Self-advocacy event and Asia-Pacific Regional discussion

Self-advocacy training

On the 26th and the 27th March Inclusion International, in partnership with our member PFPID, held a two day Empower Us self-advocacy training event in Kathmandu, Nepal. The training was co-developed and led by Inclusion International Empower Us self-advocate leaders, Jayne from Kenya, Mark from Malawi and David from New Zealand. The training is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), NFU Norway, The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and IHC New Zealand.

Twenty-five self-advocates took part in the training with their supporters, which covered self-advocacy, good support, how to work as a group, our rights and how to advocate and take action for change. Participants from Nepal, India, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam took part in activities and worked together, discussing the big issues for them and sharing their self-advocacy experiences. Some of the big issues that the self-advocates raised were around not being able to go to school, being discriminated against in their communities, and having few opportunities to get a job or earn money. The group developed advocacy plans on  some of these issues and heard from Mark, Jayne and David about ways their self-advocacy organisations have taken action for change.

The self-advocates fed back that they enjoyed the training, found it useful and learnt a lot about their rights and hwo to advoacte for them. Participants said that they especially enjoyed working with self-advocates from other countries and felt inspired by each other’s work and stories.

If you have any questions about the Inclusion International Empower Us work, or would like more details about the training please get in touch with Empower Us empowerus@nullinclusion-international.org , take a look at our website or follow us on Facebook.

Regional Discussion

Inclusion International members and partners identify supporting families as a key priority at recent regional discussion 28 – 29, March, 2018 in Nepal. When families are empowered and active then they can support their sons and daughters to be empowered too. Currently, people with intellectual disabilities and their families are invisible and alone. The scale of exclusion requires significant advocacy efforts to bring about systems transformation. In the absence of inclusive services in communities, members and partners in the region are often focused on providing basic care and support. Despite the existence of some laws and policies, these efforts often do not include people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Participants identified information sharing and keeping connected through technology as essential for the region. They highlighted the need to build a sense of belonging to combat stigma and attitudes that make people with intellectual disabilities and their families invisible.