Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) with other Disability Organisations at Olympic Development Youth center in Lusaka; Zambia which falls yearly on 3rd December. This was made possible with the financial support from the Liliane Foundation who enabled three (3) other Partner Organisations to participate in this important event – CBR Cheshire, Kabulonga Cheshire and the Little Assisi Special School. Others supported included the Young Voices – an advocacy group of youth with disabilities under the auspices of Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia.
This year’s event was celebrated under the theme: “Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.” We showcased our work to all visitors and advocated for protecting the rights of Persons with disability for Empowerment, Inclusion and Equality. Mrs Mary Nkhoma, Mr Sajal Gupta and Mr Laudy Chipunza represented the organization at exhibition stall in this event.
We were privileged to speak to Mrs Olipa Phiri, the Honorable Minister for Community Development and Social Services (CDSS) when she visited and viewed the Cheshire Homes exhibition stand. During her briefing to the Minister, Ms. Mary Nkhoma; Programme Officer at CHSZ, highlighted the work of Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia which was among other things, to primarily offer medical rehabilitation services and education coupled with other allied social services to children and youngsters with disabilities to enable them become as independent as possible.
Ms. Mary Nkhoma further indicated that Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia has a huge structure with the presence of a Cheshire Homes in almost every Province of Zambia. As opposed to being permanent Homes, these were transit Homes in which children with disabilities were being provided with the necessary facilities and services in a holistic manner to ensure their readiness to be integrated in their communities and among their family members.
Ms. Mary Nkhoma gave further insights to the Minister by stating that among the Disability Organisations in Zambia, Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia could be considered as one of the organisations that was greatly complimenting and supplementing Government effort in terms of disability work and in the attainment or achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following their comprehensive strategy of offering services to children with disabilities.
To this end, Ms. Nkhoma added that all the Cheshire work was being made possible with Donor aid though Donor support was neither enough nor sustainable. She therefore appealed to the Minister for Government to consider supporting and collaborating with Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia as this would create an avenue for sustainability thereby leading to the attainment of the SDGs without Leaving No One Behind.
Cheshire Homes Society of Zambia asks Governments and key policy makers to take action to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of disability and To guarantee to all persons with disabilities equal legal protection against discrimination on all grounds.