Blessing Chipasha and Ruth Chihana are two self-advocates based in Kasama, Zambia with Inclusion International’s member Friendly Barn Development Foundation.
They recently participated in an Empower Us workshop focused on developing self-advocacy skills.
I gained a deeper understanding that no one should infringe upon my rights simply because I have an intellectual disability.Blessing Chipasha, Self-advocate, Friendly Barn Development Foundation
We heard from both of them on their experience of the workshop and how it has impacted their self-advocacy journeys.
Blessing: “The training program has brought significant change to my life. I gained a deeper understanding that no one should infringe upon my rights simply because I have an intellectual disability.
I firmly believe that as people with intellectual impairments, we should be recognized and treated as valuable members of society, entitled to the same rights as any other human being.”
Ruth: “I feel inspired to share my experiences as a self-advocate involved with the Friendly Barn organisation in Kasama, Zambia.
I really enjoyed participating in the Inclusion International workshop and learning about the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.”
By embracing my role as a self-advocate, I have the potential to create positive change in my community.Ruth Chihana, Self-advocate, Friendly Barn Development Foundation
Spreading Awareness & Understanding My Rights
Blessing: “As an advocate, I feel a sense of duty to educate and inform others by sharing information in my community and to others.
Nobody should make fun of us because we now possess the knowledge and awareness of our own rights “
Ruth: “One significant thing the workshop empowered me with is knowledge and understanding of my rights as a person with an intellectual disability.
Learning to make my own choices without others’ influence is an essential skill that has promoted independence and self-advocacy.”
Blessing: “In my role as a self-advocate, I can share knowledge and advocate for myself to my peers, families, community members, and beyond.
Many people with intellectual disabilities are unaware of their rights.”
Ruth: “By embracing my role as a self-advocate, I have the potential to create positive change in my community.
My ability to influence others and encourage inclusivity can create a more inclusive environment for people with intellectual disabilities.”