A DWA Positional Paper

  1. What is DWA About?
    Disability in Wales and Africa (DWA) operates within international development sectors, pursuing an objective of global solidarity between disabled people in the pursuit of Disability Inclusive Development. It has emerged from the Wales Africa Sector and is also a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO), aligning itself with the disability movement, of Wales, Africa, and beyond. In addition to its international development agenda, DWA also takes a direct interest in disability matters of Wales and the UK and is a full member of Disability Wales. It achieves its objective by operating through contacts and networks with a common interest.
  2. What premise drives DWA?
    The organisation understands Disability as a form of discrimination, which is manifested in different ways according to respective social and economic contexts. Disability is therefore experienced by people the world over. DWA also identifies Social and Economic Development as activities which take place within all societies and communities. The development path taken by a country or community, will have direct and indirect impacts concerning how disabling they are concerning their population and members.
  3. What does DWA do?
    DWA promotes a global dialogue between disabled people, whilst focusing on Wales and Africa, which will empower participants as they learn from each other. As the discussion takes place, disabled people and their organisations will gain information and understandings to enable them to lobby, campaign, influence future development, increase inclusion, and improve services.
  4. What Ideas Guide DWA Activities?
    The U.N. Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guides DWA’s global approach to disability inclusive development. These international agreements help measure the progress towards achieving social-economic participation and equality. DWA recognises the importance of these two frameworks in elevating disabled people’s role in respective countries and states.
  5. How Does DWA Understand Disability?
    Disability is not prescribed or inevitable for people with impairments or identified conditions. It will vary according to the culture and beliefs within which the individual or group lives and operates. DWA adopts a social and rights-based model of disability to understand situations being faced by disabled people in low-middle- and high-income countries. This challenges many of the individual/medical paradigms which frequently dictate how disability and disabled people are perceived by service providers and wider societies.
  6. How Does DWA Approach International Development?
    DWA believes any developmental change must originate from within the community in question, rather than the ideas of an outsider with the resources to implement them. We also reject political and economic imperialism, and the “white saviour” concept, that underpins much of international development. Whilst recognising the need to channel and generate the redistribution of wealth and other resources from high, to middle- and low-income countries, this should be executed in ways that promotes solidarity and equality. Furthermore, inequalities and marginalisation experienced by groups within societies need to be overcome if development is to become a reality.
  7. How Does DWA Operate?
    DWA operates through networks and contacts developed in Wales, Africa, and beyond. These include disabled people, their organisations, as well as Government, non-Government, Private and Business Organizations. Project’s which will appear under DWA’s umbrella will include: the sharing of disabled people’s ideas, experience, and expertise; research investigating how different DPOs respond to their member’s needs; and initiatives which bring disabled people together from different backgrounds.
  8. What are the Engagement Boundaries of DWA?
    When DWA directly organises or is involved in organising an activity, it will ensure that disabled people are involved as equal and active participants. Any presentation will be underpinned by the idea that the experience of disability is a global concept which is inherent throughout low-, middle- and high-income countries. Whilst focusing on low- and middle-income contexts, DWA will also want to include input from higher-income countries to concern the global nature of disability.
  9. Does DWA Provide Grants?
    DWA does not provide grants for projects. It does provide organisations with the opportunity to highlight their proposed activities and funding being sort. This could be done by sharing information with our networks via the DWA website and social media platforms.
  10. How Do I/We Get Involved in DWA?
    Anyone can join the DWA Supporters Forum/Network through which much of the Organisations’ practical activities will be undertaken. The Supporters Forum is where the Committees and ultimately the Board of Trustees will first seek to recruit its members. It will form the hub of DWA activities and will come together at least once a year. For further information about how to become a DWA Supporter, please contact dwanetwork@gmail.com.