By Elias Hakizimana.
Persons with Disabilities say that they are not struggling to enjoy inclusive rights in many perspectives notwithstanding the efforts that were put in place by the government to involve them in all services given to Rwandans.
Emmanuel Ndayisaba, Executive Secretary of National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) said that there are still challenges hindering persons with disabilities (PWD) to enjoy social inclusion most especially in Education.
“We still observe stigma and discrimination in education, in families and elsewhere,” he said.
He said that UNDP provided $500.000 to NCPD to support families who have persons with disabilities.
Some beneficiaries of this support are persons with disabilities who have diseases like cancer and they were helped to get medical care.
Ndayisaba lauds efforts by development partners who try to support PWD. He said that the first challenge is to lack access to Education.
“When you are not educated, you face many consequences and end up by discriminating yourself,” he added.
Ndayisaba was speaking to the media in Kigali amid the disability inclusion forum held on October 23, 2019.
The forum brought together Representatives of Disabilty organisations such as Rwanda National Union of the Deaf (RNUD), Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB), Hillside Hope (HSH), Association des Parents et Amis des Enfants ayant le Handicap au Rwanda (APEH), Organization for Integration and Promotion of People with Albinism (OIPPA) and Media for Deaf Rwanda (M4D).
Donatille Kanimba, one of the Founders and current Executive Director of the Rwandan Union of the Blind (RUB) highlighted the status of stigma and discrimination.
“Stigma is always result into discrimination, and discrimination affects the way you plan, you behave,” she said.
Nicodeme Hakizimana, OIPA Chairperson said that PWD have to change mindset first and understand that having disability is not a shame for a family.
“It is our responsibility together to end stigma and discrimination, but, I ask Rwandan community to help us Rwandan train parents and Rwandan society on the rights of PWD.” Hakizimana said.
The forum aimed at providing a platform of exchange on key areas affecting the quality of life of PWDs; sharing experience based on CSO project interventions aimed at empowering PWDS in Rwanda and promoting rights.
It was also to highlight the challenges PWDs are facing in accessing services in their communities and to advocate for the rights of PWDs and propose recommendations for increased inclusion of PWDs.