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Celebrating World Disability Day 2012

Three young boys on sandy ground betwen buildings - one is a wheelchair user, another is pushing his chair
Kelvin (centre) is a 16 year-old Tanzanian who wants to be a marketing manager. To achieve this goal he will need to overcome many practical and social barriers as well as simply passing exams (scroll to bottom to read Kelvin's story in full).

On December 3rd, the United Nations and the world celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities. CBM and our global partners join this celebration, an initiative to highlight the rights and dignity of Persons with Disabilities worldwide.

Theme for 2012: 'Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all'

Globally, the estimated one billion¹ people with disabilities face many barriers to participation in all aspects of society. The result is that people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society and services on an equal basis with others, including transportation, employment, education, political participation and justice.

When barriers are broken down and people with disabilities are empowered to participate in society, the entire community benefits. Disability inclusion is therefore necessary to achieve development and progress for all.

¹WHO World Report on Disability, 2011

From CBM President Professor Allen Foster

Prof. Allen Foster President CBM ©CBM
Prof. Allen Foster
President CBM
“Accessibility enables people with disabilities to gain education, employment, and healthcare; services which are often taken for granted by people without a disability.

“If we do not overcome the barriers in our physical environment; the way we communicate; our discriminatory attitudes; and our legal and policy frameworks; we will continue to limit fellow human beings, who have a disability, from realising their full potential and also contributing to our own humanity.

“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has been ratified by 126 countries; let us now put into practice holistic accessibility, addressing barriers in the physical environment, in our communication, in our attitudes, and in our policies, so as to make inclusion part of everyday life, and build communities which are truly respectful of all people”

CBM and partners worldwide celebrating Dec 3rd 2012

UN enable logo ©UN
To celebrate this day, CBM and partners worldwide are organising many events, public discussions and information campaigns. These aim to highlight the importance of mainstreaming disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality.

Read more about International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the UN Enable website or scroll down to browse the list of events. Note, this is not a complete list, and will be updated regularly as news and images come in...

Australia - New video explaining the cycle of poverty & disability, photo exibition, and more...

On Dec 3 End the Cycle launched a new video explaining the cycle of poverty and disability. It features Australian paralympians, ABC ramp-up editor Stella Young, and Australian disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes. Check it out on our website:
In addition End the Cycle is hosting a photographic exhibition, displaying compelling stories and images of people’s experience with poverty and disabilities. The exhibition highlights personal accounts that inspire change and raise awareness of the cycle of poverty and disability.

The End the Cycle photographic exhibition will run from December 3rd – 31st at the City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

With people with disability telling their own stories in their own words, the campaign takes a unique approach and promotes two-way accountability by making sure people retain ownership of their words and images, and have the final say on how they are represented.

By sharing these first-hand experiences through videos, stories and images, End the Cycle is raising awareness in Australia about the issues faced by people with disability in poor countries. End the Cycle is a campaign promoting the human rights and empowerment of people with disability living in the world's poorest countries. End the Cycle works for a positive attitude change towards people with disability in Australia and around the world.

Bangladesh - movie 'iThemba from Zimbabwe'

CBM Bangladesh Coordination Office in Dhaka have organised a joint event with GIZ to celebrate World Disability Day 2012.

CBM and GIZ will show the award winning movie 'iThemba from Zimbabwe ' about young musicians with physical disabilities. We have invited all members of GIZ, German Embassy, Goethe-Institut, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, staff of Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and CBM partners and stakeholders.

CBM and GIZ will first give an introduction to the situation of persons with disabilities (mainly in Bangladesh) and after the film screening there will be discussion followed by evening snacks.

Belgium (Brussels) - an event on Political participation of Persons with Disabilities at the European Parliament

A man and a woman seated in a debating chamber, both are wearing headphones ©CBM
Béral Mbaikoubou, Member of the Chadian Parliament (left), and Véronique Arnault, Director of the Human Rights and Democracy Department at the European External Action Service (EEAS) during the panel discussion, 4 Dec 2012
CBM EU Liaison Office, together with Human Rights Watch, are organising an interactive panel discussion on the right to political participation of persons with disabilities in developing countries.
The event will be held at the European Parliament on 4th December, and it will be hosted by Members of the European Parliament Gay Mitchell (EPP, Ireland) and Michael Cashman (SD, UK). This event will be an opportunity to open the debate about the role that the EU – and other international actors – should play in supporting political participation of persons with disabilities, such as by promoting changes to voting and legal capacity laws, and by supporting measures to improve accessibility of polling stations and of voting information and materials.

Bolivia - Christmas choir, recycling campaign and conference on main needs and unresolved problems of people with disabilities and their families

ANET (Amigos de los Niños Excepcionales) in Tarija will organise de following events:
  • Presentations of the Christmas choir of the Chapel of Loma de San Juan with the participation of children with disability from Casas de Amistad, Sammy group, CERFI, CEADI and APRECIA.
  • Recycling campaigns with parents and the support of the Municipality from December 3rd to December 7th.

YANAPASIÑA Pastoral Social Caritas La Paz will organise a conference about the main needs and unresolved problems of people with disabilities and their families.  Also they will participate in a Fair organised by the Departmental Council of Disabled People of Beni to report on rights of persons with disabilities.

Burkina Faso - workshops, sketches, conference, debate, movie and more

Together with our partner SIM “Society of International Missionaries” CBM planned through its Burkina Faso country coordination office will celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities:

Wednesday 5th December
  • Workshop
  • Sketches

Thursday 6th December
  • Kermesse
  • Conference and Debate
  • Movie

Friday 7th December
  • Reception of national Authorities
  • Testimonies
  • Evangelism

Saturday 8th December
  • Ceremony
  • Final of Sport Cup

CBM will be participating in the program through the participation of CBM's CBR Regional Advisor, and will make communication on Inclusive Development as advocacy to the national Authorities and participants.

CBM Country Coordination Office as part of the national network CCI Handicap will participate and support financial a whole day advocacy program in Ouagadougou.
  • A learning Space on Inclusion dedicated to all development actors in country and national authorities: "Good practices of Inclusion in Burkina Faso)
  • SIM, our partners has been identify to present Survivals yards as a
  • inclusion mean in socio-economic life during the learning space.
  • A concert and testimony Forum
  • Various inclusive bands and disabled and non-disables artist (music, dance, theater) will perform. Persons with disability and their parents will give their testimonies. Media will be associated to the program.

Cambodia - Ratification of CRPD & launching of the World Report on Disability

Celebration of IDPD2012 and Ratification of CRPD (what is the CRPD?)
Launching of the World Report on Disability
(what is the World Report?)
National Conference on Disability Inclusive Development
Khos Pick Island, December 3-5, 2012

A delegation from CBM Central East Asia Regional Office will attend this event in Cambodia.

Canada - stories of achievement and presentation on the UN CRPD, and more

CBM Canada has been planning for an International Day event in Toronto, along with other disability-related organisations.  On the day, people with disabilities will tell their stories of achievements, and disability-related  organisations will have display tables to show the work they do to promote inclusion and accessibility on both the local and international scene.  The event will take place at City Hall in Toronto, Canada.
On December 3 as well, CBM Canada, along with Handicap International, will be making a presentation on the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) and examples of inclusive practice in international development relating to gender equality and HIV/AIDS. The presentation will be to policy staff at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

CBM Canada is also asking the Minister of International Development, Senators and Members of Parliament to mark the day by raising awareness of the International Day among their colleagues in Parliament on December 3.

Colombia – a debate and a programme of events, Medellin and Cali

Programme offered by the Municipality, Cali
Twenty students from CBM partner 'Instituto para NiñosCiegos y Sordos del Valle del Cauca', with their parents, will participate in a programme organised by the Municipality of Cali, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Culture and Foundation 'Pensadores' on December 3rd.  Also the choir of children with disability of the Institute will participate.

Academic Forum 'Public Policy and Disability', Medellin
Fundacion Multis will participate in the Academic Forum 'Public  Policy on Disability' organised by the Municipality of Medellin on November 30.

Cuba - various, including presentation of DVD with bible passages in sign language

Meetings, Cienfuegos
CIC (Consejo de Iglesias de Cuba)  will organise the following activities on December 3rd : in the Episcopal Church in the city of Cienfuegos, presentation to the deaf community of the first DVD with passages of the Second Testament  translated into the language sign for Cubans deaf.  National Meeting of People with Disabilities of Cuban Churches with the participation of the President of “Consejo de Iglesias de Cuba”,  and the former President of Baptist Convention of Western Cuba (Rev. Alberto González)

Dominican Republic – various panels, basketball game and conferences, San Pedro de Macoris

CAES (Centro Alternativo Experimental del Sordo) has organised the following activities:
  • Nov. 12: Panel on a TV show
  • Nov. 24: Basketball game
  • Nov. 29: Panel about the conventions of UN and OEA on disability
  • Nov. 30: The Director of the National Council for the Disabled wil participate in a local TV panel
  • Dec. 3rd: Special celebration in CAES and conference on human rights of people with disability by Jose Mantilla, President of CAES

Ecuador - parades, music, fairs, conferences, and free medical services!

Parade and music festival, Esmeraldas
'Instituto Católico de Eduación Especial Juan Pablo II' and 'OVCI La Nostra Famiglia' will participate in a parade organised by CONADIS, the National Council for Disabilities, a government institution, on December 3rd in Esmeraldas.
On December 6th they will participate in a musical festival organised by Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES).

Free medical services, Cuenca
Fundación Hogar del Ecuador will offer free medical services and will deliver crutches, walkers and spectacles.

Eye Medical Campaign, Milagro
On November 30 CBM partner Centro Cristiano de Servicios Medicos will organise an eye medical campaign in poor communities of Milagro, Ecuador

Fair “Capacidad en Marcha”, Ambato
'Fundación Cuesta Holguin', located in Ambato, Central Ecuador, will organise a fair named 'Capacidad en Marcha' in which other foundations and people with disability will exhibit products, crafts as well as inform on the services they provide.  Children with disability will present artistic exercises.  Persons with disability, their families, schools, universities and companies where people with disability are working will be invited.

Conferences, Guayaquil
FASINARM will organise a conference to parents about comprehensive care of people with severe disabilities and elderly care on November 29.  Conference about disability to parents, students and teachers of “15 de Octubre” School (testimony of the father of a person with disability) and an artistic participation of young people with disability on December 10.

Ecuador – some activities, Riobamba
FUIDE located in Riobamba will organize some events such as sportive games with the participation of people with disability, radio programmes and artistic presentations.

El Salvador - exhibition and parade

HOPAC El Salvador will organise the following events with the collaboration of PDDH and CONAIPD
  • Exhibition and sale of the products made by the students of the vocational programs at Galerias Shopping Center on Dec. 1st.
  • Parade with the participation of the organizations and associations of people with disability.  The President of El Salvador (Mauricio Funes) will inaugurate a stand of  different institutions  of people with disability at the Cuscatlan Park

Germany - a clothes line across the river Main in Frankfurt!

red clothes peg with text 'CBM verbindet ich helfe mit' ©CBM

Public Event in Frankfurt: Show your solidarity for people with disabilities worldwide
On 3rd of December 2012, CBM Germany will build up the longest clothes line of solidarity across the river Main in Frankfurt. This will be the final event of a campaign, which CBM Germany started in summer 2012. All over Germany, CBM collected name cards, which people could hang up on red clothes lines to show their solidarity with people with disabilities in developing countries. The clothes line now adds up to over 6.000 cards and shows clearly that the German population cares about people with disabilities in lower income countries.
German Solidarity reaches CBM partners
In the name of all participants, Prof. Gesine Schwan (ex-candidate for German Presidency) will hand over the cards to Diana Ureta, Regional Office Southeast Asia and Pacific, who is representing all CBM partners worldwide. The German solidarity will finally reach the people it was addressed to.
Everybody can show solidarity
Everybody can also show their solidarity with people with disabilities worldwide. From 10.00 am to 4.00 pm CBM Germany will have an information desk next to the bridge, where CBM staff is informing about the campaign with the cards and CBM in general and people can write their name on one of the cards. The location is Schaumainkai/Eiserner Steg in 60594 Frankfurt am Main.

Ghana - exhibition and drama sketches delivering the message of the day, all from a refugee camp

The Disabled Peoples Association (DPA) at the Ampain Ivorian refugee camp have planned the following to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
  • Exhibition to showcase what they can do
  • Educative drama sketches
  • Deliver a message to the community based on the theme for the celebration ('Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all')
  • As it is a joint celebration with World AIDS Day (which falls in the weekend on the first of December), emphasis will also made to include persons with disabilities within public health messages related to prevention of HIV/AIDS

Guatemala - careers and sports 'in wheelchaire'

CBM partner Adisa will organise the following activities with the participation of people with disabilities and their families, local authorities, community organisations, Municipal Transit Police, National Police, Volunteer Firefighters, Shops, Disabled Peoples Organizations, Educational Centers:
  • 'Dare to put yourself in my place' (Careers in wheelchairs, blind dynamics) on Dec. 1st
  • Special programme with the participation of “Fundacion Artes Muy Especiales” and basketball wheelchair game

Ireland - Moya Brennan celebrates International Disability Day with CBM Ireland

folk singers in a pub, with banner 'CBM' ©CBM
On December 2nd, Moya Brennan, CBM Ireland's ambassador, performed for friends of CBM Ireland in the Mansion House Dublin.

At the event, David McAllister, CEO of CBM Ireland spoke about his recent trip to Goma and showed photos of how inaccessibility impacts of persons with disabilities who have been displaced from their homes as a result of conflict.

Kenya - Twende Kazi and Career fair targeting youth with disabilities, plus work with emergency programme partners

Twende Kazi
Twende Kazi; Transforming Kenya for Children with Disabilities campaign is a CBM initiative aimed at championing greater inclusion of children with disabilities in society by building engagement and commitment of key players in breaking the cycle of ‘disability and poverty’. The campaign will be officially launched on Thursday November 29th 2012.

Career fair targeting youth with disabilities
The theme of this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities to be celebrated on 3rd December 2012 is “Breaking barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all." To commemorate this theme, CBM together with Radar Development will celebrate International Day for Persons with Disabilities this year by hosting a career fair for youth with disabilities.

  • Mandera, North Eastern Kenya: In collaboration with our partners from the Emergency Programme APDK and NONDO, we will conduct and support: clinical assessments; community dialogue sessions; stakeholders forum
  • Lodwar, Turkana, North West Kenya: In collaboration with our Emergency Programme Partners Merlin and Kenya Red Cross Society, CBM will conduct/support: Stakeholders Sensitization Workshop; World Aids Day events; Radio Talk Show with local radio station, call in time for public – on International Day of Persons with Disabilities; International Day for Persons with Disabilities event – march through Lodwar town, speeches, entertainment

Niger - festival, cultural evening, movie, sports and more

In Niger, CBM through its Niger Country Coordination Office together with its local partners have planned the following in commemorating the international day for persons with disabilities:

Friday 30th November
  • Launching ceremony of Hikima festival
  • Exposition and sale
  • Cultural evening – Movie

Sunday 2nd December
  • Exposition and sale; Cultural evening; Movie; Award of Testimonies
Monday 3rd December
  • Exposition and sale
  • Conference and debate
  • Sports
  • Closing ceremony of the festival - Award of an assignment statement and testimonies.

Palestine - Radio interview, TV spots, procession, festivals and awareness workshops

CBM partner Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation took part in various events:
  • Radio interview with disability activists, professionals and the Minister of Social Affairs to be broadcasted on 3 local radio stations in Palestine.
  • Reportage on the major challenges that people with intellectual disability and their families face in the Palestinian context to be posted on PNN website.
  • Two TV spots: one featuring an enabling environment that allows people with intellectual disability to be productive members of society and another featuring a disabling environment that hinders their participation in society, to be featured on MIX satalite.
  • A walk / procession in solidarity with the children of Gaza and all children victims of abuse and trauma including those with disability.
  • Festivals targeting children with and without disability as well as awareness workshops on the rights of people with disabilities at the community centres in rural areas and refugee camps, that are BASR's partners.

Read more here - http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/home/pnn/about-pnn/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities

Peru – Conferences, parade and training, free medical services, Lima

CBM partner 'RBC San Martin de Paz y Esperanza' has organised some activities:
  • Press conference, interviews, a parade in favour of human rights of people with disability, demonstration of skills and abilities of various groups in the process of empowerment: word jaws braille, sign language, arts and crafts, and massotherapy.
  • On December 3rd there will be a training process and monitoring in which will participate the staff of the National Bureau of Programmes and Projects of Paz y Esperanza.

Conferences on motivation and values, Lima
'Centro deRehabilitacion de Ciegos de Lima' (CERCIL) has organized a motivation conference by the Conferee Michale Urtecho and a Value Conference by Dr. Ximena Ramirez (former Director of CERCIL 2003-2008)on December 3rd. Also nine students will participate in the XIV Special Sport Games organized by FAP (Fuerza Aerea de Peru).

Free Eye Medical Campaign, Abancay
Centro Oftalmológico Monseñor Enrique Pélach - Obispado de Abancay will offer free medical services for people with disability on December 3, 4 and 5.

Tanzania - Dar es Salaam, Moshi & nationwide

young boy giving a speech amongst a group of othe young girls and boys ©CCBRT
Primary school children giving testimonies during the celebration to mark International day for Persons with Disabilities
CBM partner organisation Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) are organising various events.  UPDATE, WITH IMAGES!

  • Participate in TV and Radio programmes to discuss barriers for people with disabilities to access various services or barriers that limit effective participation of people with disabilities in social, political and economic lives and the need to remove them so as to create an inclusive and accessible society for all. This will be done in collaboration with other DPOs under coordination of the Federation of Disabled Organisations in Tanzania (umbrella organisation).
  • We will facilitate a small action research by people with disabilities whereby barriers to accessing various services e.g education, health etc will be identified and analysed. the findings will be presented by people with disabilities themselves through drama in the International Disability Day Celebrations to be held in Musoma (Northern part of Tanzania)
  • Printing of T-shirts with this year's theme: "Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all". The T-shirts will be used as promotion/advocacy materials to advocate for an inclusive society.
Dar es Salaam 
  • We will conduct didactic workshop for primary school pupils from four primary schools
  • Drama presentation by mothers of children with disabilities showing challenges they encounter by having a child with disability. The challenges from their husbands, other family members and the community at large (stigma)
  • Performance from a famous artists on barriers to people with disabilities
Moshi branch office
  • Processions and speeches from invited guests 
  • Talent presentations from People with disabilities 
  • Exhibitions from small businesses owned by people with disabilities

Togo - conference, debate, art, basketball

Sport and cultural International HandiForum
Friday 30th November at Community centre of Bè, Lomé
  • In the morning: Prior to the conference and debate with the theme “Sport and culture, factors to promote the rights of persons with disabilities”, the President of FETAPH “Federation Togolaises des Associations des Personnes Handicapées”, the Representative for partners and the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity will have to present their respective speech to the assembly.
  • In the Afternoon: Performances and artistic performances of different groups
Saturday 1st December at a centre: Village d’Enfant SOS, behind CBM regional office in Lomé
  • Basket game between the Lomé’s team and Sokode’s team (the players will be in wheelchairs).

UK - Diane Mulligan OBE presentation on the CRPD in London, and CBM UK have support of legendary entertainers

Introduction to CRPD
On 4th December, Diane Mulligan OBE, Elected Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will be giving an introduction to the CRPD and the Committee at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law , London.
Legendary comedians Cannon and Ball - regarded as one of the most successful comedy acts of the last century - show their support to CBM UK’s ‘Draw Me Close To You’ campaign, to help highlight the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rd December 2012.

Zambia - various events in Lusaka and countrywide

twoboys smiling ©CBM
Children enjoying the events in Lusaka
  • A day full of good approaches and the promises from Government side of inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Development Programs which again will be a topic of our Disability Mainstreaming workshop on Thursday.
  • In the evening Muvie TV surprised us with the free screening of our documentary ‘Dreams of forgotten Youth’, a co-production of CBM, vilole images and Muvie TV.
Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) are organising an event on Dec 3rd to raise awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities and to show case the talents and capabilities of persons with disabilities through various performances. CBM is part of the planning committee and will participate and support together with various DPOs, INGOs and also private sector. 

The day will be celebrated in all provinces with the support of the government. In Lusaka various stakeholders will present their work, there will be opportunities to show off talents and important politicians will support that day with speeches.

Furthermore ZAPD in cooperation with CBM will have a workshop that week to discuss Disability Mainstreaming and introduce the new Disability Law. Invited are about 130 stakeholders from Government, Civil Society and Disabled Peoples Organisations, Health, Education, Vocational Training and Commercial Sector, International NGOs and Media.

Read Kelvin's story in full

Overcoming barriers and planning for the future

Kelvin, from Tanzania, is 16. He is an intelligent young man, very straight and honest (as we’ll see later!) who wants to become a marketing manager.


Removing barriers

Prof. Allen Foster President CBM

End the cycle

This video explains the cycle of poverty and disability and shows ways to end the cycle


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