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How to make the invisible visible in Sudan

A moment of the follow-up meetings organised by Bridging the Gap with local representatives of women with disabilities from the Sudanese state of Gedaref.

From the 15 to the 18 of December 2018, BtG Sudan visited the Councils for Persons with Disability (CPD) in the states of Gedaref and Kassala. The mission intended to monitor the impact of the activity held in Gedaref collecting also suggestions for planning the second phase. The meeting with the CPD in Gedaref was held at the office of the Union for Women and Children with Disability that was the main beneficiary of the activity implemented in May. Eight beneficiary presented their personal cases agreeing on the success of the training as they all report their conditions to be improved by the skills gained during the workshop. An emblematic case is the one of Ibtisam:

“I was one of the women who participated in the Women and Girls Development training workshop – organized by Bridging the Gap II (BtGII) and held in Gedaref State. The training, targeting specifically women with disabilities, gave the opportunity to participate to many girls and women with disability, especially from the rural areas which makes me really glad as member of the Association. Personally, I had benefited a lot from the training. In the past, I used to do my work without knowing how to calculate the profit/loss, but after the workshop, I became able to calculate the costs of my work as well as to evaluate my effort and also, I learned about my right to work in a well-prepared environment. I am now supporting women with disabilities in their right to work, training them on project management, regardless of the size of the project, and the sign language. In addition, I am establishing a cooperative association and training women with disabilities on how to market and plan products”

This story together with many other suggested the opportunity of a second phase that could be a step up for the small businesses already in place.

Such mission was also the opportunity for an integrated approach on Primary Health Care promoted by the Project DICTORNA, financed by AICS. The idea is to promote a crosscutting multisector approach to “Universal Health” intended and as a global term were all the persons have the possibility to fulfill a life in dignity. The information collected from DICTORNA revealed that segregation of persons with disabilities is still a common practice; therefore, there is a limited access to services and a very scarce level of social inclusion. The joint action of the two programs can provide on one side training for health workers on how to approach disability (and human rights based approach for patients) while on the other side it will allow to reach niches of vulnerability with the family doctors and health promoters operating at community level.

This idea has been discussed also with the Directorate General of the State Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Gedaref and the Council of Persons with disability agreeing that such action is absolutely necessary and propaedeutic for planning further actions aimed to increase social inclusion and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Finally, the cooperation between the two initiatives will foster a research on the level of inclusion of persons with disabilities in the states of Gedaref and Kassala, finalized to provide recommendations and best practices adapted to the local context.

Together BtG and DICTORNA have the goal to make the “invisibles” visible.