By Tendai Guvamombe(Mash-Central)
Developement Aid from People to People (DAPP) is currently implementing a programme on Young Persons With Disabilities(YPWDs) in Mashonaland Central. The programme anchor’s on strengthening and mainstreaming disability.
The programme is being implemented in Partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) and European Union(EU).
Spotlight Online News Africa early this week toured various Disabled Initiatives in Mashonaland Central’s Shamva District and recorded some of their success stories.
The majority of Young Persons With Disabilities in Shamva’s Urban expressed excitement on the knowledge they acquired so far from DAPP. This relates to inculcation of UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD).
Maud Mudyiradima Chairperson of Shamva Urban Youth With Disability said DAPP programmes benefited them in realizing their rights on matters of advocacy and societal inclusion.
“DAPP programmes empowered youth with disabilities in many ways. For instance we used to live in isolation but because of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) we have now realized our rights in matters of inclusion and advocacy,” she said.
Mudyiradima is a living testimony of a youth who used to hide her child from public face due to the nature of her son’s disability. Today she is now able to walk freely with the disabled child because she have realized the importance of disability mainstreaming.
“I am one of the persons who used to hide my child at home from people but after learning about disability mainstreaming and advocacy i learnt that as youth with disabilities it is our duty advocate for our rights.”
The youth initiative have since moved away from Charity models towards dependent models of disability adding that it is their role to create a sustainable future for youth with disabilities.
“We also learnt that as young persons with disability it is high time we move away from charity based models so that e became dependent from relying on charity and donor funding. This keeps us from begging but promotes a degree of independency.”
Prince Madamombe another youth with disability and Vice Chairperson of Shamva Urban Youth With Disability said they have launched income generating projects aimed at fostering dependency and sustainability.
“We are currently working on income generating projects so that we become independent from relying on donations. This will also help us generate funds to sustain our future generations. Our input matters to them.”
Edward Marara Patron of Shamva Urban YWD and Disability Specialist Teacher with Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said has observed notable positive engagements by disabled youths in the area.
“Most of the youth with disabilities aged between 15-35 years are now into advocacy. I remember at one point they participated in policy dialogue at national level. Apart from this I have also seen them educating the community which is commendable. You know it is difficulty for a disabled person to educate another person with disabilities.”
White Nkoma, District Development Coordinator for Shamva says mainstreaming disability has gained momentum in the area. He agitated for the inclusion of young persons with disabilities to the junior council and parliament respectively.
“DAPP programs spearheaded disability inclusion in Shamva and as the government we have already noticed some positive changes. We now want to see disability inclusion and mainstreaming cascading down to junior council and parliament.”
Knolwedge is power and disability mainstreaming will lead to a transformed society.