Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
The European Union (EU) has selected Mashonaland Central Province for the rollout of a three-year programme to promote and protect human rights and freedoms of people with disability.
The project dubbed “Youth actions on the implementation and monitoring of disability rights in Zimbabwe”, will be implemented in three districts — Bindura, Shamva and Rushinga.
The Development Aid from People to People (DAPP), in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe (LCDZ) ,are the implementing partners.
Speaking at the programme launch in Harare last week, DAPP programmes coordinator Mr Petros Muzuva said the programme is a tripartite action being implemented in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The purpose of the programme is to contribute towards the promotion, respect, protection and full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disability in Zimbabwe and Zambia,” said Mr Muzuva.
“It is a three-year programme which intends to reach 800 youths with disability and persons with disability in general in the three districts of Mashonaland Central. In Zambia, the programme is coordinated by Cheshire Home Society of Zambia.
“Registration of people with disabilities has already been done. In April and May we will conduct training and baseline surveys. We are behind, we should have started implementing the programme in January.
“The objective of the programme is to strengthen partnerships between disabled persons organisations (DPOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) and increase visibility and involvement of youth with disabilities (YWDs) in development processes.”
LCDZ director Mr Greaterman Chivandire said: “The programme coincides with Government’s strong efforts to empower and promote the social economic and political inclusion of persons with disability.
“The Government has set our sights high by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCPRD) and holding consultations for the alignment of the Disability Act with the Convention.
“However, persons with disability still face challenges, children don’t get the opportunity to start school early and even if they do, they hardly progress to the next grade. Young people enter adulthood without skills to land them a job or a livelihood. Gender discrimination increases vulnerability among people with disability.
“This tells us that the domestication of the UNCPRD is essential in ensuring that the needs of all persons with disability are fully and properly addressed. This constitutes the spine of this project.”