The Zambia National Association of Persons with Disabilities (ZNAPD), held a training in disability advocacy for its staff, members of the board and provincial secretaries in Chongwe district of Lusaka province from April 18, 2022 to April 19, 2022.
The training was conducted to equip the participants with necessary skills for effective Disability advocacy work with various stakeholders in different areas of society.
Disability advocacy is an important issue in the disability movement as it helps give people with complex disabilities a voice and a platform to advocate for their rights.
Advocacy provides assistance and support to ensure that:
Rights of persons with disabilities are upheld;
People with a disability have their voice heard;
Any needs and viewpoints are presented to government, service providers and the broader community; and
Changing of policies and practices to promote fair treatment and social justice for people with a disability.
As society needs to understand issues that affect the lives and welfare of persons with disabilities as they are part of the general society like anyone else.
The organization needs to bring out issues that affect persons with disabilities such as:
· The Right to Health.
· The Right to Education.
· The Right to Employment.
· The Right to Shelter.
· The Right to Legal Protection, including their basic needs in life.
The training was conducted to impart skills to enable persons with disabilities be their own advocates and undertake the following;
· Ability to communicate with duty bearers to support the membership in various areas of human needs.
· Understanding the full context of laws, legal instruments and jurisdiction on disability rights.
· Understanding processes within oversight and complaints handling books.
· Applying a Human Rights Approach to advocacy
· Having negotiation skills.
· Lobbying and running effective campaigns.
Ten (10) members comprising of nine (9) males and one (1) female attended the training.
Some of the activities that were done by the participant involved:
- Role plays, depicting some situations in which advocacy is needed.
- Group assignments etc.
Which helped the participants to gain practical insight into how advocacy is done in real/practical situations in society.