How Engagement with SABI has Strengthened the Advocacy Capacity and Autonomy of SEND SL

At a Persons with Disability Conference in December 2018, held in Kenema Town, SEND Sierra Leone presented the Citizens perception data to show evidence of challenges faced by persons with disability in service delivery.

The event which gathered 62 participants, (including MDAs and persons with disability), was conducted to commemorate world disability day with the theme “Empowering Persons with Disability and Ensure Inclusiveness and Equality”.

The data presented by SEND Sierra Leone shined a light on few of the challenges faced by persons with disability including; PHUs difficult to reach, no access to health care facilities, no special aid for pupils with disability in schools, public structures not disable friendly, lack of representation in most community working groups, like the Facility Management Committee (FMC) and School Management Committee (SMC).

This led to meaningful deliberations where MDAs commended SABI for providing evidence that motivates them to work together with SEND Sierra Leone to address the many issues face by persons with disability in Kenema Town, and the district.

As district stakeholders, we have engaged the District Medical Officer on the ineffectiveness and little inclusion of PWDs in the Facility Management Committee across the district. With this data, we will continue to enforce and hold government accountable for inclusive access to health care services for PWDs – Tamba John Try, Deputy Chairperson Kono District Council.

 

 

The evidence gather from the citizens perception survey is very inspiring. We will use this data in our district development planning – Mr Paie, M&E Officer Western Rural District.

 

 

Disability desks are not exiting in government sectors. We have been working towards this for long, but with this data, I believe our voice will be louder- Francis Tucker, Kailahun District SLUDI Coordinator.

During the event, SEND Sierra Leone, together with MDAs supported persons with disability to develop action plans and solicit actions to solve problems identified in the data. Monthly follow ups were being made to ensure that actions are completed. This action plan includes the following problems and person’s responsible.

District Problem to solve Action Responsible Person When
 

 

 

Kenema

Lack of knowledge and understanding of the PWD Acts of 2011 PWD Acts to be popularized MSWGCA, NCPD, SLUDI Jan, 2019 to Dec, 2019
lack of inclusion across MDAs and other public agencies Establishment of disability desk unit in all MDAs and other public agencies MSWGCA, NCPD, SLUDI, GOSL, PWDs Jan, 2019 to Dec, 2019
 

 

 

Kailahun

None inclusion of PWDs into SMCs, VDCs, in Communities where they are present Advocacy at community, district and national levels. MSWGCA, MBSSE, SABI, KWIGN, District Council, SLUDI Feb,2019- Dec, 2019
popularization of the PWD ACTs of 2011 Sensitization at various level MSWGCA, MBSSE, SABI, KWIGN, District Council, SLUDI Feb,2019- Dec, 2019
 

 

 

 

Kono

 

Inclusion of PWDs in FMCs structure Review the FMCs DHMT, Kono District Council, Implementing Partners and community stakeholders Jan, 2019 to Dec, 2019
Access to education facilities Construction/rehabilitation of schools with easy access to pathways in the school environment District Council, Implementing Partners and community stakeholders Jan, 2019 to Dec, 2019
Western Area Low level of PWD representation in FMCs and SMCs due to lack of bye laws Develop bye laws for the inclusion of PWDs District Council and community stakeholders January to June, 2019

 

SEND Sierra Leone subsequently developed a policy paper on “Inclusive Access to Medical Facilities in Sierra Leone” for Persons living with Disabilities. Through this paper, SEND Sierra Leone articulated the issues of persons with disability from a broader perspective, reflecting on the fact that health, education and social protection service channels are not made accessible to PWDs.

This policy was shared with MDAs and SLUDI, who are currently engagement government and other development partners to obtain support.