Advocacy and Lobby activities
Rwanda National Union of the Deaf (RNUD) advocates by ensuring that concerns of Deaf and hard of hearing people are included in laws, policies and development programs undertaken by either government, non-government or private sector at all levels. This aims at protection and promotion of human rights of Deaf persons. Different methods are used like writing position papers, press conferences, cerebration like International Deaf Awareness week that is held every year.
While the Government of Rwanda ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The government of Rwanda has not domesticated that international law. Integrating disability issues in Rwanda’s public policy system becomes difficult. Rwanda has adopted several legislations and policies pertaining to People with Disabilities (PWDs), including their right to productive and decent work and basic services, PWD, the general public and the duty bearers still have low awareness of the rights of PWDs. This perpetuates the poor social inclusion of the PWDs in the community, district and national level decision making processes.
This year of 2015 as on 11th of June it was another milestones in the heart of Kigali at hill view hotel RNUD conducted a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in Rwanda to chat strategies of improving the accessibility of information to Deaf and Hard hearing people in Rwanda.
session one An exercise focusing on non-verbal and non-written communication was introduced and asked the participants to communicate the complex messages using non-verbal communication (not RSL) in order to realize and highlight the challenges deaf and hard of hearing people face,This session concluded with a quick debrief between participants. which revealed that Hearing people and Deaf people can’t communicate appropriately the information to Deaf patients in hospitals,schools,districts, sector offices etc hence unable to access the services and living marginalized and isolated life etc hence help them to comprehend the real issues.
National council for person with disabilities (NCPD) representatives , listing to Deaf signer .
Session two. zeroed on a short introductory Rwandan Sign language class to show participants the necessity of RSL and a short testimony from a Rwandan Sign Language Deaf user on the importance of sign language and the impact of RSL which highlighted the importance of deaf culture and the sophistication of sign language.
Mrs.Esther a representative from Minister of local government (MINALOC) learning to RSL “good morning ”
Representatives of UNDP and National Human rights commission also enjoying “RSL Good night” during the round table discussion.
KICUKIRO District Disability Mainstreaming Officer learning to RSL “Good morning”
RNUD delivered a presentation of position paper highlighting the important issues need to be address and recommendations, the position paper developed following a study carried out by RNUD with support for Disability rights fund (DRF). aimed at assessing the communication gaps between Deaf people and service providers, local leaders and community members and access to quality information on the available social services provided by private and government institutions in their respective communities, it covered the districts of Muhanga, Nyagatare, Nyanza, Kicukiro, Gasabo Nyarugenge and Musanze in 2014.
A position paper copy is attached here below .click on links here..
Action plan has been developed and follow up meetings are on going…..
RNUD would like to thank DRF for the financial support accorded to us and which kept us this far .
RNUD has developed these recommendations in the position paper to ensure that Deaf people in Rwanda can overcome barriers to economic and social participation and fully contribute to the development of their country. RNUD welcomes working in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) national and international partners and private sector to provide advice on the rights of Deaf and hard of hearing people can fulfilled and support our Government as well.
Thanks for reading .
Mutema Gerald, RNUD program officer and sign language interpreter