Disability Inclusion Update
The Albino Foundation (TAF) having extended its advocacy and engagement for the rights of other disability clusters, competed for and won a European Union-funded project for the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities into the electoral and political processes in Nigeria under the European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EU-SDGN) project.
Since the inception of this project in 2008, TAF has constantly been in the fore, engaging with relevant stakeholders such as the Electoral Management Body (INEC, SIEC), political parties and other critical stakeholders in harmonizing synergies on the conduct of an inclusive election where persons with disabilities not only vote but are also voted for.
The EU-SDGN project has carried out several activities including the provision of data on disaggregated disabilities for use by the EMB, engagement with political parties, training workshops for electoral stakeholders, production of IEC materials and use of media, town hall meetings for sensitization of the disability community to mention a few. One critical activity on this project has been the training of persons with disabilities on electoral and political guidelines to enable them to participate in the process. These persons with disabilities were previously identified during the community outreaches as persons with charisma and interest in politics.
This EU project has given birth to many initiatives which the Albino foundation plans to execute in days ahead for persons with disabilities. Such initiative includes the Disability Inclusion Movement (DIM) which has already been approved by the Board of Directors of the Albino Foundation. The Disability inclusion movement seeks an inclusive society for all. The foundation plans to mobilize persons with disabilities to demand inclusion in all spheres of society. To this end, TAF hosted training for its internal Disability Inclusion team to horn their skills on how to run and maintain a movement. This activity happened in May 2020.
Following the training for persons with disabilities on the electoral and political processes and the increased interest of the trained participants in participating in politics, the foundation plans to carry out a mentorship program tagged “the mentorship league” to continually support persons with disabilities on their political journey. Credible facilitators with experience and knowledge will be brought in to mentor during the sessions which are planned to hold quarterly.
The Disability Inclusion radio program has been another successful feat for TAF in the disability inclusion movement. The radio program which holds in Ekiti on Ayoba FM, in Osun states on OSBC and on FRCN stations nationwide is an activity of the EU-SDGN project. These media channels have been a voice for persons with disabilities to demand for inclusion in happening around their locality. A clear example was the demand for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the distribution of palliatives during the COVID 19 lockdown across states.