Hear my Voice - Empowering Tajik Civil Society for Disability Rights Advocacy
Stigmatisation of people with disabilities, especially children with disabilities, remains a potent issue in Tajikistan. Children with disabilities are often kept ‘hidden’ at home as parents and care-givers wrestle with feelings of shame and failure. There is a lack of knowledge of care, therapy, rehabilitation and rights of people living with disabilities. Thus, many children and adults with disability often experience low levels of self-esteem, are socially vulnerable and face difficulties in participating in society.
The project aims to empower civil society organizations in Tajikistan to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, especially children with disabilities. The project also hopes to ensure equal access to resources and services for people with disabilities, and to support and advocate for their participation and inclusion in society.
The project will assess the current Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) focusing on disability and inclusion. From these assessments, Mission East, in collaboration with local partners, will develop individual action plans for improvement, development and training of the CSOs. To facilitate regional inter-state information-sharing, conferences on disability and inclusion will be held together with other NGOs and CSO from Central Asian countries.
In regards to policy, the project will support existing coalitions to get policies and processes in place that focus on advocacy, ratification, and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The project will also focus on inclusive education. This will be done by: working together with the National Pedagogical Training Institute to train and prepare regional education staff on inclusive education; organizing ways for children with disabilities to participate in the education system; expanding the National Universities’ Training Programmes for occupational and physical therapists; and conducting assessments to better understand the educational needs of children with disabilities.