Young Voices: a team effort

This article was put together by Young Voices campaigners during the 2013 Young Voices Global meeting in Kenya.

Young Voices is all about awakening young people to know and fight for their rights at local, national and international levels, so as to harmonize the various laws of the land in line with United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Young Voices campaigners have gained so much experience such as communication skills, leadership skills, and door to door campaigns. The most important change in the lives of Young Voices members is that they have greater awareness of how to campaign using the UNCRPD. Sheku Feika from Sierra Leone says that as a result many people with disabilities have found gainful employment and have access to education and quality health services.

Theogene Iyakaremye from Rwanda says that the factors that have led to these successful campaigns is that Young Voices groups have been able to meet with policy makers, government ministries and NGOs to ensure that the UNCRPD is being implemented.

Being well-trained as campaigner and gaining confidence has been really important for Nyamizi S.Mhoja from Tanzania who has worked with policy makers, for example government, local chiefs, ministries, Districts and city councils. Young Voices in Tanzania persuaded the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to set up a committee on the rights of persons with disabilities to monitor the implementation of the UNCRPD.

Young Voices will continue to fight for their rights by pulling their efforts together as a team and advocating and campaigning about negative attitudes.

Editors: Sheku Feika, Iyakaremye Theogene; Nyamizi S. Mhoja; Shalini Rana.

Young Voices arrives in Rwanda!

Two new Young Voices groups have launched in Rwanda, in Ngororero and Nyabiho. The Government of Rwanda ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CRPD) in 2008. The new groups are planning how their campaigns will make rights a reality for people with disabilities in Rwanda. They’ve decided to focus their activities on awareness raising (Article 8 of the CRPD), education (Article 24) and health (Article 25).