Ana- Atukuke: leaving no one behind

05-Aug-2020 | News | Petronella Chindumba

Timothy shares a light moment with Mr Miyoba.

In the frame of the Ana-Atukuke project, volunteer paralegal caseworkers carry out door-to-door community outreach in order to raise awareness about the rights of children with disabilities in Chipata and Chadiza. This is how the team met Timothy and his Father, Mr. Daka. Timothy is a 14-years old jovial child with multiple disabilities living in Chipata. His parents had difficulties in carrying him, so he was not attending school on a regular basis. When the paralegal officer and project coordinator learnt about the case, they reached out to organisations supporting inclusive education and were able to obtain a wheelchair for Timothy. On the day Timothy obtained his wheelchair, he said: “I am so happy to have received this wheelchair. At least it will ease my movements to and from school. I will also now be able to go to church, and play with my friends. And my parents won´t have to carry me anymore”. Timothy started attending classes regularly, the family could go to church together and hospital visits were less challenging. But the project has had also further impact on the Daka family. One day, Mr. Daka approached the project office to enquire whether he could be recruited as a volunteer paralegal caseworker for the project. “I would be happy if I could be given the chance to join my colleagues in the community as a caseworker. By doing so, I shall be able to reach out to many children with disabilities and their families. Many parents of children with disabilities just wait for their children with disabilities to die, as they are considered a burden or curse to the family. I want to change that”, explained Mr Daka. Since then, Mr. Daka has been very instrumental in identifying and raising awareness on the rights of children with disabilities. He has also been helpful when it comes to offering counselling to children with disabilities and their families. “I want to serve as a role model to parents with children with disabilities, as I have a child with a disability myself”, said Mr. Daka.

After Mr. Daka had been oriented as a caseworker, he right away hit the ground to reach out to children with disabilities and their families.

 

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ana-Atukuke team is promoting the protection of children with disabilities by providing facemasks, soaps and hand sanitisers to families, but mostly by raising awareness on the special care children with disabilities need in this context. A crucial intervention are radio programmes, so even during social distancing, families obtain pertinent information and also are sensitised on the rights of their children. “The access to health and education for children with disabilities has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot leave children with disabilities behind”, said the project coordinator Mr Miyoba, who advocates for the rights on children with disabilities with local authorities and other partners.

 

The Ana-Atukuke is financed by the European Union, the Austrian Development Cooperation and SOS Children´s Villages Austria and is implemented by SOS Children´s Villages Zambia, Disability Rights Watch and the Archie Hincliff Disability Intervention.

 


Petronella Chindumba
Brand and Communications