Forum for the Development of Youth with Disability (FDYD) has urged government and various players to involve the youth with disabilities in policy and decision making processes to ensure their inclusion and participation in various development activities in the country.
According to FDYD Executive Director, Rex Tikondane Kalima, young people with disabilities are being looked down upon and sidelined in policy and decision making processes.
“Disability is not inability. Youth with disabilities are equally skilled and capable of positively contributing to the country’s economy. They just require support, empowerment and space carry out and advance economic activities,” said Kalima at interface meeting with media on Friday.
Kalima therefore said they will establish an economic empowerment advocacy club targeting 100 youths with disabilities with trainings on advocacy and related activities.
He also said they will be holding strategic meetings with Blantyre District Assembly officials to present and follow up on recommendations submitted to the district, highlighting areas for reforms in the Blantyre district youth policy.
“We want to establish a network of disabled peoples organizations (DPOs)[including FEDOMA members] and government departments working with persons with disabilities to garner support for the amendment of the district policy.
“We shall also hold meetings with micro-credit and loan institutions to ensure that youth with disabilities benefit as well. We want to see inclusion and participation of more youth with disabilities in various developmental issues,” said Kalima.
FDYD has since partnered with media to popularize the need for reform of the Blantyre district youth policy.
FDYD Board Chairperson Carol Mvalo said the partnership will encourage fair and balanced reporting on disability issues and raise awareness of the importance of developing income generating programmes for the youth with disabilities.
“Achievements of people with disabilities are not given attention. so, we expect journalists to publicize role models who are persons with disabilities, we are talking of people who are doing well in society and holding senior positions in various companies.
“We want to see their profiles in the media for others to get encouraged and borrow a leaf from them. We want to tell the nation that disability is not inability,” said Mvalo.
FDYD, which is based in Namiyango, Blantyre, was established in 2009 to advocate and advance the interests of youths with disabilities within the district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :