“Disability has a wide spectrum and covers a whole lot with the evolvement of time. Some types of disabilities are visible while others are not. Disability experience presents in different degrees of limitations and experience and differs from person to person. Stigma towards persons with disabilities is prevalent in every society and is often traumatizing and oppressive…”
The above thought was echoed at the Amplifying Voices Cohort II Fellowship comprising of 15 advocates from across the nation on 21st to 25th June, 2021. The training which took place at Kini Guest Inn Akgwanga was initiated by Inclusive Friends Association with support from Ford Foundation.
The fellowship is geared towards branding young advocates with disabilities to spotlight and innovatively address incidences of gender/disability based violence against women and girls with disabilities.
In a statement signed by the Inclusive Friends Association’s Executive Director Grace Jerry, stressed the fact that the fellowship will serve an enabling ground where proactive youth advocates with disabilities will network and share experiences with substantial strategies to mitigate the trends of disability based violence. She admonished advocates to keep an open mind and learn and be ready to run with the vision, bearing in mind the success of the amplifying voice project rest on their shoulders.
The fellowship covers relevant areas such as Gender, Disability models, psychosocial support, project management, report writing, advocacy process and tactics, etc. each session comes with practical engagements and demonstrations. Participants had group sessions and exercise presentations.
The Amplifying Voices project lead Olawunmi Okupe challenged the participants to take hold of the opportunity as having being ordained as orators and advocates to championing the course of gender and disability based violence through community influence strategy, as the commit to diminish the silence culture over Gender and Disability based violence.
The fellowship climax into a moment of deep reflection and experience sharing with a safe space trauma healing session where participants relayed experiences on GBV/DBV which had utmost confidentiality to encourage participants to open up and bare their hearts.
At the end of the program, certificates were signed and issued to participants to continue GBV/DBV advocacies at their various communities. Participants could not withhold their excitement for the exposure they gained from the training. To recall, the first Amplifying voice cohort program was held in March 2021 with 15 advocates trained and deployed; and are currently making tremendous impact in their various communities.