Almost 30 organisations and ten individuals from across Wales were recognised by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) for their work on tackling poverty in 13 African nations at a celebratory event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on 4 December.
Disability in Wales and Africa was awarded a learning link award for the work we have been doing with our partners to successfully advocate and campaign for disability to become an integral part of the Wales Africa sector.
The DWA coordinator, Paul Lindoewood, was also presented with an individual award for his personal contribution to the disability and inclusion agenda within the Wales Africa sector.
Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales addressed the ceremony and gave the Welsh Governmentâ€™s commitment to support Welsh organisations in fighting global injustice and poverty into the future.
Our organisation is part of the country wide Wales Africa network that involves over 150 voluntary organisations and several thousand volunteers, who work with partners in Sub-Saharan Africa to address a variety of challenges including, health, education, environmental degradation and the rights for marginalised people.
Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales said
â€œI am deeply proud of what we have achieved through our Wales Africa Community Links programme. None of this would have been possible without the tireless work of the organisations and individuals who have been involved.
â€œThese awards recognise the lengths they have gone to improve the lives of people in both Sub Saharan Africa and Wales.
â€œThis was a chance for us to come together and celebrate the success that they have built over the past 6 years and re-affirm our commitment to fighting global injustice and poverty.â€
These awards are the culmination of over six years of support that has been provided by the WCVAâ€™s Wales Africa Community Links programme, which has supported over 150 organisations to deliver around 350 projects across 25 Africa Nations. This yearâ€™s awards will also include awardees that have been supported by the Wales International Development Hub, Wales for Africa Health Links Network, Fair Trade Wales and the Sub-Saharan Advisory Panel.
Paul Lindoewood, DWA coordinator said
“Disability in Wales and Africa is delighted to be recognised through these awards. We are not a Link in ourselves, but rather seek to be a catalyst to enable Community and other Links to include disability as part of their work . These awards are a recognition of the work DWA has done in raising awareness of disability issues within the Wales Africa sector. They are also an important milestone in the development of this agenda within Wales and encourage Links to include the needs of disabled people within their activities.â€
â€œIt is estimated that 15% of the global population experience disability in some way. The current challenge for groups working in the Wales Africa sector, is not just to mainstream disability work, but also to ensure that whatever initiative they are involved in includes the needs of disabled people.â€
â€œDisabled people are part of every community and they need to be involved in every development initiative.â€
We are incredibly grateful to Craig Redmond, a photojournalism student at the University of South Wales, for photographing the awards ceremony for us.