From 21 to 28 October 2021, the sub-Saharan African Bridge CRPD-SDGs Module 1 took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Federation of Ethiopian Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FEAPD), the African Disability forum (ADF), the International Disability Alliance (IDA), Humanity and Inclusion (HI), and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) implemented this Bridge cycle, with financial support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), HELASIA Project and CBM Global.

Abayneh Gujo (FEAPD), Abebaw Abebe (ADF), Amba Salelkar (IDA) and Brice Assangbe (HI) welcomed the 98 participants, facilitators, resource persons and observersfrom 13 African countries. They talked about their organizations and highlighted their excitement to experience this training in Ethiopia.

Day 2 Bridge SubSaharan October 2021 - 6 participants sitting in a semi-circle

Participants were from Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zambia. All of the participants are from various parts of their countries, including from areas that are rural or remote. They are from different constituencies as well, including persons with albinism, blind people, deaf people, people with deaf blindness, hard of hearing people, people with intellectual disabilities, people affected by leprosy, people with low vision, physical and psychosocial disabilities and people with short stature. Forty-nine per cent of participants are women and 56% of these women are from underrepresented groups of people with disabilities.

One hundred per cent of facilitators are Bridge alumni and persons with disabilities themselves. Eighty-eight per cent of facilitators are from Africa, 75% are women and 50% from underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities.

Bridge CRPD-SDGs aims to reinforce the technical skills of persons with disabilities to advocate about ALL human rights for ALL persons with disabilities, within a human rights framework which is in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The methodology is inclusive and constructivist, which means that it is built on the common knowledge of participants and facilitators and builds on the discussions and group work of each preceding day. In order to achieve its aim, the facilitation team meets two days before the start of the training to ensure a smooth preparation. They review the curriculum and use tools of inclusive facilitation.

On the 20 October, the day before the training, facilitators met with representatives of underrepresented groups to present the agenda, review accessibility requirements, and make participants and their support people comfortable with the methodology.

The training started with participants presenting themselves and their organizations, sharing the situation of persons with disabilities in their countries and presenting their expectations. Participants also learned about inclusive tools, such as the traffic cards, the parking lot, the resting area, sensory breaks, along with many others. Participants also got exposure to the activity ‘2 minutes 1 article’ during the first and second days of training.

Deafblind participant at Bridge Sub-Saharan Africa

Facilitators of the training were Amba Salelkar and Alradi Abdalla (Bridge team and lead trainers), Miheret Nigusse (Inclusion Africa), Shitaye Astawes (Bridging the Gap Project), Yilkal Hassabie (Blind Association), Betty Najjemba (ADF), Dorothy Nakato (WNUSP) and Christine Kirungi (GDS Fellow). Abayneh Gujo (FEAPD) and Abebaw Abebe (ADF) are resource persons.