Lawrence, Kenya

Lawrence in front of the Kenyan flagLawrence is 23 years old. He has a hearing impairment and is currently pursuing a Diploma in Social Work and Welfare at Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development. He is also employed part time by the Deaf Ability Initiative in Kenya, which enables Deaf young people to realise their full potential.

He has represented young people with disabilities at major conferences and forums both locally and nationally, and is an active campaigner for the rights of young people with disabilities through Leonard Cheshire Disability Young Voices. He is particularly proud of his contributions towards the promotion of sign language while studying at the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development. When he started his course, none of his fellow students or tutors understood Kenyan sign language. He wrote to the Director of the Institution urging him to introduce a basic sign language course. As a result of his advocacy, a sign language course has been established, and more Deaf people are now being admitted to the Institution to pursue their studies.

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Turkson, Zimbabwe

Turkson is 25 years old. He has a physical disability and is currently studying for his Diploma in Business Management. He joined Leonard Cheshire Disability Young Voices in 2010 to campaign for the rights of persons with disabilities, and is the National Facilitator for the Young Voices group in Harare. He is also member of the African Youth with Disabilities Networking Groups (YAYWDN) which advocates globally for disability rights.

In 2012, he took part in a UN Conference on Disability and Development in Bangkok. He also participated in the International Aids Conference in Washington in July 2012, where he contributed to the development of the ‘Washington Declaration PLUS’ which demanded the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in HIV and AIDS programmes. One of his most rewarding achievements is, along with his fellow Young Voices campaigners, influencing the Zimbabwean Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May 2013.

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Ashura, Kenya

Ashura holding a folder standing in front of a Leonard Cheshire Disability logoAshura is 21 years old and has a hearing impairment. She recently attained a Diploma in Law from Inoorero University Nairobi, Kenya. An ambitious lawyer in the making, she is a passionate advocate for the rights of people with hearing impairments and other disabilities in Kenya through Leonard Cheshire Young Voices.

She has taken part in many campaigning activities, including leading a group of Young Voices campaigners to visit the Communication Commission of Kenya and advocate for the need to have sign language interpretation services during news segments on television. She also ensured that during the Kenya at 50 years celebrations there was a professional interpreter in the stadium and in local television stations.

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