By Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO based non-governmental organization, Here we Rise Trust, which promotes the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) says the COVID-19 pandemic has affected livelihoods of their constituency, which lost their sources of income during the lockdown period.
Here We Rise director Thando Ndlovu on Thursday told NewsDay that PWDs in the country still face attitudinal barriers and stigma, which has resulted in most of them failing to secure formal employment.
Ndlovu’s statement comes at a time when the world will today commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disability, which is celebrated on December 3 each year.
It is a United Nations day set aside to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development, and to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
“Here We Rise will hold a virtual commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disability on Friday, where we will discuss all challenges that have affected PWDs during the COVID-19 era, such as the socio, economic, health and other social inclusion issues during the pandemic, such as access to water,” Ndlovu said.
“We have partnered with other non-governmental organisations such as Indebo Edutainment Trust to commemorate the day through a series of online podcasts and vodcasts that will be posted on different social media platforms to trigger conversations that orient on issues of social inclusion of PWDs,” she said.
She said PWDs have been surviving through selling art, as most of them are in informal employment.
“We will be partnering with organisations such as Indebo Edutainment Trust and use different forms of art to disseminate information on issues of disability. Development needs the involvement of every stakeholder, and therefore, PWDs need to be included in all policy making processes so that their views are captured.”
Ndlovu said the virtual commemorations of the International Day of Persons with Disability will be supported by the Brethren in Christ Church in Nketa suburb, Bulawayo.