International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Meet Fredrick
Learn how CCBRT is a leader in promoting inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in Tanzania.
In honour of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), celebrated this week, we sat down with Fredrick, Advocacy Programme Manager, to discuss CCBRT’s efforts to “empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) and ensure inclusiveness and equality”—this year’s IDPD theme.
Fredrick has been with CCBRT for eight years. “Not only does CCBRT provide health services for PWDs, it also continues to fight for inclusion and empowerment for a community of which I am a part of,” Fredrick said. As a PWD, Fredrick wanted to work at CCBRT to ensure that all PWDs have equal opportunity to exercise their basic human rights. PWDs face environmental and social barriers that limit access to employment, education, transportation and social inclusion. He has experienced first-hand the social, economic and health benefits that come from the inclusion of all people and wanted to serve an organisation that is working for a more inclusive world.
Fredrick and the advocacy team mobilise CCBRT’s technical expertise and reputation in the community and beyond to conduct research, lobby the government and development actors and facilitate trainings in disability inclusion to corporate and public organisations. Just last week Fredrick and other CCBRT staff, in partnership with CEFA, ATE and the Government of Tanzania, put together a meeting for employers to discuss the importance of employing PWDs and the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act—which Tanzania ratified in 2010. The law states that, in organisations with a staff of more than 20, at least 3% of employees must be PWDs. The advocacy team organises events like these, in addition to media awareness campaigns, to discuss issues of inclusivity and the need for the Government and private sector to take action. The team also produces information about existing laws on disability rights and inclusion, which are easy to read, accessible and inclusive – like materials in braille for people living with visual impairments. In the long-term, Fredrick and his team envision CCBRT solidifying its role as a centre of excellence for disability inclusion.
CCBRT not only advocates for inclusion, we practice what we preach. Six percent of CCBRT’s staff are PWDs—double what is required by law. Fredrick said, “What makes CCBRT stand out is that inclusion is involved in every decision—from the physical infrastructure to the training materials we produce.” CCBRT’s expertise and knowledge about disability rights and inclusion in combination with our internal practices make us a strong advocate and leader for the empowerment of PWDs in Tanzania and beyond.