Fedoma forms youth network, condemns street begging

Federation for Disability Organizations in Malawi (Fedoma) has established youth network which has since elected new executive committee to, among other objectives, advocate for the rights of youth with disabilities.

Initiated on 26th June this year, the formation of the Fedoma Youth Network follows a revelation by YONECO that estimated 98 percent of youth with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school and that 99 percent of girls with disabilities are illiterate.

On Friday the Fedoma Youth Network ushered in new executive during a Fedoma Youth Conference in Blantyre, electing Hermes Tebulo as its new Chairperson with Mark Mapemba as his vice.

Martin Mtonga has been elected as its Secretary with Mucheta Mukiwa as Treasurer. As new chairperson, Tebulo said would ensure that, as one of his main tasks, the Disability Act is gazzeted and that the inclusive education, designed for youth with disabilities, caters for all.

Chiwaula (centre) and officials at Fedoma conference

Chiwaula (centre) and officials at Fedoma conference

Tebulo also vowed to build a collective effort in lobbying for inclusion of youth with disabilities in key-decision making positions.

“The network is formed to ensure that efforts by individual organizations affiliated to Fedoma in promoting our rights, are amalgamated. To promote the living standards of disabled youth and fight for elimination of all forms of abuse and cruel treatment on them, among other issues,” explained Tebulo.

He then urged the network members to have activism spirit to enhance the rights of youth with disabilities.

“Fedoma Youth Network is expecting to see disabled youth in decision making positions in different forums and workplaces. The network is aiming to promote the rights of youths who in turn will contribute to the development of this nation,” he added.

The formation of the network was motivated by Fedoma’s Executive Director, Mussa Chiwaula and Dyson Maliro, Speaker of National Youth Parliament.

Condemns Street Begging

Speaking during the conference, Chiwaula condemned the use of young people to beg in country’s main cities’ streets.

Chiwaula said the increase in numbers of street begging children, mostly, encouraged by their disabled parents, was setting bad precedence and urged authorities to take strong action.

“The increase in street begging children is alarming. Such young people are denied their rights to attain education. As Fedoma we condemn that. We need to build better nation and using of young to beg in streets shouldn’t be condoned,” said Chiwaula.

He also bemoaned failure by the authorities in gazzeting the Disability Act, arguing that the absence of Act was affecting the enforcement of the law especially for marginalized people with disabilities.

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