- November 12, 2018

Technical workshop to amplify voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities in East Africa - Towards Just and Inclusive Societies

Kampala, November 2018

In efforts to amplify the voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities in the East Africa region for them to advocate within a human rights framework in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the first ever technical workshops in Eastern African was kicked off today and will last until 14 November, in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop aims to strengthen the voices of self-advocates and leaders in the movement by providing initial, or enhancing their, understanding of the linkages between the CRPD and SDGs.

Under the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), and with the collaboration of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), the workshop is supported by Kenyan counterparts in the Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya (USP-K), the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and its Bridge CRPD-SDGs training initiative that is happening just after this workshop. This workshop is financed by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). 


For the various participants with psychosocial disabilities representing youth, women, those from rural areas and urban areas, it is a time to have their capacities enhanced so as to support their full and effective participation in policy making at the local, national, and regional level. 

The challenge for the movement of persons with psychosocial disabilities in our East Africa region is that there is a minimal level of knowledge of the CRPD and SDGs among persons with psychosocial disabilities,” said Ms Robinah Alambuya who is the Director at Triumph Uganda Mental Health Support and Recovery Program, a civil society organization and also a Board member at WNUSP.  

She added that an increased awareness level of the CRPD/SDGs among persons with psychosocial disabilities in East Africa will not only enable inclusive programs and policies for persons with psychosocial disability in Eastern Africa but also ensure their inclusion within the cross-disability movement.

Very few organisations of persons with psychosocial disabilities are formally registered, have technical capacity and are part of the cross-disability movement in this region. As such, we must enhance the visibility of persons with psychosocial disabilities as we endeavour to create more inclusive societies,” noted Michael Njenga the Director of USP-Kenya who is leading the team of facilitators of the workshop.

Participants will be introduced to the principles of the CRPD and the links between the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its SDGs,” he noted, adding that the workshop will also involve holding a consultative meeting with government Ministries Departments and Agencies. “This will not only strengthen the voices of persons with psychosocial disability in their advocacy but will also progressively enhance their inclusion in all government programs and policy frameworks.”

It is hoped that these are among the initial steps in ensuring the mainstreaming of the rights and freedoms of persons with psychosocial disability on an equal basis with others. This is a group that continues to face marginalisation and exclusion from development. The workshop is a platform where discussions shall also centre on strengthening the collaboration and network of persons with psychosocial disabilities in Uganda and neighbouring countries, to ensure a unified yet locally adapted message on inclusion for persons with psychosocial disabilities. Participants shall also develop a national advocacy action plan towards their inclusion.

Through the insights gained from the workshop, we expect the participants to be able to meaningfully engage on the implementation of the CRPD/SDGs at both the national and local levels while at the same time ensuring their inclusion in the society on an equal basis with others,” noted Michael. 

Other facilitators in the workshop include Esther Kyozira from the NUDIPU, Elizabeth Ombati, Bridge Fellow and Tchaurea Fleury, Bridge Coordinator. All facilitators are alumni of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative.

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