Aims of DWA

We are a group of individuals and organisations, working through a series of community and institutional Links, fostering solidarity and support between Wales and Africa. The specific role DWA is to ensure the activities of the Links incorporate needs and lives of disabled people, their families, and support agencies. Although some Links are “disability specific”, most of them are associated with Health, Education, Livelihood, Agriculture, and other “mainstream” agendas. The challenge for DWA is to assist Links to include disability issues within these agendas.

Both Wales and Africa are on a developmental road regarding the needs of disabled people, and the challenges being faced. Although Wales has support services, technology and trained personnel, Africa allows the opportunity to do things differently, particularly with its often greater community emphasis . Both Wales and Africa have things to learn from each other.

This website is not just to tell you what is happening within DWA it is also to be a sharing forum to allow readers within Wales, Africa, and beyond, to discuss ideas and demonstrate how they have overcome respective barriers. We want to hear from you, what you have achieved, and why it has worked. Please feel free to engage with us through our blogs. Send us articles and features for the DWA newsletter. Show how disabled people are becoming part of mainstream society.

History of DWA

DWA started in December 2010 when a small group of people met to discuss how they could raise the profile of disability issues, within the Wales Africa Network. Since then DWA has become a regular feature within Wales Africa activities, giving presentations, suggesting speakers, and running workshops at several events.

DWA operates through the fill range Intentional and Community Development agendas, for example, Fair Trade and Food Security, or Solidarity, as well as, Education, Health, and Livelihood. However, the trend, which underlies all of our work is the inclusion of disabled people and their families within community life. DWA is unusual in that it spans Disability, International Development, and Civil Society Linking sectors. Starting our work in Wales, our first step is to influence Wales Africa activists to take on board disability issues when considering activities with their African partners. Therefore DWA often has to confront disabling barriers within Wales, as a stepping stone to promoting good practice in Africa.

Vision of DWA

However, we do not intend to remain a collection of Welsh activists interested in helping disabled people in Africa. An integral part of DWAs’ mission is to assist African communities to link with each other, sharing and learning from their experiences. Our strategy is to encourage South to South Linking in Africa, to complement the North to South activities being undertaken in Wales.

DWA works to a social model of disability, with its understand it is society that needs to change to accommodate the needs of disabled people, and emphasises this within an international development framework. Whether we are discussing employment, education, health services, or the village water pump, disabled people’s needs to access these services should always be paramount. DWA has a Vision of a world where disabled people are full, equal, and participatory members of society and their community.