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Today: Jul 20, 2019

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“My Voice” - Creative workshops of people with disabilities in Takeo Province

 

 

Performers of API’s partner Epic Arts have conducted seven “My Voice” workshops with people with disabilities from Tramkak district in Takeo. During the workshop participants engaged in artistic activities, explored the sources of their self-esteem and disclosed challenges they face: feelings of depression and anger at oneself and others, difficulties in accessing public services like health care and education for lack of physical accessibility but also due to discrimination. Epic Arts facilitators experience disability themselves and can serve as role models and inspiration.

The professional and high-quality workshops were held with both people with disabilities and their assisting family members and friends who supported their access to the workshops. Purpose has been to build up the participants’ confidence and self-esteem, as well as to encourage them to believe that their voices matter, too, so they can also raise them in the local development context, e.g. in the ISAF process. More than 100 participants attended the workshops, 68% were people with disabilities and 31% without disabilities as family members and/or assistants.

99% of participants stated that they enjoyed the workshop and they believed it has helped them to share their voices. One participant said: “I think it's very useful because this [workshop] can make people with disabilities be brave and express their voices, understand about self-value and other. I really like this workshop as it gives us a chance to meet other people with disabilities from my community and share about obstacles from daily life” and “I didn't understand about human rights but I feel much clearer after the workshop as well as know about people with disabilities values and about myself. I really want to have this workshop happen again in order to learn more".

API’s partner CADDP had identified and mobilized these diverse people with disabilities from 7 communes in the initial stage of the project "People with Disabilities’ Voices and Action in Implementation of Social Accountability Framework (ISAF)”, funded by The Voice through Oxfam Cambodia and jointly implemented by Epict Arts, CADDP and API. Further down the road, people with disabilities will have the opportunity to make their voices heard in local ISAF to improve their access to public services in the communes, in health and education.