Tackling negative attitudes towards people with disabilities is one of the YDAR winning campaigns that aims to dispel negative, societal views of disability. Run by Eva Joseph Masanilo, it will do this by launching a wide-spread awareness campaign, involving meetings with parents of people with disabilities, radio and TV coverage, flyers and a music video. The key strategy is to provide a better education to the community, in order to understand the true nature of persons with disabilities.
The common view in Tanzanian society is that disability is seen as a curse, and people who are disabled are seen as cursed and do not fit in society. This myth is spreading all over the world. As a result, some communities in Tanzania have called for persons with disabilities to be killed. Of course, the curse theory is a myth and not the reality of people with disabilities
In society, people with disabilities are thought to be beggars and need help wherever they are. For instance, when a person with a disability goes to the shop, the shopkeeper says, “I don’t have anything to give you”. Remember that such person with a disability went into the shop with his or her money to buy products, but the shopkeeper assumed that he or she came to beg.
Society often sees people with disabilities as not having the right to have a family, being regarded as unfit to marry or be married because of their disability. They are also seen as unfit to have children because of the fear of increasing the number of people with disabilities.
In society, people with disabilities are seen as unable to be independent and participate in various activities that can generate income, such as business, entrepreneurship, education, etc. This myth is not true because disability is not an ‘inability’.
This project aims to:
- Advocate for inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in economic activities, for instance, industrial activities, agricultural activities, etc.
- Provide education to the community to prepare a good environment to help persons with disabilities work well because we believe that “disability is our comfortability” – if you create a proper environment for people with disabilities to work, they can perform even better than others.
- Eliminate stereotypes of persons with disabilities
- Raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities in society – the majority of people with disability were left behind in educational provision, so, this project creates awareness about their rights and responsibilities to the community.
- Educate people with disabilities toward the opportunities they have – for instance, there are opportunities of government loans of 10% of the revenue collected in specific council, providing 4% for youth, 4% for women and 2% for people with disability, but the majority of them are not aware of this opportunity.
- Educate the community against stigmatisation of people with disabilities – persons with disability are stigmatized in different ways including in education, the health sector and leadership positions; for instance most schools in Tanzania do not have persons with disabilities as headmaster or headmistress, because stigmatisation denies their right to be a leader.