Swedish Committee for Afghanistan’s Disability Program facilitated the workshop with financial support from European Union under the project "Building Active Citizenship and Equality for Person with Disabilities in Afghanistan" (BACEDA). The representative of more than ten governmental departments, including the governor’s office, provincial councils, and directors, members of Disabled Person’s Organizations (DPOs) attended the program.
Sifatullah Samangani, the deputy governor of Samangan province was one of the participants announcing the Provincial Governor Office’s support for the people with disabilities.
“Provincial Governor Office is committed to employing 3% people with a disability,” he says. “We will not spare any efforts to solve the problem of the people with disabilities. The provincial governor office always supports people with disabilities and as usual will hear their voices”.
Participants of the program, who are also members of DPOs, are hopeful for the workshop to help them reach their rights.
Mohammad Younos Qarizadeh, a member of the Disabled People Organization in Samangan province has worked with a group of the government representatives on the challenges of people with disabilities and presented their work to the participants.
“We always complain about our problems, but there has been no result. I am happy that this program is conducted every year and will follow up on the problems of the people with disabilities in the governmental departments,” he says.
The workshop identified the challenges of persons with disabilities and developed action plans for addressing those issues. More importantly, the workshops have resulted in establishing a complain-handling mechanism at the provincial departments through either a complain box or phone call system in the six provinces. A committee consisting of Directorate of Martyrs and Disabled (DMD), DPOs, and Self-Help Group (SHG) members will review and follow up the complaints on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
Najibullah Kohestani, Director of Disabled and Martyrs Department appreciates the initiative. “Conducting such programs helps us to know about the commitments of the line departments about the people with disabilities. In this program, the line departments in Balkh province promised that they will try to address the problems faced by the people with disabilities in their departments,” he says.
Similarly, four provincial workshops in Paktia, Khost Saripul, and Faryab provinces have also been facilitated by our partner organizations Accessibility Organization for Afghan Disabled (AOAD) and Save the Children (SCI) under BACEDA project. A similar activity will continue each year.