Two special institutions for people with disabilities in offing

Two special institutions for people with disabilities in offing

PEOPLE with Disabilities (PWDs) have reason to smile, as the government has set aside 8bn/- for construction of two new institutions to empower them with skills and financial independence.

Ms Ummy Nderiananga, Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Persons with Disabilities, revealed this in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Speaking at a launching ceremony of 'My Choice, My Rights' programme in Dar es Salaam Wednesday, the deputy stated the colleges will be constructed in Kigoma and Songwe regions.

The third facility, according to her, will be built in the Shinyanga region, thanks to stakeholders’ commitments.

"There are specific strategies in place to guarantee that issues affecting persons with disabilities are prioritized, including renovating colleges, one of which will be completed in January next year in Mwanza," she said.

The 'My Choice, My Rights' program, which was developed in collaboration with the UNFPA and the Finnish Embassy, will be implemented in the Mara, Shinyanga, and Zanzibar regions.

The program's goal is to empower women and young people, particularly adolescent girls, including those with disabilities, to defend and uphold their sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as their right to live a life free of violence and harmful practices.

Ms Ummy says PWD need to be confident and self-reliant in their affairs, therefore through the program they will be empowered to do so.

Ms Jacquline Mahon, UNFPA Representative in Tanzania,  said that the  project, come together at a National Dialogue, Government Officials; Regional Commissioner Offices; women-and youth-led Organizations of Persons with Disabilities; implementing partners; inter-faith leaders; community leaders and members; women and girls; men and boys to determine and discuss how we can work collectively and collaboratively to do more and do it better  to deliver for women and young people, including persons with disabilities so that they can take charge of their bodies, lives and futures.

She said, according to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, 2012 Census data estimates that 9.3 per cent of the Tanzania population live with a disability although the data does not include young people or children with disabilities.

She said the same data indicate that persons with disabilities are less likely to attend school and be able to read or write, while only 34 per cent of males and 35 per cent of females with a disability are employed; and some PWDs are even further behind.

“For women and girls with disabilities, particularly in rural areas and humanitarian settings, gender and disability discrimination intersect to create brutal barriers to their well-being, placing them at risk of violence, harmful practices, abuse, and exploitation.” she said

Either Ms Jacquline shared the short story of ‘Zinduna’ who is visually impaired.

She has never met her father and her mother is often away for days labouring on a farm. When her mother leaves for work, Zinduna is locked inside the house. Her sisters go to school, but she doesn’t.  She spends most of her time at home, alone, her potential remains untapped.

“This is an all too common narrative in Tanzania - and around the world,” she said.

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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