Zimbabwe: Social Media Platform for Youth With Disabilities

5 December 2019

Many people living with disabilities find it hard to access information, resulting in them being unable to share the challenges and experiences they face.

Yet sharing information among themselves is very important and a lot of them feel lack of access to information has led to their exclusion from political, economic, social and educational participation and other community development agendas.

It is for this reason that Development Aid from People to People decided to establish a social media platform for youth with disabilities.

The organisation recently handed over 20 tablets, one each to the 20 groups in Shamva, Bindura and Rushinga.

This is because social media is proving to be the most efficient and quick way of disseminating information and the main objective of the social media platform is to inform globally what the youths are doing in a particular area, sharing ideas, information and link with many other service providers to ensure inclusivity into the main agenda of community development initiatives.

The project will establish an interactive social media platform (Facebook, twitter and WhatsApp) where disability issues will be discussed and enhance the network. Each group will establish a network of duty bearers and identify group patrons who will be prominent community members for information dissemination.

Speaking during the handover of the tablets in Bindura, DAPP project co-ordinator Mr Petros Muzuva said the social media platform will promote the human rights based approach which is linked with the social model which recognises that transformation within society which is needed to ensure equality and justice for all as opposed to the charity model.

"Social media is proving to be a fast means of disseminating information and the main objective of the social media platform is to inform globally what youths with disabilities are doing in a particular area, share ideas, sharing information and link with many other service providers for the sake of inclusivity into the main agenda of community development initiatives."

Bindura resident Mr Paul Danger, who uses a wheelchair, bemoaned the exclusion of people living with disability in terms of infrastructure development by both Government and local authorities and added that he is hopeful that the media will be their mouthpiece in articulating their issues.

Mr Danger said lack of access to most Government and local authorities' offices and services was a major hindrances to the progress of people with disability for example there are no braille communications devices for blind people at the courts or sign language inscriptions and sign language interpreters for those with hearing impairments.

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