Celebrating the International Day of the African Child

Young Voices in Uganda took part in the International Day of the African Child celebrations in Wakiso District, organised by Katalemwa Cheshire Home. The theme of the celebrations was ‘recognise my disability, emphasise my ability’. Over 300 people came along including community residents, school children, NGOs, political leaders and government officials. Young Voices presented a poem that called upon parents to educate children with disabilities, and performed a song about equality for people with disabilities.

Campaigning for access to clean water and sanitation facilities

Young Voices members in Zambia have collaborated with WaterAid on a campaign on access to water and sanitation facilities. They held a joint workshop with WaterAid and journalists on water and sanitation for people with disabilities. The workshop aimed to encourage the media to report about the challenges people with disabilities face in accessing clean water and sanitation facilities.

Young Voices in Indonesia translate the UNCRPD

The Young Voices group in Indonesia has successfully translated the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into Bahasa Indonesia. The translation has been essential in raising awareness amongst the Young Voices members themselves and also with the people they are trying to influence. It helps them to demonstrate that the rights of people with disabilities are fundamentally supported by international law and that it is essential for the Indonesian government and duty bearers to recognise and implement it effectively.

The foreword to the translation was provided by Dr Samsudi from the Directorate for Persons with Disabilities. Dr Samsudi states the need to actively recognise the rights of people with disabilities and to increase knowledge and awareness of disability issues.

New county governor in Kajiado is keen to work with Young Voices

In March 2013 the first county governor of Kajiado county, Kenya, was sworn in at a ceremony in Kajiado showground witnessed by thousands of members of the local community. The new Governor has agreed to meet with Young Voices campaigners and give them the opportunity to discuss their issues and concerns, and help him to implement what they want as people with disabilities in Kajiado.

The voices of young disabled people were prominent in the celebrations – Young Voices members performed songs, poems and gave speeches on issues for people with disabilities. Young Voices members in Kajiado have done a great deal of awareness raising about communication barriers within the county; as a result a sign language interpreter was present at the event.

Young Voices campaigner reports for the Ecologist about the devastating impact of illegal sand mining

Ramatu Kanadu, a Young Voices campaigner from Sierra Leone, has written an article for the Ecologist about the impact of illegal sand mining in Sierra Leone. Ramatu recently took part in a series of citizen reporter workshops organised by Radar which has helped her to develop her skills as a journalist.

Ramatu’s article reveals that sand is being removed at an unsustainable rate from the beaches of Sierra Leone, and highlights the devastating effect this is having on local communities and the environment. You can read her article here.

Young Voices campaigner speaks out about access to secondary education for students with disabilities

Munyaradzi Mahiya, Young Voices campaigner and a Senator of the Junior Parliament in Zimbabwe, has spoken out about the challenges faced by students with disabilities in Zimbabwe in an interview with the Zimbabwe Herald.

“In Zimbabwe access to secondary education for students with disabilities has become a challenge which continues to rise almost every day” he said. “The situation has worsened because they are few secondary schools that cater for students with disabilities and most schools still remain inaccessible due to infrastructure problems.”

Read the full article.