Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya Module 1 kicks off with participants
from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda


Bridge CRPD-SDGs
, a unique inclusive capacity development training initiative between the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), commenced in Nairobi, Kenya on June 24, 2021 with 35 participants, including a few from Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda. The Bridge CRPD-SDGs training, being held over the period of seven days from June 24-30, 2021 aims to support organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and disability rights advocates to develop an inclusive (all persons with disabilities) and comprehensive (all human rights) CRPD perspective on development, including the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to reinforce their advocacy for inclusion and realisation of rights and persons with disabilities.

The opening remarks were given by Sarah Kamou from the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK). She welcomed the participants and thanked IDA and IDDC for hosting the training in Nairobi. “Bridge CRPD-SDGs training is like advocacy at all levels. This initiative aims to support persons with disabilities and advocates of disability movements. There is a need to create awareness for persons with disabilities to join DPOs and speak in one voice,” she said.

Kamou further emphasized, “Together, let us make this training count by raising awareness. We need to embrace the importance of a disability movement and encourage other persons with disabilities to come forward and speak as one voice, especially the more marginalized types.”

Abebaw Abebe, Project Manager with African Disability Forum (ADF), gave a brief overview of the organisation and the work being accomplished with its 43 member-DPOs. ADF is a continental member organisation of DPOs in Africa and seeks to strengthen and unify the representative voices of Africans with disabilities, their families and organisations. Tchaurea Fleury, Director of Capacity Building at IDA, enlightened the participants on the overall structure and significance of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training, which brings together leaders from the disability movement in a safe space for open dialogue and constructive exchange including peer learning and mutual accountability.

Bridge CRPD-SDGs initiative has a strong impact on imparting knowledge to participants and supports them in related advocacy activities. The trainers discuss the CRPD in depth to facilitate the participants the various ways in which they can instrumentalise it. Inclusive facilitation styles and tools are used to engage the participants in different role plays preparing them to identify and overcome — using the CRPD and SDGs — the challenges they face in their daily lives, at their workplace, in their homes or at public places.

Explaining the structure of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs, Fleury said, “We are we. We are us. Each one of you is a part of this Alliance. With your participation, we make this Alliance. IDA is a global alliance of persons with disabilities. The key purpose of this Bridge CRPD-SDGs is to equip the DPOs to push their governments, using the CRPD and SDGs, to make public policies more inclusive of persons with disabilities and their rights.”

“Over 50% of the participants in Bridge CRPD-SDGs are women. We also pay strong attention to the most underrepresented groups such as people affected by leprosy, people with albinism, psychosocial disabilities and autistic people. We are jointly and individually responsible to impart knowledge. We learn from you. We learn from each other,” she further iterated.

The Bridge CRPD-SDGs training has opened informal learning spaces for the participants and is split into two modules – Module 1 and Module 2. Module 1 focuses on inclusive understanding of CRPD and analysing key development sectors from a CRPD perspective. Module 2 focuses on applying this understanding and analysis via the diverse advocacy routes.

The secret ingredient of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training curriculum is the participants themselves as they bring the subject knowledge and the drive to learn and contribute. When asked about the participants’ expectations from the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya training, Ashura Michael, WFD-IDA Fellow from Kenya, said, “Bridge CRPD-SDGs training is a great learning platform and to understand better how to develop new policies related to the UNCRPD. It is interesting to learn how to engage with both the government and the DPOs effectively to implement the CRPD.”

Another participant, Jane Waithera of Positive Exposure (Kenya), said, “the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training provides practical application of UNCRPD and SDGs in the day-to-day lives.” The main motive of this Bridge CRPD-SDGs training is to make sure that persons with disabilities participate equally and take part in reaching Agenda 2030 and the CRPD.

One of the lead facilitators, Fatma Wangare from Inclusion Africa, described the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training as “an Aha! moment for advocacy advocates from disability organisations in Africa.” Familiarizing the participants on the need to have advocacy from a rights-based perspective, she added, “there’s a need to have awareness about one’s needs and rights and to make sure that everybody is counted and budgeted for.”

The Bridge CRPD-SDGs curriculum is built to support DPOs to make the most of the SDGs’ momentum. During the seven days of the training, the participants engage in role plays depicting emotional narratives about the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives and discrimination from their own family, friends, society and legal system.

The team of facilitators for Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya include:

Elizabeth Ombati (Kenya) – ADF DPO Engagement Officer;
Alradi Abdalla (Sudan) – a Bridge CRPD-SDGs ToT Officer;
Fatma Wangare (Kenya) – Inclusion Africa;
Michael Njenga (Kenya) – the Executive Director at Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya;
Jane Akinyi (Kenya) – Bridge CRPD-SDGs Facilitator;
Kato Mark (Uganda) – Fellow WFDB-IDA;
Peter Ochieng (Uganda) – IDA Youth Fellow;
Agnes Abukito (Uganda) – Fellow WFDB-IDA.

The newly-formed ADF team is participating in the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya and related events!

Abebaw Abebe and Ousmane Ali (Project Managers), Anika Sharma (Communications Officer) and Berhanu Kifle (Finance Manager) are following the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya Module 1, taking the opportunity to meet with participants and facilitators from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. The team is also meeting ADF members, key stakeholders, and partners, such as UDPK, Inclusion Africa, USPK, UNICEF, OSF, and UNHCR.

Read here about Bridge CRPD-SDGs Kenya Module 1 (PDF Version)

For any further information, please contact ADF’s Communications Officer, Anika Sharma.