I live in a small city in Italy, Forlì. Although Italy is a progressive country about disability (for some of its laws) I experienced the fact that a few people can really manage to have a honest confrontation with disabled people. We fear what we don't know and this is known but I think we also fear what we can't accept.. And is really hard to accept that the physical pain we see in those people could have been our pain.. Because of course some disabilities come from diseases but not all of them, sometimes is no one fault and this can be even more painful to accept.
I have always been around disables people; my dad used to work in a cooperative that give jobs to people with disability so I grew up in this kind of environment and I'm confortable with that. For some years now I have been volunteering in an association that, I think, offer an amazing service: it organizes free time. I think is an incredible service because we sometimes forget that people like them have our similar needs of fun and laugh. So during the weekends I use my free time in an amazing way and we have pizza togheter (let's remember we are italian!), we go to the cinema or bowling, sometimes we even go dancing in the discos! And people that see us, they're very surprised at firts because is not very common to see bunch of disabled people hanging out all togheter but you can see from their faces that they start to think about them in a brand new way. So what I?m trying to say is that maybe this can seems unneccessary, something that we can avoid and no one would say anything but I assure you that I have not found yet a better way to include disabled people in society.
Two years ago, I had fate come knocking on my door. After many years of being self-absorbed in myself and my career, I took a step back and see what more there was out there.
Since graduating from University, I have been fortunate enough to easily attain jobs- that assisted me climb up the ladder.
One day, the unfortunate came upon me. An “opportunity” that resulted to be one of the biggest career nightmares occurred, but ironically to my surprise, as an affect has become a positive life changing experience. I have always gravitated towards charity work and causes.
I admire philanthropist, activist, are into works of political organizations, anything about world events and cultures have fascinated me. Back in 2010, I stepped back from my so-called life, went back to my mother’s home town located in the Philippines. When I would come down for short visits throughout the past 15 yrs I’ve always referred to it as rural, primitive and backward s. The past couple years, I have stayed there on and off, I realized that it was undeveloped; had potential as an emerging tourist destination and people lacked the basic human care to survive. What made me see things differently was when I did a feeding in a remote area with the Red Cross. What was provided for in the feeding, I am embarrassed to say, I spent more in just one meal when I was out with friends. Disturbed by this, I ended up creating my own feeding at one of our properties. I got my friends to assist in cash donations, I used our staff for assistance and our property for a venue to have a children’s day. In a one day event, I fed 200 male and female children ranging from 4-7 yrs old; I provided them food, entertainment, medical check-ups, medicine, snacks, school supplies and footwear. My objective for that day was to create some happiness, to the children who have never known something different from where they normally habituate. The 2nd time I came back, disturbed by months earlier how the women in this region were treated. Women’s empowerment existed but not defined, therefore the younger women, resulted themselves in situation’s that were unjust… Not out to save the world, but if I can assist, I initiated a Scholarship grant for 2 female students. As they say, most things come in 3’s. My last initiative after taking a 2 yr. hiatus from my so called life… After seven years absence of a commercial plane landing on its air strip. In cooperation with the carrier and myself we got flights to resume. Through the initiative, I awakened the existence of its airport, create jobs, while providing a choice of convenience for the locals, its neighbouring towns, benefit the elderly for healthcare, and assist the regions development for tourism and making it more attractive for Investors to come into the region. My Voluntary initiatives the past two years have been life changing and I would never trade it for anything in the world. I am happy that the experiences I attained in my career have well benefited others in the process. It’s a fast world out there, things are always changing, we get stuck in a paradigm in what and who we are suppose to be, that sometimes you don’t realize that you are playing for the wrong team.
I wish to be a volunteer in your organization I have diploma in social work will be happy to if am also included in your team work am hard hardworking lady.
Je m'appelle Fidèle NDIKUMANA, burundais.
L'intégration sociale de la communauté des Batwa au Burundi pendant l'été 1999 et 2000. La communauté des Batwa a été marginalisé dès des siècles et des siècles par les différents dirigeants du pays pré et poste coloniales. Voyant ceci, alors que dès ma jeunesse j'ai décidé de mettre toute ma vie au service des autres pour améliorer l'état de notre planète, j'ai rattrapé une équipe des Apôtres du Bon Pasteur (ce sont des consacrés) et nous avons cherchés chaque année 100 parcelles et nous y avons construit des maisons pour ces Batwa. Nous ne mangions pas toute la journée afin de pouvoir collecter quelque chose à donner à ces gens pour qu'ils puissent quelque chose à mettre sous la dent. Avec une immense joie d'endurer la fatigue, nous ne nous reposerions pas pour que nous puissions terminer rapidement ces maisons et pouvoir abriter ces Batwa. Maintenant que je suis marié, j'ai à ma charges trois autres enfants orphelins et mon épouse me comprend facilement..
je me nomme moussezi joelle, je suis de la COTE D'IVOIRE. En plus d'être UNV; je milite comme bénévole au sein d'un comité dénommé SOCIETY WITHOUT BARRIERS-COTE D'IVOIRE pour un monde accessible à la personne handicapée. cela a travers des séances de sensibilisations communautaires et de renforcement des capacités au cours des quelles (sur la base de la convention relative aux droits personnes handicapée) nous faisons la promotion de la personne handicapée: une personne handicapée toute aussi capable que la personne valide si la société le lui permet. nous mettons un accent particulier sur la prise en compte de la personne sourde qui dans notre pays est l'un des handicaps les plus lésés selon nous du fait de la barrière linguistique. nous faisons alors la promotion de la langue des signes comme un droit humain pour la personne sourde. nous formons alors des entendants et même des sourds analphabètes en langue des signes. du fait de nos maigres sources nos actions ne sont pas toujours de grandes envergures.
NEIGHBORHOOD SANITATION: KEEPING OUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN
In the past two years, our Association Friends of Peace, “Amis de la Paix” Non Governmental nor political group, which works to improve the quality of life in different neighborhoods in Yaounde, promotes the education of the young girl and raising small funds to help the needy. Today, our association has assisted in solving some community issues, thus bringing progressively solutions environmental problems.
But many obstacles still hinder our accomplishments in the field. For now, the association is operating in less privileged neighborhoods, from the poorest social sector. The population’s participation in these activities remains unfelt. In some neighborhoods, inhabitants find it difficult to breathe fresh air. This is due to bad smell from overflowing sewage in the area.
Despite the smell, people go about their daily chores freely. What was the major cause for worry is that the area is almost surrounded by sewage holes which are full and neglected. As a result, sewage oozes out uncontrollably. The stench it emits causes a lot of havoc. Inhabitants in these areas go about with handkerchiefs which they use to cover their noses to avoid the smell.
People living in the area are often ill due to the stench from sewage holes in the place and the presence of mosquitoes. When the rain falls, the smell is reduced. But after the rain, the odour gets worse. “It is not easy. When the sun is hot, people run away from the environment because they cannot bear the stench.
Usually, our Association “Friends of Peace” organize ourselves to keep our clean environment. Some of our point of focus are:
• The development of water points (wells, springs) and their upkeep;
• The garbage collection;
• weeding the edges of highways and shallows;
• sweeping and backfilling of the roads;
• the cleaning of gutters;
• The development of green spaces;
• The cleaning of the river bed "The Mfoundi" near the homes so as to get rid of mosquitoes. Today, people from these neighborhoods speak out their satisfaction, to our association for the work and effort in cleaning up these sewage holes, putting of some trash cans in specific areas so as to enable the population to throw their waist products. Also, the sensitization of the population on the importance of keeping their environment clean. Many houses have declared that, mosquitoes are almost inexistent, and the number of sick people has dropped considerably within these past months. Our Association has applied to be a UN volunteer and we are ready for any task which will be given to us so as to make us active volunteers. However, we shall continue with our volunteer activities in our communities. I am Helen Bessem, executive member of the Association, and active member for volunteer actions in Yaounde. We are inviting all volunteers worldwide to join www.volunteeractioncounts.org to promote UN Rio+20.
Volunteer Action Counts
Rio +20 (Brazil, 20-22nd June, 2012)
Contribution de G. NONGUE
****** Insuffisante assimilation de l’approche du Développement durable par les Collectivités territoriales et les Communautés locales au Cameroun Par G. NONGUE Pour contribuer à inverser cette tendance négative dans notre Arrondissement, nous avons crée l’association des jeunes pour la Promotion du Développement de l’Arrondissement d’Endom (PRODEVAREN).
Depuis plus de dix ans, l’association mène tant bien que mal des actions de sensibilisation aux immenses potentialités du Développement durable, des campagnes d’assainissement, des sessions de soutien scolaire, l’incitation des jeunes désœuvrés de notre localité à entreprendre des activités informelles ou agricoles génératrices de revenus, pour favoriser leur autonomisation, etc.
Avec des moyens très réduits et une disponibilité limitée de la plupart des membres, occupés par leurs études ou leurs activités professionnelles hors de l’arrondissement, cette initiative encouragée par les Autorités et les Elites locales, est essentiellement portée par la forte motivation et la bonne volonté des jeunes adhérents.
Strengthening communities through Social Inclusion, Rights, Livelihoods and Welfare
The living conditions of elderly people in villages are currently characterised by extreme poverty and transmitted to subsequent generations. They are affected by situations of social exclusion, lack of opportunities to participate in development activities, extremely limited access to health care, good water, good sanitation, no electricity, non existence of social security benefits, scarcity in social service networks and their poor housing situations do not meet minimum conditions of dignity.
Poverty and social exclusion remain the main stumbling blocks to the realization of the human rights of poor older people. Poor elderly people, often face abuse, neglect, exclusion, and poverty. This denies them access to, and benefit from their rights and entitlements. Gender, ethnicity, disability and age, are already creating scenarios of discrimination among the elderly in Cameroon.
CDVTA is using a rights-based approach to both address the self-identified needs of marginalized older persons, to create lasting changes at structural level in the following areas:
1) SOCIAL INCLUSIONS:
Empowering older persons and enabling them to feel more included and cared for by their communities through
- Creation of elderly social clubs,
- Regular volunteers/staff home-visits
- Inter-generational learning and sharing with school children
- Integration with their families.
- Awareness-raising on issues of community-wide importance like HIV/AIDS, disability, environment and gender
Advocacy and campaigns in support of older persons' rights
- Actions with older persons to increase their civic education in democratic practice through issuing of identification papers to enable them register and vote in elections, travel out of their communities and influence senior government officials and policy makers in regional and national capitals
- Empowering older persons especially women, widows, disabled and indigenous secluded elderly groups to claim and advocate for their rights, while influencing opinion amongst their communities and local leaders.
- Encouraging older persons to use their votes and attendance at advocacy forums [conventions, Rallies & International day of Older Persons celebrations] to influence the Government to uphold their rights through legislation and establish a national policy on Ageing in Cameroon
Improving the well-being and economic empowerment of older persons through:
- Improved techniques in organic farming and gardening
- Donation of seeds for gardens and farms
- Donation of farm and garden tools
- New skills in livestock rearing
- Sustainable Apiary development [Beekeeping] - Soap and wash powder production
- Medicinal plant cultivation to support both individual older people and clubs to increase their yields and their income levels.
- Small scale loan schemes
- Fruit tree planting
- Club “njangi” [ rotating financial contributions] 4) WELFARE:
- Education improved nutrition
- Education on hygiene and sanitation
- Household chores
- Home visits/ home-based care
- Housing improvement
- Donation of hurricane lamps, blankets and warm clothes to the neediest house-bound elderly My volunteering has been with a Cameroon-based NGO, Community Development Volunteers for Technical Assistance, CDVTA which is working with very poor and remote rural communities in the North West Region of Cameroon. Written by Teboh Sharon Jitto Majorie
My volunteering work in Africa was in policy formulation for inclusive education for children with special needs and developing country programs for sustainable development. In a very remote area where I was shown the efforts of the government to make education available for all was a school for deaf and mute. Students attended classes in the care of dedicated teachers and volunteers. It was a joy to see creativity and dedication at work. We documented the good practices and strengthened its implementation by defining policies that will support local initiatives in implementing PROJECTS/PROGRAMS TO MAKE EDUCATION FOR ALL A REALITY.
I'll make my story in french, sorry.
Je m'appelle Francine, comme vous pouvez le remarquer, j'habite le continent Africain, presicement au RD Congo, dans la region appelee Nord-Kivu.
En fait nous avons vecus des moments tres durs et nous les traversons toujours ici au Congo, comme la guerre, la faim, les viols et violences divers... quelques fois nous nous disont que peut etre c'est la fin pour nous ou pour les gens qui nous entourent et nous sont chers.
cette vie doit prendre faim car des millions des gens souffrent dans le monde entier et nous restons la a les regarder souffrir ou meme encore mourir.
voila ce qui m'a plus motiver a travailler comme vonlontaire anfin que nous mettons ensemble nos forces, nos experiences et connaissances pour que l'action des volontaires ailles de l'avant.