BY LIFE & STYLE REPORTERS
CHILDREN’S Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) Trust has joined hands with Unicef Zimbabwe to encourage children with disability to freely express their artistic talents.
Through funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), UNICEF and CHIPAWO have established awareness platforms for children with disabilities under a campaign themed My Story, Our Story that commenced in October and will run until December.
In a statement, Chipawo director Chipo Basopo said they would be using multimedia to amplify voices of children with disabilities focusing on their rights and raising awareness on disability inclusion.
“The campaign was piloted in Harare, Hwange and Masvingo. The platforms created are meant to raise awareness and make communities, families and policy-makers understand the hidden creative talents and the potential that children with disabilities have,” she said.
“Chipawo will also be working with mid-career and professional youths with disabilities to reflect on diverse challenges and limitations which they overcame. The campaign will also make use of digital technology to capture and disseminate children’s voices which are expected to be distributed through mainstream media.”
Basopo said the engagement would be carried out through mentorship-based training using peer arts educators equipped over the years with pedagogy for arts education.
“The campaign is expected to inspire children with disabilities and promote all children’s rights and their participation in cultural life,” she said.
“In Matabeleland North, Chipawo will be working closely with Shangano Arts Festival which work with marginalised children surrounding the mining communities of Hwange who represent minority cultures of Nambya and BaTonga.”
She said Chipawo would also be working with Kapota School for the Blind in Masvingo, St Giles and Emerald Hill in Harare.
UNICEF has been supporting children with disabilities in various ways, including most recently the development of the national disability policy with support of other activities by Spotlight Initiative.
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