Monday, 12 December 2016

Human Rights Day, Kabeela and Long Taxi Journeys

Ahead of Human Rights Day (10th December 2016) the volunteers had been busy researching for a new project we had been working on.  The project looked at the rights of women living with disabilities and we were putting together an infographic to display our research on the subject.

   People with disabilities face a lot of discrimination in Burkina Faso.  A child is much more likely to face infanticide if they are born with a disability.  If the child survives infancy, there are still many problems they may face.  The literacy rate amongst this group is shockingly low and often, people with disabilities often go through life without any formal education or training.  Perhaps this is why, the visability of those with disabilities remains low in politics and public life. 

    Women and men with disabilities often face different problems.  In Burkina Faso, a woman who is perhaps in a wheelchair or is blind, may be discriminated against twice over.  A woman with a disability is more likely to face violence, especially sexual gender-based violence (SGBV).

    As it was Human Rights Day, we wanted to provide information about the rights of this particular group and what barriers there may be accessing justice.  The project was divided into four different parts: the rights of women with a disability, access to justice, economic problems and social problems. 

  In addition to the research, we put together a presentation to raise awareness on this issue.  As Kabeela were having an open day on the 10th, we decided to present the session to the women of Kabeela and to formally build a partnership with them. 

    Everyone was quite excited in the morning, despite getting to work at 8 o’clock on a Saturday.  We booked a couple of taxis to take the group from our little green paradise in Pabre to Guilingou, just outside Zinaire.  One of the roads that were meant to take ‘wasn’t there,’ which meant the taxi ride took a little longer than we expected, but we got there all in one piece.  That’s the important thing. 

    All the volunteers were pleased to see the Kabeela volunteers and after a long reunion, they got back to work.  We stuck our infographic to the wall and started with the presentation about women with disabilities.  The volunteers introduced the topic of disability and what the aims of Handicap Solidaire Burkina are and the services they provide before discussing women.

    It was about lunch time when the Day of Open Doors poured onto the streets.  The volunteers lead inclusive sport workshops with the local children and there was a lot of food and drink consumed.  After an hour or two playing sports, the official signing ceremony commenced to officialise the partnership between Handicap Solidaire Burkina and Kabeela.  Our coordinator, Freddie, and their Madame President Denise said a few words about how excited they were to work together in the future before signing the document.

    Kabeela had a few stalls selling lots of products, such as honey, shea butter, perfumed soap and moringa powder.  The volunteers did a lot of their Christmas shopping at Kabeela, before the taxis came to take us on the long journey home.

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