…Gweru stakeholders urged to continue disability advocacy
GWERU - Stakeholders in the Midlands province disability lobby have been urged to scale up their advocacy despite the end of the Young Voices project funding initiative.
Speaking at a project evaluation meeting last week, Young Voice project officer, Juliet Muzondo said as the project funding stream closes, all institutions and stakeholders who have been involved in programmes should continue their work.
"As you are aware, the Young Voices funding from the Embassy of Finland has now come to an end but this should not be the closing down of Young Voices. It's just the project funding. Here in the Midlands, many stakeholders have been engaged from education officers, district administrator and chiefs to city council and the media.
"We urged them to further utilise the engagements and continue with advocacy work to help educate society on the issues at hand," said Muzondo.
She bemoaned the discrimination that people with disabilities still face especially in rural areas, saying in terms of information and personal development, they still lagged behind.
"I am glad to say Young Voices in Gweru has also taken disability advocacy to the rural communities such as Chiwundura, Lower Gwelo and surrounding areas. There are however some gaps that still remain because in rural areas, people have less access to information.
"We took the initial steps of engaging the chiefs but we are now able to engage the people directly in their communities. We thank the traditional leadership because it supported the move," she said.
Muzondo urged the media to help educate society and accommodate people with disability so as to integrate them in all developments since they have rights like anybody else.
The Young Voices initiative, a Leonard Cheshire Disability global initiative, has spearheaded disability advocacy projects across the globe and in Sadc countries.local