Nothing about us without us
Celebrated every year, the International Day of People with disabilities promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development. Dedicated to this day, the Center of sign language and deaf education (CSLDE) and Irbis's event titled "Sport and Play for entertainment and happiness of people with special needs" on December 5 brought together international organizations, civil society, and People with Disabilities Associations to celebrate the voice of people in need to be heard, according to press release issued by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Office in Tajikistan.
AKAH, together with the European Union and CSLDE, joined this UN annual initiative to reinforce the importance of securing the rights of people with disabilities so that they can participate fully, equally, and effectively in a society with others and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives.
This event was organized within the auspices of "Fostering and enabling environment and opportunities for youth and people with disabilities to promote equity, access, and inclusion" project, funded by EC and aimed at fostering and enabling environment and bringing opportunities for youth and people with disabilities to promote equity, access, and inclusion. With this initiative, AKAH shows its utmost support by underlining the importance of fostering an inclusive culture and responding to the urgent needs of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. During the event, the Irbis trainers conducted different pieces of training for disabled people. As a result, there was an excellent atmosphere of joy and inclusion. Children were also excited when the heads of international organizations joined them in dancing and playing games.
"Today is a day of joy and inclusion. This year's celebration comes at a pivotal moment; one in which COVID-19 has exacerbated inequality and disrupted services for people with disabilities," said Osama Makkawi, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan. "As we exit this age, it's critical to re-isolating ways that empower rather than isolating children and young people with disabilities. These initiatives encourage every member of society with a disability to participate in sports and other social activities, teaching life skills and strengthening social exchanges between youth and people with disabilities."
The EU Ambassador, Marilyn Josefson stressed that the European Union and AKAH want to recognize the incredible potential of people living with disabilities through this project. "We offer our steadfast support in helping them to accomplish their personal goals, dreams and equal rights in society. Engagement through sports is one of the means to achieve this. Today's event visibly empowers people with disabilities to participate in many different sports. This is meant to inspire broader inclusion. The inclusion of athletes with disabilities at the grassroots level hopefully also lead to more people with disabilities becoming professional athletes," she added.
The AKAH CEO, Mr. Hadi Husani, emphasized that "As the AKDN is striving to improve the quality of lives of all community members, paying more specific attention to the most vulnerable and overlooked segment of the population, it's a fantastic opportunity for AKAH to come together with the Government, European Commission, and our implementing partner CSLDE not only to address all those needs but to promote and reinforce the equity, access and inclusion of youth and people with disabilities by reaffirming its commitment to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the daily life of the community.”
“The "Fostering an enabling environment and opportunities for youth and people with disabilities to promote equity, access, and inclusion project is funded by EC and implemented by AKAH jointly with the CSLDE in Khorog, Rasht Valley and Dushanbe". The project is aiming to promote equity, access, and inclusion by fostering an enabling environment for youth and people with disabilities. The outcome of the project provides youth and people with disabilities with equitable access to livelihood and humanitarian resources, as well as encourage them to participate in sports and other social activities.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, the Aga Khan Development Network's Disaster Risk Management Initiative, and the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the environment.
AKAH works to ensure that poor people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; those residents who do live in high-risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a better quality of life.
AKAH helps communities prepare for the worst; provides immediate relief after disaster strikes; and helps build back better and greener while planning for a better future. AKAH currently operates in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Pakistan and India, with plans to expand further in Central Asia and East Africa.