Staff of the Services for Persons with Disabilities (SPD) program and some projects under it are expected to offer quality services that promote Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID). For 2 days, 29 staff were trained on how to mainstream disability in their work in a capacity building workshop organized by the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program with funds from Australian Aid. The workshop, which took place in Bafoussam from June 18-19, 2020, had as purpose to critically reflect on the concept, barriers, and strategies for Community Inclusive Development.
Opening the workshop, the SPD Coordinator, Awa Jacques Chirac explained that there has been a shift to CBID and as development workers, there needed to build the capacityof staff so that they are equipped to render better services as they work with persons with disabilities and stakeholders.
During the workshop, participants were schooled on the evolution of inclusion which started from persons with disabilities being kept in special settings to integration where they are not included from the beginning of development to mainstreaming and now the shift to inclusion which is where advocates are focusing.
The facilitator, Mrs. Agho Glory called on the participants to ensure that they work and preach the inclusion of persons with disabilities. “It is the dream of the disability community to one day have a society where everyone in the community is considered at the beginning of every process,” she reiterated. Participants were also equipped with legal tools that will enable them to carry out advocacy with and for persons with disabilities as they do their work.
The workshop allowed staff to share their experiences and exchange ideas on the challenges they face in the community and the best ways in which these can be handled.
At the end of the workshop, participants were challenged to facilitate social change in the community because community members already have a solution.
This was the third workshop funded by Australian Aid in the last two months to build the capacities of stakeholders. The series of workshops began with the training of CBC Health Services Administrators, and another one for Councils and NGOs and lastly the one for staff. The expectation is that these stakeholders are well equipped to drive across the concept of CBID in their work so that persons with disabilities are included in development actions.