Bridging the Gap strengthens the capacities of the National Council Disability Focal Points in Burkina Faso

participants of the trainings

From the 11th to the 18th of July, Bridging the Gap held in Ougadougou (Burkina Faso) the training activity “The Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and inclusion: promotion and integrated protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through synergies between institutions and civil society – The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the local regulatory framework and their application” (“Formation sur la CDPH, les objectifs du développement durable, le cadre réglementaire national et l’application des règles”). The initiative aimed at strengthening the capacities of local institutions and organisations of people with disabilities in line with the expected results 2 and 3 of Bridging the Gap).

The activity, organized by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) as implementing partner of the project in Burkina Faso, consisted of two training sessions of three days each: the first from the 11th to the 13th of July and the second from the 16th to the 18th. Both sessions, moderated by the Permanent Secretary of COMUD (the National Multisectoral Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Persons with Disability), Mr. Boukary Savadogo, targeted public sector officials and representatives of the civil society, as well as members/focal points of the very same COMUD.

The sessions were facilitated by Michele Falavigna, from the association Amici di Raoul Follerau (AIFO) and Giampiero Griffo from the Italian Disability and Development Network (RIDS), two Italian experts with over 20 years of experience in the field of disability and sustainable and inclusive development.

The sessions were attended by 70 members of the National Intersectoral Council for the Protection and Promotion of Persons with Disability, including 13 governorates, 12 regional directions of social services, 15 ministries, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Presidency of Burkina Faso, 4 federations of associations of disabled people, 13 regional coordination mechanisms of people with disabilities, 6 non-governmental organizations and civil society associates a representative of the private sector.

The training raised awareness on the CRPD’s principles and specific content, so to build a common knowledge base and reinforce the common identity of the Focal Points, in order to put all members on the same level of understanding and capacity.

This fact was also recognized by the State Secretary for Social Affairs, Persons with Disabilities and Fight against Social Exclusion, Yvette Dembélé, during her opening remarks: “I welcome the fact that this first training and exchange session with the Italian experts, the local experts, the representatives of the institutions and the representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities, which will make a decisive turning point in the consideration of the disability issues in the planning of the different sectors”.

This training sessions will be replicated over time to allow the focal points work better on the CRPD and SDGs translation in the Burkina Faso legislative and normative agenda and the application of existing norms to promote the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Exchange of experiences Italy-Burkina Faso

On July 19th, following the training activity, a meeting between the representatives of the Italian disability movement and the local federations of persons with disabilities in Burkina Faso was held at the AICS office in Ouagadougou. The encounter aimed at promoting an exchange of experience and information among the representatives of associations of people with disabilities, as well as enhancing the mutual knowledge on the mechanisms of active participation, the enforcement mechanisms of the protection rules and the operational capacity of the associations.

The meeting was attended by Giampiero Griffo and Michele Falavigna who joined members of the Burkinabè Federation for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (FEBAH), of the Network of Organizations of People with Disabilities (ReNOH), of the National Coalition of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CNAPH), of the National Union of Blind People (UN-ABPAM) and of the National Federation of Students with Disabilities (AEEHB).

On a similar note, on July 20th, mr. Griffo and mr. Falavigna met with Italian development practitioners active in Burkina Faso to advocate for the mainstreaming of disability in development cooperation projects implemented in the country.

The meeting, also held at the AICS headquarters in Ouagadougou, was attended by representatives of nine NGOs (Acra, CIAI, Tamat, Medicus Mundi, CISV, GVC, TDHI, Cesvium, Mani Tese), who were introduce to the CRDP and the AICS’ Guidelines on Disability, so that they could have an approach to the principles and the history of the Convention, its cross-cutting dimension, the twin-track approach (mainstreaming and specific interventions), the importance of the accessibility and universal design in all the facilities, and the need of monitoring tools.