This commitment was made during the advocacy and sharing meeting organized by National Union of Disability Organizations of Rwanda, NUDOR on July 10, 2018 at LA CORNICHE MOTEL, in Mukamira Sector, Nyabibu District. The meeting was organized under Public Policy Information, Monitoring and Advocacy, PPIMA, funded by Norwegian People’s Aid, NPA and implemented by NUDOR.
|As highlighted by Mr. TWAGIRIMANA Eugene, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, the purpose of the meeting was to share with the new elected District Executive committee, NUDOR activities in Nyabihu District and discuss on issues affecting PWDs to find together possible solutions for a better inclusive District development. In his welcome remarks, Mr. MUTWARANGABO Simon, the Director of Social Development in Nyabihu District made an emphasis on the role of each and every participant in mainstreaming disability in District planning.|
The meeting brought together 20 participants including three Executive committees’ members: the District Mayor and two Vice Mayors. The meeting was also honored by the Vice President of District Council Dr. RUBANZABIGWI Theoneste.
|In her opening speech, Ms. MUKANDAYISENGA Antoinette, the District Mayor, thanked NUDOR as partner that greatly supports the District to promote PWDs, as special category needing an emphasis in every process of development and decision making . She made this statement referring to the history background where PWDs used to be left behind and ignored in all development processes.
|Mr. MUNANA Samuel, NUDOR Secretary General, representing NUDOR President in this meeting , called upon the District authorities to be aware on the needs of all types of disability, avoiding the tendency of thinking disability is only physical. The NUDOR Secretary General highlighted also the necessity of gathering data on PWDs to serve them accordingly. He called upon also the planners and people working on community development programs such as VUP, ubudehe , girinka to think about PWDs when selecting beneficiaries of these programs while there is still a doubt on the ability of PWDs.|
|Mr. SIMPENZWE Pascal , the District Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs said: ‘ As one having PWDs on my responsibilities, I want to thank and appreciate NUDOR work in the promoting PWDs. The principle of ‘ Disability is not inability’ should always guide us in everything we do. Since there is a political will and good leadership, we have to take benefit from that. It can happen that we miss our responsibilities but we have to be guided by our conscience.|
The issue of constituting a data base can be easily solve if we work with PWDs representatives. We can’t have relevant planning if we don’t have data of our beneficiaries.
|Dr. RUBANZABIGWI Theoneste, is the Vice President of Nyabihu District Council. He said that the Rwandan society is not sensible yet on issues affecting PWDs. For instance as health specialist, children that are born with feet bots can be treated. To any type of disability, there is a specific service that can be offered. If all leaders take this seriously and understand that assist PWDs is our task all of us, much can be done.
The hot issues discussed during the meeting
Raised by NUDOR as from the interactions with PWDs through awareness campaigns and community debates
- Limited access to assistive devices to all types of disability: wheelchairs, crutches, prosthesis and orthesis for physically impaired, white canes for visual impaired, hearing aids for hearing impaired, skin lotion for people with albinism to mention a few.
- Limited access to education by children with disabilities where a big number of them are still out of school . This limited access goes also with inaccessible school infrastructures with inaccessible toilets and inaccessible classrooms.
- Lack of data on needy PWDs to assist them accordingly
Raised by the NCPD District Coordinator and District Disability Mainstreaming Officer
- A big number of PWDs who missed categorization. According to the identification made by ‘Empowering children with disabilities’ organization , 6674 PWDs were identified in Nyabihu District. However, the categorization has only revealed 2904 PWDs. Although a big number of PWDs missed categorization , only 1453 cards were distributed, while many categorized PWDs did not go to pick their cards from their respective sectors;
- Limited access to orthopedic services: the trained staff is based at Shyira hospital and when he is needed, it is required transport which is sometimes not available.
- No access to financial services. According to UWIMANA Josee, District DDMO, funds to support PWDs projects were transferred to Karago SACCO and Mukamira but, the funds in Mukamira SACCO have not been distributed and the submitted projects were not funded.
- Limited facilities to NCPD organs to fulfill their mandate. According to BAKURIREHE Cleophas, District NCPD Coordinator, many statutory meetings are not held because of missing necessary facilitations.
- Limited knowledge of teachers on inclusive education whereby only 52 out 104 schools have a trained teacher.
- No knowledge on Sign language to communicate with hearing impaired people
Commitments and recommendations from the sharing meeting
After sharing and discussions, the following were the recommendations and commitments
- The District to talk to Schools, health centers, sectors and other services providers and fix a deadline to adapt their toilets and offices and make them accessible ;
- The District to work with SACCO Mukamira and handle the issue of unused funds dedicated to support PWDs projects and fix a deadline to come up with solution;
- The District to work with Sectors on strategies of distributing categorizations cards by using all different channels such as ‘ community meetings’ known as ‘inteko z’abaturage;
- For the coming fiscal year, to increase the budget allocated to assistive devices for PWDs;
- Conduct a joint inspection to SACCOs to ensure the accessibility of their services to PWDs;
- In collaboration with NUDOR, to disseminate the information on access to assistive devices using ‘ mutuelle de santé’
Closing speech by the District Mayor
In her closing speech, Ms. MUKANDAYISENGA Antoinette , Nyabihu District Mayor said it was good achievement for NUDOR to have brought together relevant participants, well positioned to make relevant decisions . She said : ‘’ We are lucky to be with the Vice President of District Council, all Executive Committee members , all Head of departments. With all these participants, we can do much and better. The start point should be to know the PWDs needs before any planning process. We are committed to receive and assist any PWD who will come to us.’’
Prepared on July 13, 2018
By: TWAGIRIMANA Eugene
Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, under PPIMA Project
Implemented by NUDOR