On the 2nd October 2016 Paul Lindoewood, the Coordinator of Disability in Wales and Africa (DWA), is aiming to do the Cardiff Half Marathon. He will be using 2 powered wheelchairs to complete the 13.1 mile course.
He is kick-starting a new fund aimed at supporting Disabled People’s Organisations in Africa, via Welsh partners. Examples of Welsh partners are Newport-based ResponsABLE assistance and Brecon Molo, who both work in Kenya. Further examples are Health Help International, also from Newport, who work in Zambia, and Machynlleth-based Hazina, who work in Tanzania.
Paul, who, in addition to being a full-time wheelchair user with limited dexterity and communication impairments, is married with a family and lives in Llangynidr, near Crickhowell. Between 1996 and 2005 Paul worked in Kenya with the Methodist Church as a Disability Community Worker. After returning to the UK, and then moving to Wales, Paul set up Disability in Wales and Africa in 2010. This was with the aim of raising the profile of the needs of disabled people and their families within the Wales Africa Sector – a growing group of more than 140 Welsh organisations who have a focus on development and connections with African partners.
The work of Wales Africa has increasingly taken disability to its heart and many partners are looking for ways of moving this forward. DWA believes that the next challenge is to encourage their development programmes to engage with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs). Paul says “the last 40 years have shown that, in both Wales and Africa, nothing substantial will change in the lives of disabled people, unless their Disability Movements are empowered to become a driving force.”
As a result of this, DWA wants to develop a fund, under the slogan ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, with the aim of encouraging Welsh development organisations to engage with African DPOs, identifying them as partners within the development process. “There is a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills within the disabled communities of both Wales and Africa” Paul says. “Very often we end up doing things ‘for’ rather than ‘with’ disabled people. This is an issue in both Wales and Africa and one of the aspirations of DWA is global solidarity between disabled people”.
If you want to find out more about DWA please contact Paul Lindoewood on email@example.com, or telephone 01874 730900, mobile 07983 593199. Additionally if you would like to support this initiative please go to Paul’s Crowd Funding Page