Rose Tesha and George Sempangi from Add International give an introduction to advocacy and activism in East and Central Africa. ADD has been an ally of the Disability movement for the last 35 years, supporting OPDs to deliver on their mandate. In 2022 there was a deliberate move towards shifting the power to OPDs, and in 2023 our vision is for a world in which ableism no longer exists and disabled people can participate fully in society.
Presentation held at the YDAR Festival 2023, Day 1
Rose Tesha is Director of the disability rights-based organization Action on Disability and Development International Tanzania, which fights for independence, equality, and opportunities for people with disabilities. For the past five years Rose has been providing leadership and strategic direction to the organization. She has designed and rolled out key disability related research projects, such as the voice of children with disabilities, improving livelihoods of persons with disabilities through economic empowerment and disability and gender-based violence. She led the Disability Inclusive Development Pre-primary Primary Inclusive Education model development and promoted a holistic and systemic delivery approach to inclusive education in Tanzania. Rose helped women and girls with disabilities to organize themselves by setting up national and district level-platforms, which proved the most effective and sustainable mechanisms for change. Rose has galvanised support from Groups, like CSOs, NGO, OPDs, private sector and ministries responsible for persons with disabilities to support the agenda of women and girls with disabilities.
George Katumba Sempangi is the Global Young Leaders Advisor working for Action on Disability and Development. George got polio at the age of four, which affected one of his right limbs. For the last year, he has been instrumental in designing the Young Leaders Programme and ensuring that young people with disabilities develop their leadership potential and bringing out their abilities. He has been instrumental in supporting the capacity building of organizations of persons with disabilities in Uganda with extensive knowledge on inclusive education and inclusive economic empowerment. He has facilitated different audiences concerning the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as national legal, policy and institutional frameworks for the promotion of human rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. George has worked with several emerging and marginalized disabilities, like the Vitiligo Association Uganda to amplify their voices within the disability movement. As part of the team he aims to boost advocacy for persons with disabilities in East Africa.