Seven members of platform formed by the National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda NUDOR in Nyamasheke District, held together in a two days meeting from Monday 09 November 2020, to discuss on their achievements in advocacy for persons with disability during the quarter year and prepare for the platform general assembly.
Explaining more on this Platform, Brigitte MUREKATETE, The manager of the project “Promotion of Anti-Discrimination Practices for Persons with disability in Rwanda” said that the platform is an organ established to do the advocacy for the respect of the rights of persons with disabilities in all categories in 5 districts. The organ is composed by the General assembly of 30 members and the committee of seven persons with disabilities elected from this General Assembly to stand for them in doing advocacy for persons with disabilities. The platform committee meet every quarter in the year and the general assembly meet once in year do discuss the achievements and challenges they faced during the entire year and plan for the next year.
Many cases of discrimination for persons with disabilities were resolved and others not
By this year of 2020, the members of platform committee in Nyamasheke District said that they have done what they can do with some complains resolved and some other complains were not yet received the answer by local leaders who may be the most to react on them. Mr. MUKESHIMANA Jean paul is a committee member from Kirimbi Sector, he has Short stature disability. He said “I advocated for UWIRINGIYMANA Sarah, a deaf child with one side of her body paralyzed. I went to her family house and pictured her then I shared her pictures everywhere for advocacy. What I wanted is that she can get healthcare. today I haven’t yet receive the answer but am sure something will be done”. He said that he went again house to house where are children with disabilities in his sector that are hidden inside the houses. He talked to the parents and requested them to let their children get out, play and talk with other kids. Some parents accepted and showed them love, but others refused. He added that The serious problem is that when they give local leaders an advocate complain, some of them react positively and others put the complain under the table”.
On the other side, Kwizera Diane is the secretary of the Platform. She confirmed that in Nyamasheke District, some complains do not find answer. “I tried to advocate for one child with multiple disability, his family was not caring for him especially on Hygienic concern. He used to be in mad every day, he always had dirty on both body and clothes. So, I talked with his parents especially his mother. Today there is a remarkable change on his Hygiene. This is one case but there are many other cases we advocated for, but the Problem is that some leaders do not want to hear from us when we advocate for persons with disability”, She said.
The president of this Platform Mr. MUSAFIRI Venuste admitted that a lot is being done in terms of advocacy for both children and adult persons with disabilities. He said they are advocating for children to go to school, to have health care services, to be removed from behind houses and ask families to give them love, respect and other needs they deserve as other children. Not only children, but they also advocate for adult with disabilities and other vulnerable people around their communities. “I myself advocated for NKUNDIYIVUZE MUGISHA Divin with short stature and physical disabilities. He wanted to go to school but his disabilities were like barriers. I advocated for him first to have medical services and he met with doctors from HVP Gatagara. Doctors found it was necessary for him to have surgical operation. He was called to meet them on this Thursday, unfortunately his poor family did their best to pay health insurance but are not able to meet the bill of one hundred and fifteen thousand (150,000) for accommodation and food requested by the hospital. I wrote to the sector and District requesting support, but not yet get the answer”, He reported.
He added that one of his platform member who is deaf advocated for a person with physical disability who was living under the Mountain with no accessible way to get out of the house. After advocacy local readers build for him a new house at accessible place near the road and made for him a small road towards his home.
NUDOR can intervene when local leaders neglect the platform complains
Among the challenges platform committee members faced in their daily work is the delay of getting feedback to some of persons with disabilties issues. on This issue, NUDOR which initiated the platform affirms that when local leaders delay to react on their issues, it can work with district authorities to find solution . Brigitte Murekatete, The project Manager from NUDOR said that out of the platform meetings, NUDOR meet again with leaders District level to share with them these challenges met persons with disabilities and request them to play their role in finding solutions. “As an organisation on national level, NUDOR can even talk to the Ministry in charge and other Government institutions or discuss these issues in dialogue at National forum when the District do not find solutions of problems shown by our platform committees.
The platform committees initiated by NUDOR are in five Districts covered by the project of anti-discrimination practices. these Districts are Kicukiro in Kigali city, Burera in Northern province, Gisagara in Southern province and Ngoma from Eastern province.