008

By Jude Kafuuma

MPs representing persons with disabilities (PWDs) have been prohibited from sitting on the board of disabled persons.

Discussing the management of the National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU) at the Pope Paul VI Memorial Hotel in Lubaga on Tuesday, the general assembly resolved that MPs for PWDs are elected using the NUDIPU structures, which makes them accountable to the association.

“Accountability becomes difficult when the MP sits on the NUDIPU board while also representing PWDs in Parliament,” said Michael Ssebuliba, the executive director of NUDIPU.

“We decided so because there may be a conflict of interest.” The three-day meeting was attended by over 280 members who form the delegates’ assembly. The assembly convenes every five years.

A new board was elected to represent the blind, deaf, physically impaired, youth and women.

Eight regional representatives, were elected.

They include Francis Kinubi, the chairperson and representative for the blind, Agnes Aserait, the vice chairperson and representative for eastern, Jessica Ababiku, the general secretary and representative for the north and Seezi Balayo, the treasurer.

The state minister for disability and the elderly, Sulaiman Madada, called upon the new leaders to confront issues that affect PWDs.

“NUDIPU has many challenges including establishing the number of PWDs. Work hard to draw realistic plans to achieve the members’ expectations,” Madada said.

He said: “The Government of Uganda is not the sole provider of facilities for PWDs. We commend the development partners.”

Madada said projects should be planned strictly to meet the needs of the beneficiaries.

“This involves knowing all members on the laws affecting them,” he said, urging them to be united to guard their values.

The assembly also resolved to include all district unions into the NUDIPU national board.

Francis Kinubi, the out-going chairperson, said the union was strong, contrary to reports that it was on the verge of collapse.

In the last five years, the union has spent sh9.5b on advocacy, equipment, capacity building and sensitisation.



We want education on HIV/AIDS - Disabled request

Tema, Dec 10, GNA - Physically Challenged Persons drawn from parts of the Tema Metropolis have underscored the need for them to be equipped with relevant knowledge on HIV/AIDS to prevent them from contracting the disease. Mr Benjamin Ofosu-Hene, president of Hope in Christ, an NGO made up of Physically Challenged Persons, noted that, the disabled often fall victim to the devastating disease, therefore the education was needed to avoid contracting it and prevent its spread. He made the call at a workshop in Tema organised for them by the Ghana AIDS Commission in collaboration with the Tema Metropolitan Assembly.

The workshop aimed at sensitizing the physically challenged persons about the repercussions of irresponsible behaviour in the contraction of the disease. Mr Ofosu- Hene stated that their total dependence on philanthropists made them susceptible to wrongful behaviour meted out on them by other able citizens. He advised the public to lead exemplary lives and not to take the availability of condoms to lead immoral lives but insist on abstinence until maturity.

"Let us not hide behind condoms and do wrong to people and to ourselves. Let us not sing the abstinence chorus and expect others rather than ourselves to dance," Mr Ofosuhene stated. Madam Matilda Mahama, TMA-HIV/AIDS Committee member and Counsellor at Ghana Education Service (GES), encouraged disabled persons to overlook their perceived disability and focus on their potentials to develop themselves. She said that most persons with disability complained of being neglected by the government, policy makers and development partners. Madam Mahama pointed out that the negligence of government in heeding to the plight of disabled persons, contributed to their promiscuous lives as they felt no one cared about their welfare, adding that the much feared disease had neither respect nor sympathy for either disable or able persons. Mr Frank Ebo Mensah, Behaviour Change Communication Counsellor, took the participants through the various stages of contracting the HIV infection. He noted that the devastating effect of the dreadful disease was high on the productive youth and advised on carefulness with their lives.

Mr Mensah appealed to the Ghana AIDS Commission, TMA, and international NGOs to give material and financial support to physically challenged persons to enable them lead comfortable lives.

Source: GNA



Nigeria: Sick! That Senate Show

10 December 2008

The only way to describe the picture carried by a national newspaper on its front page on Thursday, the fourth day of December, 2008 is sick! In a scene depicting a monumental lack of good taste and the absence of commonsense, four senators were photographed sitting in wheelchairs purportedly "showing their solidarity with the physically challenged persons," during this year's World Disability Day in Abuja.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Bode Olajumoke, Annie Okonkwo and Chris Anyanwu ought to know better and should carry out an act of penitence immediately. Their disgusting posturing is tantamount to mocking those with various forms of disability. All right thinking people should condemn it. Nobody desires disability of any kind. However, despite the debilitation, most of the disabled have coped admirably well. Stoic, and possessing a large dose optimism many have turned disability to an advantage and have gone on to play exceedingly useful roles in their communities. On the international stage, the examples of those who, inspite of their disability, have had outstanding careers is legion.

For example, it is a well-known fact that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as a result of having been stricken by the polio virus, entered the White House in a wheelchair.

Nevertheless, his tenure of office, having taken over at a time of economic depression, was pivotal. The former British Home Secretary in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet, David Blunkett, became blind at the age of four. Nevertheless, he had a successful stint in one of the highest offices in the land. These examples show that disabilities can be overcome and that the disabled can contribute meaningfully to society. What the disabled need is care, help and understanding. The last thing they want - and what they certainly don't need - is condescension.

Adopting a patronizing attitude towards the disabled is a good get-out clause for the Senators involved in the charade depicted. What is expected of the National Assembly is concern for the disabled which is backed up by legislation. In most sensible countries, in the course of the last few decades, comprehensive legislation has been enacted into law which has addressed the problems caused by physical and other disabilities. For example, many countries have evolved building codes which have incorporated special designs to make it easier for the disabled to use buildings and work in offices. Anti-discrimination laws facilitating the employment of those with disabilities have also been passed. Indeed in many enlightened societies, tax breaks and tax credits have been allotted to companies who employ people with disabilities.

Legislations like these have had an integrative effect. Integrative because it has allowed the disabled to be fully involved in society. There has also been important assistance in terms of education inputs. This includes special learning inputs as well as specifically tailored teaching methods. Specialized schools have also been put into place to make sure that there are no educational disadvantages arising out of disability.

It is obvious from all this that aiding the disabled will require sensible budgetary allocations. Are those posing as disabled people in the infamous picture referred to ready to do that? If their past record is anything to go by, frankly there is no basis for optimism in that direction. People who have spent limited parliamentary time allocating to themselves all manner of privileges, unjustifiable allowances and extra appurtenances of power cannot possibly be expected to have the humanitarian considerations as well as the compassion to do that much for the disabled. Many in this country will actually argue that they have not done that much for those who are not disabled.

The level of compassion shown to those with disabilities is a clear indicator of the level of advancement that a civilization has reached.

Special needs have to be addressed with specifically tailored programmes. These programmes need to be well thought out, designed and implemented. Tokenism and silly photo-opportunities will not address the issue. Every man, woman and child has something positive to contribute to society. They must be motivated and encouraged.

Special provisions must be made to help them along. What is not needed is the sort of childish prancing around which the misguided legislators have subjected the nation to. It was gratuitous in its bad taste. It mocks the disabled and makes light of the problems which disability induces in a country with a weak infrastructural base and virtually non- existent social services. It has to be frowned upon and must never happen again.



600 disabled students miss school

Thursday, 11th December, 2008

By Moses Bikala

More than 600 children with disabilities in Bugiri have not enrolled for universal secondary education this year because parents regard them as a curse.

Bugiri resident district commissioner Margaret Mwanamoiza said most women faint after giving birth to a disabled child.

She was speaking during celebrations to mark the international day for persons with disabilities at Hindocha primary school on Monday.

She urged parents not to mistreat disabled children.

“We have seen disabled people holding big positions in government and even doing better than the able-bodied ones,” Mwanamoiza argued.

She said there was need to increase the number of teachers for special needs education.

“Currently, only Naluwerere and Hindocha primary schools are handling children with special needs,” she explained.

The inspector of schools in charge of special needs, Aidah Ajambo, said enrollment of children with disabilities to universal primary schools had risen to over 1,500 in two years.

“Previously, teachers looked at disabled children as being stupid,” she said.

Ajambo urged teachers to enroll for free sign language lessons being conducted by GOAL, an international humanitarian organisation.

GOAL official Beatrice Nafuna said next year, the organisation would increase funding to support schools handling children with disabilities.

GOAL also donated sign language dictionaries, magnifying lenses and braille paper to the two schools.



7 Disabled Burnt To Death In Kaduna

8 Hospitalised
Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna
December 11th, 2008

A mysterious fire outbreak yesterday in Kaduna mutilated seven disabled people beyond recognition, while eight others who narrowly escaped death made it with different degrees of burns.

When death came knocking, most of the people in the reformatory who were handicapped by one form of disability or another were fast asleep.

The lucky eight who escaped with serious burns are now hospitalised at Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, Kaduna.

The disabled persons included blind men, cripples and lepers who usually spent their days begging but find shelter at the Kano Road Resettlement Camp, a hub for the destitute and the physically challenged.

Apart from their physical disabilities, the deceased were without money, food or homes, the true definition of destitute.

All the rooms along with their properties like food remnants, old clothes and other materials were charred and completely destroyed down to the last thread, a situation that has thrown the whole camp into mourning leaving the survivors in deep introspection.

At the moment, the survivors are in urgent need of relief materials to keep body and soul together.

The seven who lost their lives were buried, as early as 9 am, at the Tudun Wada cemetery, along Bachama Road, Kaduna, according to Muslim rites.

The inferno is said to have started around 5 am when virtually most of the inmates in the reformatory were asleep.

Although some onlookers at the scene linked the incident to an electric fault, one of the survivors denied the suggestion insisting that there was no electric power supply at the time of the incident.

"There was no electric power when this ugly incident occurred and we are still wondering where and how this fire outbreak came about. The only thing we heard was crying and shouting for help which caused confusion; and you know some of us are blind, crippled and others have severe disabilities which impede our acceleration even if we wanted to escape".

LEADERSHIP findings revealed that six of the seven that died in the fire incident were females whose names include Habiba Dogari, Halira Abdullahi, Yerima Lawal, Yarbaka Abdullahi and Ino Muhammad.

The other two were a blind man and a leper Daiyabu Bukar and Rabi Alhassan respectively.

Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report top government functionaries in the Kaduna State government among them the Secretary to the State Government Mr.Waje Yayok, Head of Service, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs.Maryamu Laka Madami as well as the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Agency (SEMA) Alhaji Aliyu Saleh Raminkura all visited the scene. They assured the victims of the state government's urgent intervention in coming to their aid.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Kaduna North local government, Alhaji Shehu Ahmed Giant presented bags of rice, blankets and other relief materials to the victims on behalf of the council.

The Kaduna state chapter's president of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAP) Malam Rilwan Mohammed Abdullahi also appealed for urgent intervention so as to enable their members meet up with their needs, aside the trauma he said the situation brought onto them.



Nigeria: Consider Plight of Disabled in Policy-Making, CED Urges Government

11 December 2008

Mr. Tony Ademuyiwa, the founder of the Centre for Empowerment of the Disabled (CED) yesterday urged the Federal Government to consider the plight of the physically challenged in policy-making.

Ademuyiwa spoke at the presentation of certificates to 104 graduands of the centre's skills acquisition programme in Lagos.

"Nigerian governments have over the years not done enough for the physically-challenged as they are not considered in the construction of public buildings and provision of infrastructure.

"Even the law that stipulates that a certain percentage of disabled persons should be employed in every establishment is not adhered to" he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The co-founder of CED, Miss Dupe Omogbayi, told NAN that the government was insincere to the predicament of the physically-challenged, adding that the delay in passing the Physically Challenged Persons Trust Fund Bill is a good example.

Omogbayi noted that most disabled persons were discriminated against in the labour market.

"Many establishments insist on employing only graduates who are in their early 20s and who have between two and three years' of working experience.

"It is a fact too that most physically challenged who manage to possess these qualities are often from wealthy families", she said.

She urged people living with any form of disability to acquire skills which will serve as a means of living decent life in spite of the hostile economic conditions.





ODA(The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation(Norad)と思われる)

育成会や国際育成会連盟(Inclusion International)の




SA: Disabled refugees struggle to survive

Posted on Monday 15 December 2008 - 09:40

Justice Zhou, AfricaNews reporter in Johannesburg, South Africa

Disabled Zimbabwe immigrants escaping hardships in their country turn to face even more difficulties in South Africa. Not only do they struggle to put food on the table, handicapped refugees fail to access safe accommodation and health facilities too. Some sleep in the open on street pavements.

Others illegally occupy abandoned apartments, sharing the squalid buildings with potentially dangerous strangers. They risk evictions and live in constant fear of police and criminals.

Since 2007, the number of blind beggars and amputees of Zimbabwean origin has been swelling significantly on the streets of Johannesburg. Their only meaningful alternative source of income is by soliciting aid from well-wishers.

Rumbidzai Kwaramba, a blind refugee, has no choice but to stand in the sun each day, enduring the sweltering heat as she begs from passing motorists. ‘It’s quite hard out here, not everyone is generous, but at least I get something everyday to keep me alive’ she says in Shona language.

As churches and humanitarian NGOs grapple to cope with the overwhelming influx of asylum seekers, the South African government refers to a social service delivery system that is ‘under strain’ due to limited resources, just to make matters worse.



Dignity, justice we all deserve

16:28:15 - 15 December 2008

His tale is an epitome of the numerous untold stories of the anguish that the vulnerable, precisely people with disabilities, painfully experience. His account is an embodiment of the deserved dignity and justices such people are, unfortunately, deprived of.

Born 53 years ago in Chilonga village, Traditional Authority Jalasi in Mangochi district, Mereka Goliati was for 39 years full of strength and vigour. He became a known carpenter over those years and getting bread and butter through his trade gave him pleasure.

Come June 1994, Mereka, a father of 9, experienced devastation he will live to remember.

“It all started when I was bathing. I developed a blister on my leg which later developed into a big wound. After a while, I unbelievably started losing my fingers one by one and in no time I lost nine of them. My leg got bent and I could no longer manage to step my foot down. That was the last time I used it and how I become a person with disability,” Mereka narrates his ordeal with an uncontrollable sob.

As Mereka explains, what pains him also is that he has never walked into any school corridors since birth and none of his children work.

“Life is very unbearable. Sometimes I go for four days without a meal. And people no longer respect me. I hardly have access to some resources like seed and fertiliser coupon which are mostly distributed to non disabled people. I wish I didn’t have this disability as I would be able to work with ease and find money to purchase fertiliser, farm and other vital inputs,” Mereka complains.

According to Mereka, having a disability has rendered him useless in the eyes of others and he no longer gets the respect he deserves.

“Only a few believe I have dignity which needs to be respected. And my disability coupled with poverty, justice is no longer attainable. I wonder why we, persons with disabilities, continue to face barriers to our participation in the society and why we are forced to live on the margins of the society,” Mereka laments.

Certainly he is right and a closer glance at him makes his stance justified.

Just like Mereka, Abdul Lajabu, 12 years of age, shares almost a similar torment. According to his mother, Indi, Abdul was born a non disabled person but eventually became epileptic at the tender age of four.

“His body just changed suddenly when he came back from playing with colleagues and it showed all kinds of epilepsy. We went to different hospitals who openly told us that they couldn’t do anything. Now I suspended most of my daily works, including farming, to be taking care of him. It’s a helpless situation,” recounts Indi.

And like Mereka, Indi shares similar sentiments. Her son is denied justice and respect.

“My son and I are usually sidelined in developmental and other issues. Normally, all kinds all help, including access to loans, starter packs, seed and fertiliser coupons which are very important, only go to those people who are in committees. And very rare are people with disabilities involved,” she explains.

Around 10 percent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with disabilities of which two thirds live in abject poverty. In Malawi, there are over five hundred thousand persons with disabilities of whom 90 percent live in rural areas. Mereka and Abdul belong to this group.

The two, however, can afford to have a smile because Total Life Care, an organisation based in Mangochi district whose mission is to build vulnerable people’s capacity in terms of livelihood so that they can have a sustainable life, has come to their rescue.

Absire Muzingo, TLC’s Health, Nutrition and Disability facilitator says with help from organisations like Macoha, Cure International, Malawi Against Physical Disabilities (Map), they have tried to sensitise and empower the communities, with emphasis on people with disabilities.

“Our mission is to reduce poverty and empower communities through community development for better livelihood. We believe that everyone needs to experience well-being when living as oneself in a household within a community, enjoying the creation in God’s world as God intended. Dignity and justice is for all,” Muzingo says.

Mereka and Indi are grateful to the organisation for different provisions including health care. However, as the two put it, the help is not enough.

Dignity and Justice For All, this was the theme for this year’s International Day of People with Disabilities when Malawi joins the rest of the world every year in commemorating the day on December 3. In Malawi, the day was commemorated on December 6 at Namwera in Mangochi.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities, according to Executive Director of Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma), Mussa Chiwaula, is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is the day when all the member states of the United Nations are called upon to reflect on and take stock of the achievements made as regards the integration of persons with disabilities and the challenges faced in the pursuit of this noble goal. Thus, promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Secondly, the day aims at promoting understanding about disability issues and increase awareness of the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of any socio-economic development.

“Fedoma believes that access to justice for persons with disabilities is a basic human right as well as an indispensable means to combat poverty and strengthen good governance. There are strong links between establishing democratic governance, reducing poverty and securing access to justice. Democratic governance is undermined where access to justice for all citizens including persons with disabilities is absent,” Chiwaula says.

People like Mereka and Abdul, according to Chiwaula, face a lot of challenges in accessing justice such as lack of awareness of adequate information of what is supposed to exist under the law, what prevails in practice and limited knowledge of rights; prohibitive laws of using the system; formalistic and expensive legal procedure that is not user friendly for persons with disabilities, inaccessible court buildings and lack of communication formats for people with visual and hearing impairments, among others.

“We people with disabilities deserve equal rights, opportunities, justice and dignity. Why should we be denied access to loans and coupons, for example? Is it because we have a disability?” asks Mereka. “As we commemorate this day of ours, we appreciate the world remembers us yes but these are indeed issues we should consider.”

Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly Clement Khembo provides the solution.

“I am urging chiefs and all people responsible for coupon distribution to prioritise people with disabilities and the elderly in the exercise. People with disabilities and the elderly are the poorest in the country and they cannot afford to till the land and do some piece works to earn money hence they deserve the priority,” Khembo says.

Adds Khembo: “Help these people by giving them [fertiliser and seed] coupons before everybody else. They are disabled yes but their mouths are not. Why should we treat them as though they have disabled mouths and they don’t eat? We should all understand that dignity and justice for all persons are established universal principles.”

The minister says people with disabilities have various skills and capabilities more than other non-disabled and have rights and dignity which need to be respected.

Adding his voice to the numerous voices, Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly Elias Ngongondo said disability is not a charity but a human rights issue and it should not be taken like persons with disabilities are begging for their rights.

When all is said and done, reflecting on and taking stock of the achievements made as regards the integration of persons with disabilities and the challenges faced in the pursuit of this noble goal is not an option. It is a must.

The author is the Public Relations Officer of MACOHA*



Ethiopia: Disability Day Colourfully Commemorated Here

Fikremariam Tesfaye
15 December 2008

Addis Ababa - The International Day of People Living With Disabilities was celebrated on Friday at the Entoto Amba Secondary School in Addis where stigma, discrimination, and violation of rights of people living with disabilities were condemned.

The UN day of People living with Disabilities held in collaboration with Right To Play (RTP), Gulele Sub-city, Dir Foundation and CARDOS Ethiopia at the said school targetted promoting gender equality to children and the youth, as well as demonstrating fair play and inclusion of disadvantageous groups of societies.

The day was commemorated under the theme "Dignity justice all of us" with more than two thousand children and youth taking part and five nearby schools joining the celebration.

The event also served as a podium to advocate the participation of girls and people living with disabilities not only in education, but as well in sports and play programs in an effort to integrate more elements into their social lives, according to Melaku Tekola, Communications Coordinator representing an international NGO named Right To Play (RTP) that works at awareness creation concerning disability by arranging sport activities and competion events.

RTP is an athlete-driven, international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

RTP began implementing the programs in Ethiopia since 2005. The project started by international volunteers in few sub cities in Addis Ababa. Now it works in about ten more sub cities in Addis Ababa with other local partner organizations and a network of 307 coaches who reach over 12,100 children with RTP sport and play programs. RTP has projects in more than 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle-East.







Ghanaians urged to pray for success of NHIS

Health | Wed, 17 Dec 2008

The Moderator-elect of the E.P. Church, Ghana, Right Reverend Francis Amenu, on Wednesday urged Ghanaians to pray for the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said the scheme has brought big financial relief to many people who for the lack of money would not have been able to seek medical care.

Rt. Rev. Amenu was speaking at a ceremony during which the Church's Agenda 21 Project handed over renewed NHIS membership cards to 100 disabled persons and their dependants in the Ho Municipality, in Ho.

He said the Church through the Project decided last year to support the beneficiaries as its contribution to the success of the scheme and also to fulfil its Christian duty of bringing hope to the needy.

Rt. Rev. Amenu said the proposal to extend the NHIS renewal period from one year to five years as from 2009 was a major development in the operations of the scheme.

Mr. Prosper Pi-Bansah, the Municipal Manager of the Scheme, said poor quality service delivery and extortion of illegal fees from some clients at some designated health institutions, constituted challenges of the Scheme.

He urged members of the Scheme to demand explanations for fees charged at health institutions and draw the Scheme's attention to any such demands.

Mr. Charles Agboklu, Chairman of the Board of the Ho Municipal Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, and Co-ordinator of the Project, said that the law on the Scheme did not exempt the disabled from paying health insurance Premiums.

He said the National Federation of the Disabled could lobby Parliament on the issue of exemption of its members.

Mr. Agboklu said the dilemma, however, was that quite a number of the disabled might be gainfully employed, moreover the body representing the interest of the disabled people was by policy against handouts to its members.

He said for the sake of the most vulnerable among them, sponsorship could be sought to pay the premiums on their behalf.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to Agenda 21 and the E.P. Church for their show of fellow feeling and love.

They lauded the NHIS and appealed to both the Scheme and the E.P. Church to extend their support to their colleagues who are also in dire need of support. They, however, drew attention to the need to pay attention to eradicating illegal fees, delays at the health facilities and poor quality care for those on health insurance.



People with disabilities facing discrimination in Malawi - activists

People with disabilities facing discrimination in Malawi - activists

By Praise Liomba 17 December, 2008 03:40:00

image Chiwaula: Some of us are being left out in the fertilizer subsidy

The Federation of disability organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA) has said people with disabilities in the country were going through high levels of discrimination and abuse.

Speaking after the commemoration of this year's International Disability Day, whose theme was "Justice and Dignity for All", Executive Director of FEDOMA, Mussa Chiwaula has noted that with disabilities were denied a lot of opportunities in various places, development which he said has adversely affected the battled against equalization of opportunities for the disadvantaged people.

"People with disabilities in Malawi are going through untold torture through various sorts of discrimination and stigma. We are being denied opportunities.

"For instance, most of us are being left out in the implementation of the fertilizer subsidy program. Chiefs feel like, we are not productive, therefore we don't deserve coupons," said Chiwaula.

Chiwaula then appealed to government to check the high levels of discrimination and abuse that people with disabilities were going through and address the matter.

"It seems, we are being forgotten in this country. A large sector of the society cares less for us. Something has to be done, otherwise, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities will just be a mere song," he said.

On his part, Minister responsible for the elderly and people with disabilities, Clement Khembo admitted that government was aware of the levels of discrimination against people with disabilities and pledged to address the situation, before it reaches alarming levels.

"As government, we are quite aware of the situation and we are doing all what we can to reverse the situation. But also at the same time, we are appealing to all sectors of the society to join hands in addressing the problem," said Khembo, whose ministry has focused much on older people unlike those with disabilities.



Disabled warned against HIV/AIDS

Sunday, 21st December, 2008

By Chris Ahimbisibwe

People with disabilities (PWDs) have been urged to desist from activities which can expose them to diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

The call was recently made by Bushenyi district vice-chairperson Enid Rubegyemera while handing over 132 wheelchairs to people with disabilities at Bushenyi health centre III.

The wheelchairs were donated by the Rotary Club of Bushenyi district. Rubegyemera urged the PWDs to engage in income-generating activities so as to become self-sustaining.

“You should not engage in unprotected sex or any activities that expose you to diseases,” Rubegyemera advised.

She also called upon the PWDs to get involved in Government programmes like the National Agricultural Advisory Services, the Universal Primary and Universal Secondary education programmes so as to fight poverty.

Bushenyi Rotary Club president Gad Twesigye said: “It makes us happy when such people are being empowered so that they can enjoy their lives as normal human beings.”

He said one of the missions of Rotary International was to assist people who are unable to assist themselves.

Speaking at the same function, Bushenyi district deputy chief administrative officer, Mathius Ndifuna, hailed the members of the Rotary Club for their generous contributions towards society.

Ndifuna said it was good to have such organisations, which are concerned with the development of the people.



Ghana: Visually Impaired Call for More Inclusion

Frederick Asiamah
22 December 2008

Accra - The blind and partially sighted still suffer from social exclusion at the family, local and national levels, according to the Ghana Association of the Blind (GAB).

As a result, the GAB has called on "government, state institutions, service providers and civil society organizations to commit themselves to the building of an inclusive society where respect for the rights and equalization of opportunities for the disabled and other vulnerable groups are upheld."

In this regard, "We don't want compassion but understanding; we don't want tolerance but acceptance; we don't want charity but opportunity," the group's President, Mr. Yaw Ofori Debra stated at a press conference held on Thursday in Accra.

Mr. Debra also called on government to immediately see to the inauguration of the National Council on Persons with Disability.

Education appeared the area where the blind and partially sighted suffer most from exclusion. Mr. Stephen Nketia, Chairman, Educational Committee of GAB complained of very limited educational facilities for the blind.

He mentioned Akropong and Wa schools for the blind as the only facilities available for the education of the blind. "This means that without these institutions we cannot access education," he lamented.

For him the solution is to admit the visually impaired into the regular school system at the community level to arrest their alienation from the community. This way, "They are able to socialize and blindness becomes unimportant."

The GAB has therefore proposed two models for including the visually impaired into mainstreaming education. First, blind and partially sighted can be admitted directly into schools in their community. In the second instance, the visually impaired in remote areas could be housed in hostels in urban areas where they could access regular education.

In a related development, Mr. Nicholas Halm, National Secretary of GAB, has observed that several polling stations did not receive tactile guide during the 7th December polls. As a result, "independent voting was defeated" in the case of the visually impaired.

He therefore called for tactile ballot guides to be made available for the 28th December presidential run-off.



Africans want Angolan Leonel Pinto to lead disabled person's confederation

Luanda - The Angolan Leonel da Rocha Pinto was recently requested to assume the post of chairman of the African Sports Confederation of the Disabled (ASCOD), for the 2009/2012 period, ANGOP has learnt.

According to a letter addressed to ASCOD, signed by 20 out of the 30 countries affiliated to this continental association, the subscribers want a decentralisation of the activities, which so far have predominantly been taking place in the northern countries of the continent.

In the letter, that has a copy addressed to the chairperson of international Paralympic Committee (IPC), the British Filipe Cravem, the states justified this stand due to an alleged lack of interest by the current managing board of ASCOD in developing the adapted sports all over the continent in a proportional way.



Senator Tom joins disabled to Xmas party

23 December, 2008 11:15:00
By Calsile Masilela

SENATOR Tom Mndzebele joined 40 disabled elderly and children to a Christmas lunch at Fonteyn on Friday.
The lunch was held at the Fonteyn pre-school and was hosted by a resident, Thabsile Lukhele. The disabled were treated to food, desserts, sweets and juice. Lukhele thanked the individuals and companies who donated towards the party. She said the people included Senator Tom Mndzebele, Build it, Spur, Kusile Kitchen, owner of Umtukulu kombis Elijah Dlamini and others.
Lukhele said disabled people were capable of doing anything but needed support to realise their potential and talents. "These people can make a difference if they can be considered in a number of things, which include giving them monthly allowances to keep them going," she said. She also thanked the people who helped her with the cooking, adding that they had contributed to bringing hope to the disabled people. "I do this out of passion for the disabled persons because they are the forgotten minority, living in a world of individualism as people have moved from communalism, especially in town. Life in town was not easy, especially to poor people because they cannot ask from neighbours as everyone minds his or her business," said Lukhele. She explained that this was the sixth Christmas she held for the people of Fonteyn, and that sometime in April she donated clothes to them. Lukhele appealed to members of the public and companies to make it a habit to help the less privileged.



Health workers sleep in wards, say MPs

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2008

By Mary Karugaba

HEALTH workers in Pajwenda Health Centre in Tororo and Bushozi in Kisoro district sleep in patients’ wards, MPs have said.

MPs on the Network for Women Ministers and Parliamentarians Uganda Chapter said the healthworkers’ households were only separated by curtains.

Alisemera Babiha condemned the act, saying it was an abuse of the health workers’ rights to privacy. She attributed the problem to lack of accommodation in many Government hospitals.

“The environment is very risky for the health of the workers and their children. In developed countries, the nurse would sue the Government in case her children fell sick,” she said.

The MPs were briefing journalists at Parliament on their recent fact-finding tour of upcountry hospitals and health centres.

The network chairperson, Sarah Nyombi, noted that although it would be good for the health workers to stay near the patients, it’s an inconvenience especially when they want to do “adult things.”

“This means the female health workers cannot bring in their partners to do some of the things done by adults,” Nyombi said.

The MPs also visited Masaka, Kayunga, Mubende, Masindi, Fort portal, Bundibugyo and Iganga hospitals.

Nyombi said they received reports that health workers were physically abusing and neglecting disabled pregnant women.

“We were told that when they (disabled) go to hospitals, the nurses ask them to explain why they got pregnant. This is very unfortunate. Being disabled does not mean that you should not produce,” Nyombi said.

Citing Masindi Hospital, Alisemera, said many of the hospitals did not have delivery beds in the labour wards, gloves and kits. She said they also needed to be renovated.

Alisemera appealed to the Government to increase the health ministry’s budget to 15% to cater for the hospitals’ needs.



Daring to fight the odds

The 2008 Certificate of Primary Education examinations were once again the opportunity for quite a few Mauritian children to show that “disability” does not rhyme with “inability”.

“I am so proud and satisfied of the performance of my son at CPE. I was expecting good results, as Jaabir had worked really hard all through the year,” explained Jabeen Suddoo, mother of the young Jaabir, 12, young pupil at APDA with hearing problems.

“He showed incredible maturity when the examination period was approaching. He would stay home to revise and work while going out to relatives and friends. He has private tuition three times a week and the work he did with the help of Mr Yogam undoubtedly helped him in his exams,” she added.

This success story starts back a few years ago when the parents of the young Jaabir discovered that their son had hearing problems. At first, uneasy and without any recourse, they finally decided to send their kid to HEAR - Hearing Impaired Education and Rehabilitation Institute (HEAR), a school under the aegis of the 'Association des Parents de Deficients Auditifs de Curepipe' (APDA).

“It is thanks to the teachers at APDA that Jaabir succeeded. He was about three years old when he joined the school. He used to get rid of his hearing tools before but the teachers taught him that these would help him hear and slowly he got to be more social,” Jabeen explained.

“Thanks to APDA, Jaabir received an education that considered his shortcomings and limitations. However, we treated him just like any other kid and gave him equal attention. When he joined the school he started developing. I guess he realized that he wasn't alone in the same predicament and that there were other kids just like him. He was conscious of his problem but never backed down. He made a lot of sacrifices and now he visibly wants to make up for lost time,” Jabeen says.

Indeed, the young man spends his days playing with his younger brothers, on his Play Station 2 and with his relatives. “He loves sport, computer games, playing on his Play Station. He loves it all. In fact he won quite a few medals in sporting events at his school.”

Jaabir's mother points out that he was stress free all through the examination period but incredibly tense the eve of the results. “I knew I had done my best but I was really stressed. So much so that I could not even sleep the day before. Mum went to look for my results and gave me the results afterwards,” Jaabir says.

For Brinda Perumal, Deputy Head Teacher of the HEAR Institute, the performance of Jaabir is very special when considering that “this kid succeeded at his very first attempt. We use the American Sign Language as a means to help the kids in their examinations and it indeed produced quite a few good results.”

She adds, however, that “kids with disabilities when confronted to failure at the end of their primary schooling are often left without any other option. Even BEC pre-vocational colleges are already full. The ideal would be the setting up of a special prevocational class for pupils with special needs and who have failed their CPE twice. Presently they are out of the educational system after their primary schooling,” Brinda Perumal says.

The Young Jaabir is but one of the success stories revealed by the CPE 2008 examinations. For Ourvashi Soondur, a young visually challenged inhabitant of Nouvelle France, the CPE exams were a revelation. Harvesting three Ds, one C and one E, she however now has to face the cruel reality, still unsure of whether she will be accepted in a secondary institution.

Ourvashi, 15, became visually impaired at the age of seven. Following health tests, it was discovered that she had a brain tumour and she needed urgent surgery that had the unfortunate collateral of making her blind.

But as strong willed as ever she had decided not to give up and make the most of her possibilities. It is this rage to succeed that motivated her to go to the Lizie dan la main Centre at Forest Side every morning for the past four years.

There, Ourvashi learns Braille and has participated in various sports and literary activities. She even won the Most Promising Female Athlete Award in 2007. Two years ago she had written her first poem entitled “My dream” and won the first prize on World Poetry Day.

“My success can be attributed to two things only: perseverance and a lot of sacrifices,” she says.

Ourvashi’s parents are very grateful to all the people who contributed to making their daughter's life better.

For Ashish, her father, “secondary education is very important. I would like to make an appeal to the authorities to help Ourvashi find a seat in a secondary institution.” He explains that his daughter's success wouldn't have been possible without the help of the Lizie dan la Main Centre, her teacher and her sponsor Mauritius Duty Free Paradise, which donated a Braille typewriting machine to the young girl.

Special consideration
Among the 23,664 CPE candidates, some 170 disabled pupils received special consideration and were provided with an additional time varying from 20 mins to half of the initially allocated time to answer the question papers.

Of these pupils needing special care, some 23 had a visual disability, 32 had dyslexia, 5 took their exams on their hospital beds, and some other 111 children with a small handicap who requested some help to read or write.

Professor Lucien Finette, Director of the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate however highlights that “even though some students have disabilities they all sit for the same paper.”



Over 1,000 disabled integrated into labour market

Luanda - At least 1,500 disabled people were integrated into the labour market activity in 2008, as part of “Vem comigo” project, implemented by the national association of the Angolan disabled people (ANDA).

Addressing a press on Friday, the project’s co-ordinator, Silva Lopes Etiambulo, while conducting a balance of the ANDA’s activity, considered the 2008 as a positive year for the association he leads.

The activity also included hand over of 248 motorcycle taxis in 17 provinces with the assistance of the NGO “Causa Solidaria", which enabled the creation of the cooperatives across the regions.

On the other hand, Silva Lopes highlighted the participation, at the UN conference on disabled people, held in New York, the summit of Portuguese speaking countries community (CPLP) that gathered associations associated with disabled persons, happened in Brazil.



Ethiopia: Centre Launches First Database on Disability

Fikremariam Tesfaye
31 December 2008

Addis Abeba - The Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) and UNICEF on Monday launched a website and an electronic database of information pertaining disability and related issues in Ethiopia.

The database will be accessible using the ECDD website as well as CD Rom, to be distributed freely as of early in 2009 to parliament, government bureaus, university libraries, disabled persons Organizations (DPOs), developmental NGOs, and other interested organizations, Abrham Worku, Chairperson and Board Director of ECDD said at the launching ceremony held at the Hilton.

The launch coincided with the center's 3rd anniversary.

The centre has already established in its office a public disability information service center (DISC) that provides documentation on disability and development in Ethiopia, and on services and organizations available to or involving persons with disabilities.

The ECDD information collection specializes on disability topics and persons with disabilities in Ethiopia, including census and survey data, research studies, university degree theses, publications of UN organizations, government agencies and NGOs, information about government, NGO and DPOs policies, programs and activities in the country, as well as documentations from the regional and international organizations, Abrham said.

The new DISC electronic database contains relevant information in both Amharic and English languages on disability, including information on various disabilities subjects, disability services and service providers including geographical location and types of services and products. It also has information on disability-related organizations including DPOs, NGOs working in Ethiopia.



Deaf, mute fisherman missing

Murray Williams
December 31 2008 at 11:35AM

A desperate mother was on Wednesday morning praying for the rescue of her son, Neels du Plooy, who was lost at sea after hours of drama late on Tuesday night.

Du Plooy, who is described as a gentle giant because of his size and strength, is deaf and mute.

At their home in the Strand, his mother, Miemie van Rensburg, her eyes red and swollen from lack of sleep and a night of grief, could not hide her devastation at the disappearance of her beloved son.

Du Plooy, 40, had gone fishing around 10pm on Tuesday night in a three-man wooden fishing boat off Melkbaai in the Strand.

With him had been his step-father, Hendrik van Rensburg, and another relative, Johan Delport.

The trio had been fishing in the strong south-easterly wind, which makes for favourable conditions in False Bay.

They had completed their catch of small sharks, which they were going to sell be used for dried fish "bokkems", when their boat had begun to take water.

It then capsized, far from shore, and the nightmare began.

Van Rensburg and Delport later told their family how they had swum for more than 90 minutes in the dark and churned-up sea, until they had eventually reached the shore - barely alive.

Van Rensburg phoned his wife - and broke the news to her that her son was not with them.

A rescue was launched immediately by the NSRI's Rescue 9 of Gordon's Bay, and was later joined by police divers and Metro Rescue personnel.

Between them, they combed the beach, shore-line and the sea.

The search was resumed by helicopter this morning, and the family's wooden boat was spotted 400m off-shore from Macassar beach, around 5km downwind, and recovered by the NSRI's Strandfontein unit.

All three fishermen had been wearing life-jackets, yet nothing could be seen of Du Plooy near the boat.

Back at the family home in a caravan park near the Lourens River mouth in the Strand, Du Plooy's family sat anxiously waiting for news.

Miemie described her son as a powerful swimmer and an experienced fisherman.

Her eyes welling with tears, she told how she had lost another son in a car accident in the past few years.

Miemie said Neels had not been able to work because of his disability, but that he had always had a love for the sea and had in the past worked with crayfish quota holders.

Du Plooy had been a popular member among his contemporaries within the Strand sea-loving community.

Miemie said her husband had collapsed in bed this morning - his relief at having saved his own life overwhelmed by the disappearance of his stepson.

He and Delport had told family members how they had come close to succumbing to the sea themselves, and had been guided only by the Strand Beach Road's lights, as they swam for their lives.

Residents spoke to the Cape Argus of their belief that Du Plooy's prowess as a swimmer would somehow enable him to stay alive - even after almost 12 hours at sea.

A neighbour, Brenda Bester, told Miemie van Rensburg how she, too, had lost a son at sea during the festive season - her son Fairbairn had also been fishing around New Year and had been washed from the rocks near Hangklip.

The two women clung together, sharing Miemie's grief.

At the time of going to press, rescuers were still searching the bay for any sign of Du Plooy.

Police and other officials searched the stretch of coastline between the Strand and Macassar.

The stretch is closed to the public as it belongs to AECI and Somchem, a subsidiary of arms manufacturer Denel, but it is believed that Du Plooy could have been washed up or crawled ashore.


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