We’re counting down to 2030…

17 August 2018

Young disabled people in Kenya, the Philippines and Zambia are joining together to build leadership skills and use the power of social media to tell the world about their experiences in life!

It’s all part of a global initiative by Leonard Cheshire called 2030 and Counting and our aim is to put young disabled people at the centre of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and advocacy.

The project encourages young people — who are already technically-savvy — to use their mobile phones to share their experiences of health, education and employment.

These go to an on-line reporting hub and the stories will then be shared through social media and at advocacy events to make sure the governments in these countries put more disability-inclusive policies in place.

With estimates suggesting that there are between 180 and 220 million youth with disabilities worldwide and nearly 80% of them living in developing countries, it’s never been more important for them to have a voice as to how they live, learn and work in the years ahead.

2030 and counting participants with Judy Heumann

Meet the new ‘agents of change’

Ian Banda from Zambia, explained why he decided to take part in the project:

‘My personal motivation is that being an advocate as well as a person with a disability has made me become an advocate on the rights of children and youths with disabilities, as I know the challenges that children and youths face.’

Maria Njeri, a participant from Kenya, told us why it’s essential that young people fight for their rights:

‘The young people with disabilities are not as empowered as they should be to fight for their rights.

‘They have a general idea and a general role in creating awareness but it's more passive than it should be.

‘They should be empowered and confident and strong enough to approach the government.’

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