Ambassadors against stigma

We started a new project, in 2019 that will be a part of helping break down stigma and prejudice about people with disabilities in Kenya.

In the project, we put special focus on young women with disabilities. They often experience triple discrimination because of their social status, their gender, and their disability.

In Kenya, people with disabilities are a highly marginalized group. They experience being excluded from social communities, the labor market and political influence.

Together with our collaborator Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), we are in the process of empowering 10 young women. We must strengthen their visibility in civil society and towards local authorities. The 10 young women have undergone training in civil rights and have been strengthened in their self-confidence and presentation skills. Together, they must now go out into their communities and schools to talk about what it is like to live as a young woman with a disability. The ambassadors' goal is to shape political, cultural, and social processes so that in the long run better conditions can be created for girls and women with disabilities. The ten ambassadors call themselves ‘The Pretty 10’ and they have already made a big impression.

The Pretty 10

I am a part of creating awareness, so that the children who are in school right now do not have to live through what I lived through. It's a painful experience, which i don’t want any child – any girl – to experience what I have experienced. Deborah Nzisa

Narrated by Deborah Nzisa

Each of the ten ambassadors have their own story about what it is like to live with a disability. Some have experienced being excluded from school and the social community with their peers. Others have experienced being exploited by boys, employers or someone else entirely. Mutual for all of them is that they first and foremost want to be met as human beings.

You can hear three of the ambassadors' stories in the video below.

COVID-19 update

In large parts of Africa Corona continues to spread at a rapid pace. In Kenya, the number of infections is steadily rising, and the government has decided to keep schools closed until January 2021. The pandemic has a major impact
on the entire population and especially the most weak and vulnerable sections of the population.

Corona meant that the ten ambassadors had to stop all their planned visits to the schools and in local communities this was to great dismay of them, our partner and us.

The ten women however, refused to throw away the knowledge and skills they had acquired through the project and therefore decided to become an active part of the fight against corona. In collaboration with our partner Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya, the ten ambassadors therefore have been trained in how to protect themselves and others from infection of the COVID-19 virus.

They are currently visiting selected small communities to spread this knowledge, break down misinformation about the virus and support people with disabilities at risk of infection and further stigma. You can follow the ambassadors' work on our
Facebook and Instagram.

The project is funded by CISU – Civilsamfund i Udvikling.