Sudan – Access to employment and inclusive education: the Agency’s pillars in the field of disability

Khartoum – In the weeks following the launch of the European project "Bridging the gap: inclusive policies and services to guarantee equal status to the rights of people with disabilities” – which took place in the Sudanese capital on February 28th – its first activities were launched, aimed at strengthening the skills of public administrations in the field of inclusive social policies and backing for organisations supporting disabled people. From the outset, particular focus has been directed to the creation of job opportunities to promote economic autonomy and personal fulfilment for those involved in disability issues, starting from women and mothers of disabled children.

The initiative Bridging the gap – funded by the European Union and co-financed by a network of partners, including our Agency, for a total investment of 7 million Euros – aims to promote the rights and the inclusion of people with disabilities in five medium-sized low income countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and, indeed, Sudan. Here the AICS office in Khartoum follows the implementation of various activities that focus on universal access to work, in line with the provisions of art. 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On the backdrop of every action, the slogan "Nothing about us without us" aims to convey the importance of disability in all international cooperation projects. Among the upcoming events, a training project in the State of Gedaref for the promotion of women's self-employment and a study on the development of a database cross-referencing job offers and job requests so as to include people with disabilities.

In Sudan, Bridging the gap activities are part of a complex framework in which the Agency devotes great energy to the disability sector. In line with Italian Cooperation’s Disability Action Plan and with its recently adopted Disability Guidelines, at a bilateral level the Agency is involved in two other important initiatives: a project dedicated to disabled orphan minors that foresees interventions in three orphanages in Khartoum, in partnership with the relevant ministries, and Tadmeena project dedicated to the scholastic and occupational inclusion of people with disabilities.

These initiatives offer closely-linked synergies with others financed by multilateral channels and with those carried out by local CSOs, with the aim of making the most of Italian experience and good practices in the field of projects aimed at the most vulnerable sections of the population.

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photo: Laura Salvinelli