Strengthening Organizations of Women with Disabilities for Advocacy and Civic Engagements (SOWD-ACE)
The alliance building has been at the epicenter of FACICP developmental actions in the disability network and mainstream women organization. Through her special SOWD-ACE program (Strengthening Organizations of Women with Disabilities for Advocacy and Civic Engagements) this acts is currently domesticated. On Tuesday 17th of May, 2022, the organization held a special training in the Nation’s capital (Abuja). This training brought together 28 participants, who were drawn from Women with disability groups, women-led organizations, academia, researchers and persons with disabilities and their respective aids.
The movement building training was conducted to promote alliance-building strategies and increase visibility for disabled women within both the disability and women’s rights’ movements. Also, this training attempts to reorganize and sustain a solid platform of disabled women’s networks that can collectively address the issues of exclusion. Through this, there will be effective collaborations in solidarity to respond to the discrimination and prejudice they collectively face, which is constituted not just through their similarities but through their multiple differences.
The Capacity Building training, which took place at the Excel Hotel, Garki 2, witness several activities; ranging from training by the Executive Director of FACICP Mrs Uyebi, she highlighted that the project emerged from an experience-based discrimination and the goal of the project is aimed to strengthen disabled women-led organization, through capacity building, civic engagement and to create an alliance with other CSOs organizations and women groups.
Training was conducted around the overview of disability movement and principle of disability 101 sensitization. She further distinguishes between impairment, barrier and disability. How impairment plus barriers is equal to the giant called disability. If we overcome this barrier by countering impairment with accessibility, inclusion can be attained.
Emphasis was placed on the reversible nature of disability and the four models of disability (charity, medical, social and human right). How best to manage the 3 major barriers of disability were discussed ranging from environmental barrier, attitudinal/social barrier and institutional barriers.
The ED used the opportunity to enlighten the network to major public documents that define and promote the rights of PWDs (UNCRPD, BDFA, SDG), the laws and policies at both individual space, work space and public space.
The meeting gave many opportunities to ask questions, handle tasks together through peer learning and network which foster the goals and objectives of the program.
Technical Expert present, Dr Adebayo shared light on the need for alliance building. He emphasized on the civil society alliance that pursues development goals and aspirations. Alliances create a platform for exchange of information, resources or the development of coordinated service delivery.
He mentioned that funders and donors trust alliance rather than individual pursuit. Also, he added that impaired people are vulnerable people and that this makes it more important to have an alliance that will amplify their voices and gain visibility. Key ethics for building and strengthening alliances was shared.
Participants were encouraged to invest more time in understanding how to work with ally, resource allocation, policies and procedures, and information sharing attitudes. Transparency and accountability in building alliances was noted as standard in minimizing conflict and leveraging each other’s strength is key to a successful alliance.
Building alliances does not jeopardize identity and existence but rather strengthen their individual capacity. He concluded that organizations should spend as much time on managing the internal work force and stakeholders as on managing the relationship with their partners or allies.
The meeting ended with participants taking necessary commitment to alliance building in their community services going forward. Indeed, disability networks and the mainstream women group will now have good reason to collaborate beyond their differences and continuity of shared value.