D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN THE INAUGURATION OF EUROPEAN UNION AND BRITISH COUNCIL-SUPPORTED PEER LEARNING PLATFORM.

The EU-ACT Peer Learning Platform (PLP) was inaugurated on Wednesday 8th September 2021 at Landmark Hotel, Port Harcourt.  D-Ability Initiative along, with other EU-ACT partners Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Rivers State, participated actively in the launch. Organisation working closely with the EU through its Agent for Citizen-Driven Transformation programme were distributed and represented on the different peer learning platform set up on that day. The groups are in two categories namely Action Learning set (ALS) and benchmarking club (BMC) with two persons from each organization in each group.

The Rivers State Focal Person, Mr. Temple Oraeki described the ALS as when a “Group of people, often peers or at a similar level of responsibility and experience, from same or different organisation, coming together over a fixed period to find practical ways of addressing real challenges they face and to support their own learning and development. While BMC was defined as a “Group of like-minded CSOs (or people) coming together to learn about how to push their boundaries of performance to higher levels through mutual support and peer challenge”.

This arrangement would facilitate cross-learning, experience sharing, and collaborative engagement about how to push their boundaries of performance to higher levels through mutual support and peer challenge. With this launch, all EU-ACT Programme partner-CSOs of the British Council in Rivers State would be meeting from time to time to share ideas on improving one another’s organisations practices on what work, what did work, and how to make it work among the peer. D-Ability Initiative was represented by the Executive Director Dr. K.U Nwanyanwu and Mr. Francis Eghehan, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVES PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION FEEDBACK WORKSHOP IN RIVERS STATE.

Executive Directs with the EU reoresentstThis high-profile feedback workshop was for Executive Directors only. D-Ability Initiative and other selected CSOs together with the officials of the European Union (EU), British Council, and Agents for Citizens-Driving Transformation (ACT) held a feedback session on the EU-ACT series of programmes in Rivers State. The feedback session summarized the months-long organizational capacity development program and heard from participants about the success of programmes so far. It also created an avenue for the Executive Directors to suggest possible ways of making the training better, more productive, interactive, and generally more conducive. This was necessary, as the CSO leaders understand their operational terrain and hence could suggest what would work best.  The EU-ACT team from Abuja joined the Rivers State Focal person, Temple Oraeki in the feedback session. The EU-ACT delegation used the opportunity to announce the commencement of phase two of the program which focuses on strengthening the regulatory framework so that civil society organisations can operate in a friendly regulatory environment while staying compliant with the requirements of concerned regulatory bodies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), State Revenue Services, among others. Dr. Nwanyanwu the Executive Director of D-Ability initiative represented the Organization, along with the Executive Directors of other selected EU partner CSOs.

EUROPEAN UNION TRAINS D-ABILITY INITIATIVE ON HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

European Union and British Council through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme trains D-Ability Initiative on human resources management alongside other CSOs partners in Rivers State. The three days training program held at Novotel Hotel, Port-Harcourt was part of the capacity strengthening programme for selected organizations in Rivers State. The intensive training was facilitated by Mrs. Folake Okonubi who took took Dr. Nwanyanwu Kingdom and other participants through several modules as designed for the training. It was interesting, impactful, and all-inclusive as she never shifted focus on Human Resources with the introduction of each module demonstrating expertise in the field.

She started with the human resources strategy definition taking a special look at both literal and contextual meaning and expanded to learning and development, performance management, conflict management, gender, and social inclusion amongst others. D-Ability Initiative joined other EU partners CSOs in group works and presentation of group projects. This training had in attendance Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, the Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative, Christian Paul, and nineteen (19) other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) participated in the training in Port-Harcourt.

Campus-Wide Project

 

This project was done in collaboration with the Department of Government and Public Affairs, Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. This project enlightened the entire Gallaudet University campus community and other invited guests on the “Current Status of Deaf Education in Nigeria: Creating A Way Forward.”

In Nigeria, the state of Deaf education has hardly improved over the years, which has resulted in the underdevelopment of the sign languages in use. Some of the problems militating against the proper education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Nigeria and fueling the embers of stigmatization against them include negative attitudes of many Nigerians toward people with special needs, inadequate government support, lack of equipment, shortage of personnel, late identification of deafness, high levels of illiteracy, and poverty.

Much hope for a rapid development of Deaf communities and Deaf education was raised among deaf learners and deaf educators in the mid 70’s when the federal government assumed the responsibility of running the Schools for the Deaf and to provide basic education for the Nigerian Deaf children. More than four decades after this, the situation remains discouraging and the development of deaf communities and sign language(s) in Nigeria remains gloomy. Deaf education in Nigeria is still far below standard in comparison with deaf education in developed nations.

With Gallaudet Univerity President Roberta Cordano

With Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano

We seized the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the work of Andrew Foster for the key role he played in bringing Deaf education to Nigeria. This project also highlighted our plans to reshape Deaf Education in Nigeria.

Appreciation: We are give our heartfelt thanks to: The President, Gallaudet University  President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano; U.S Department of State (YALI); and IREX. We are grateful to Dr. David Penna (Chair, Department of Government and Public Affairs), Dr, Catherine O’Brien who painstakingly worked with our President on the Project. Her support and guidance cannot be quantified. We thank the Gallaudet University Faculty. We also appreciate the works of the hardworking interpreters       .

D-Ability Rural Outreach (DARO)

Nwala's family demonstrate with DARO looks like

The challenge: Understanding is everything. The importance of understanding the peculiar needs of people with hearing disability cannot be overemphasized. Because of linguistic differences many Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in Nigeria and other parts of Africa experience marginalization within the circle in which they are supposed to find security- their families. Again many families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children also stigmatize them by presuming that Deafness is synonymous with inability to learn. They mistake disability for incapability. The potentials of many Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons have been cut short by their families who clip their wings out of misguided concerns for their disability and safety.

Our solution: in our effort to reach the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, promote inclusion, unite families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons, as well as support them, we launched this on-going project: the D-Ability Rural Outreach (DARO) Project. This Project provides the opportunity for the hearing family members to understand Deafness and other issues that affect their Deaf and Hard of Hearing family members.

Reaching out to rural areas in search of the families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons is a heavy task. It has taken a lot of sacrifices so far and will still do.

Our impact: 38 the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people’s families impacted. Viewpoints about the Deaf are changing, starting from the family circle!

Appreciation: We are grateful to the various families of the Deaf we have so far visited.  They have been friendly. We sincerely thank the Nwala’s family for their support. It’s been awesome. We appreciate our volunteers and supporters. This project is worth every effort.  We are encouraged. We want to do more.

D-SignAbility Project

ASL Learning session

Learners with the Project Lead

Deafness is an aspect of disability. Being Deaf in a developing country comes with many undesirable consequences. Illiteracy is one such.

We carried out D-SignAbility Project to enable some Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in Rivers State, Nigeria, to learn to communicate using basic American Sign Language (ASL).

Impact: This project helped to reduce the burden of illiteracy among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as it enhanced the free flow of communication among the Deaf community. 62 Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons reached