- Roughly one in three of the children around the world who do not have access to primary education have a disability.
- 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school.
- Health and rehabilitation services are unaffordable for over 50% of people with disabilities in developing countries.
Mandated to represent the youth of the Commonwealth, no one can be left behind so in an effort to ensure that young people with disabilities are included, represented and engaged the Office of Inclusion and Engagement sought advisers and to set up a working group dedicated to this initiative.
The Office of Inclusion and Engagement is happy to announce its 3 selected advisers who will be advising but also working closely with the working group and the representative of for PWDs in the Office of Special Interest Groups, Miss Devika Malik and Krystle Reid as the focal point in the Office of Inclusion and Engagement
Mohammad Yaaseen Edoo from Mauritius. He is physically disabled since birth and uses a wheelchair for my mobility. He has never been to primary school in my life as the head master of the primary school denies his admission because of his disability. Despite this he struggles to have access to education thus he is a BSc (Hons) holder in Multimedia and Web Technologies. Beside his academic achievements he is also a Disability Rights Advocate whereby he campaigns on Inclusive Education, Accessibility and Employment for persons with disabilities in Mauritius. He is engaged with Leonard Cheshire Disability as Leader of Young Voices in Mauritius, Global Youth Ambassador on Education for A World At School, member of Global Partnership on children with disabilities (GPcwd) of UNICEF among others. His work as a Disability Rights Advocate was recognized last year where I won the Queen’s Young Leaders Award and the JCI Mauritius The Outstanding Young Person 2015.
Ivory Duncan is a young lady from Guyana who was involved in a motor vehicular accident which resulted in the amputation of her right leg. This life changing experience led her to develop an undying passion for promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, due to the negative treatment meted out to these persons. Being an advocate for youths with disabilities for the past six years, I have worked in the capacity of the President of the Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD), Young Voices Guyana for two consecutive years. I have had the opportunity of representing LCD at both national and international conferences where I was able to interact with key stakeholders and other youths with disabilities to discuss the disability development framework and protocols.In 2013, I wrote an essay entitled “Perspective: Open the doors to education – and employment” which was published in the UNICEF State of the World’s Children 2013 Report. Additionally, I am a member of the Global Partnership on children with Disabilities, Youth Council, UNICEF, New York.
Jack Milne is from Australia and has dyslexia and dyspraxia. He is studying towards a Master’s degree at the Alliance Manchester Business School, the business school of University of Manchester, UK. In the spare time, he is a frequent hiker as I’ve trialed to Mt Everest, (base camp), is a reader of classics from’ The Art of War’ to ‘The Prince.’ He takes a strong interest in culture whether visual arts or trying new cuisine. He also plays casually golf with friends, and support two sporting clubs with a strong and proud history-Manchester United and Carlton Football Club. His aspirations for the future are firstly to become a Corporate Social Responsibility Manger and later join the UN Global Compact.
The three advisers will be supported by the working group consisting of four other individuals:
- Leroy Philips (Guyana)
- Jude Thaddeus (Kenya)
- Valerie Owino (Kenya)
- Alim Bari (Bangladesh)
The Working Group will be working on a number of initiative to ensure the inclusion and engagement of young PWDs starting with a Commonwealth Database of organisations with the demographics on how many are aged below the age of 30.
To ensure that events especially youth conferences are accessible to young PWDs, the Working Group will be creating a checklist for event planners so that events are as accessible as possible to PWDs.
Engaging young PWDs through physical and online events.
If you would like to support the working group we welcome your contribution.