Around the thirtieth International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) past December, participants in the We are Able! programme organised a wide range of activities across six African countries. This day, initiated by the United Nations in 1992, was celebrated with festivities in cities like Khartoum, Bujumbura and on national television in Uganda.
The theme of this year was: ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’. This reflects many of the objectives of the We are Able! programme.
In Khartoum (Sudan), the festivities were held on the 6th and 7th of December. On the first day, there were many sessions, including opening remarks by WaA! partners, representatives of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and government representatives. The programme was followed by an exhibition of goods made by people with disabilities: handicrafts, drawings and local perfume. Small businesses, run by people with disabilities, were also represented. Five different scientific papers were presented about microfinance, social protection of persons with disabilities, and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in Sudan, and other topics. Then the celebration continued with a musical session.
On the 7th of December, a sports carnival was held with representatives of NGOs, OPDs, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and government officials. The following sports were played by persons with disabilities: wheelchair basketball, call ball, volleyball, discus throw and football.
In Uganda, the national celebration of IDPD was held on 3 December 2022 at Okole Primary school in the northern Kole district. At the national level, We are Able! participated in a national TV talk show and a talk show on the radio to discuss the position of persons with disabilities in society. However, the focus was on the various celebrations at the district level. In Acholi, celebrations took place in Nwoya, where WaA! offices were inaugurated. In West Nile, celebrations took place in Yumbe and in Arua town. In addition, sports activities such as a football competition and music and dance activities were organised.
In South Sudan the festivities were held on the 3th and 13th of December. OPD’s, CSO’s, consortium partners, school students, elders and also government officials participated. Radio Voice Of Reconciliation also celebrated IDPD, reaching more than 1,700 people during this day. The IDPD brought together various groups to raise awareness about disability and the participation of persons with disabilities in sports and cultural activities.
Schools organised drama plays on disability inclusion and every child’s right to go to school. The play informed parents to bring their children to school and avoid discrimination against children with disabilities.