Advantage Africa is working for justice, development and improved rights for the world’s poorest people, including people with disabilities. Our practical community projects bear witness to prejudice and discrimination against people with disabilities and advocate for their prevention.
In Kibwezi District of eastern Kenya, Advantage Africa supports Kibwezi Disabled Persons' Organisation (KDPO) to campaign for the rights of disabled people at both local and national level. In recent years KDPO has become more influential with the Kenyan authorities and is now routinely invited to represent people with disabilities in a wide range of forums where policy decisions about people with disabilities are made, such as the County Development Committee and the National Peace Forum.
KDPO also works hard throughout the grass-roots communities of Kibwezi District to secure the rights of people with disabilities and challenge negative attitudes and detrimental cultural beliefs. They regularly broadcast on the national Kamba language radio station, Musyi FM and have been featured on national TV. They also organise regular advocacy events, for example on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
KDPO Co-coordinator Agnes Musembi says:
You will not see a disabled person begging on the streets of Kibwezi town. If we see such a thing we get involved. We find out the cause and work to give that person their dignity.
Advantage Africa’s support for advocacy initiatives in Kibwezi has resulted in:
- Monthly cash payments (of Ksh 2,000) for 52 severely disabled people from the National Council for Persons with Disability through the Ministry of Gender and Social Development.
- An award of resource centre status from the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) developed by the University of Iowa. In May 2012 KDPO became the only Kenyan organisation outside Nairobi to receive the ‘e-granary’, which is a huge digital disability information resource for communities with unreliable internet access.
- KDPO being funded by AMREF’s Maanisha project to provide training to disabled people in HIV & AIDS behaviour change and communication.
In the UK Advantage Africa is a member of the BOND Disability and Development Group