Hear our Voices Conference, Report from Mark Mapemba


I and Dicky (my Support Person) left Malawi to Spain, where I was a speaker at a conference “Hear our Voices” in Madrid, Spain. We left Malawi on 29 September and we were in Spain on 30 September. The conference was about how to make our voices heard and it was a great to attend. I had the pleasure to talk about Supported decision Making. About 200 people were at the conference. I had a chance to faciliate two workshops. It was my first time to be a speaker at a workshop organized by Inclusion International, Julia Hawkins, Raquel Gonzales and Dicky Huwa played a big role before, during and after this workshop. I am really grateful to these people for they made my workshop time a success.

mark workshop

Before the conference we had a pre-meeting for Inclusion International with the self-advocate Council members and we talked about self-advocacy and about the International Conference that will take place in Orlando, Florida in October 2016.

Self-advocate Council






L-R – Mia Farah(Leb), Mark Mapemba(Mw), Sarah Pickard(Eng), David Corner(Nz) and Quincy Mwiya(Za)

At the Madrid conference I was a speaker at the works about “SUPPOTED DECISION MAKING”. I had two sessions for two days. It was great and I enjoyed it. I talked about who can be the good support person, and what kind of decisions we make every day, this included decisions we make in life, and at what level do we need support. In these meetings as a speaker I learned a lot, from the comments in the workshop, and different views from different countries. I was with Julia and Raquel form II who were advising me on my topic and how to interact with my audience for good representation. For their tireless efforts I salute them and appreciate whole heartedly.

I had a chance to meet with the self-advocates from other countries and share with them what is happening in our region. In the conference itself I was amazed to learn how the Vodafone is changing lives of people with Intellectual disability in Spain with technology, working with self-advocates to ease lives.

Lastly, let me urge Inclusion international to carry on with these meetings, as they are teaching us a lot, they help to share ideas on how we can change lives of people with Intellectual disabilities in our regions. I believe Inclusion International have a big role on supporting the groups on how we can manage our groups and how we can interact with other groups. In other words connecting the groups around the word so that they can work together. If all groups are inter-linked we will learn a lot and achieve our objectives. All in all I thank Inclusion International, Inclusion Africa and all bodies that organize these meetings, they have made us good SELF ADVOCATES, because now we know our rights and we know how to disseminate information on the rights of people with Intellectual disability.