a) Inclusive Education
There is an increasing assertion that if the right to education is to be realized for all children, education systems need to be designed in such a way that they are able to respond to the diverse learning needs that exist among all children. This is recognized as a call for the building of inclusive education and training systems – education systems designed to create learning environments that enable every child to develop and learn to their full potential. The emphasis on inclusive education is very important for offering a rights-based and learner-centred education which also takes into account the educational needs of every child including those with a disability.
The program aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for blind and partial sighted learners from Kwazulu Natal Province.
b) Health and HIV/AIDS
The relationship between HIV and disability has not received due attention, although persons with disabilities are found among all key populations at higher risk of exposure to HIV. People living with HIV may develop impairments as the disease progresses and may be considered to have a disability when social, economic, political or other barriers hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with other.
Persons with disabilities may be at risk of HIV infection for the following reasons:
The program engages on the following strategies to eradicate the above challenges:
c) Training and Skills Development
The Skills Development Act of 1998 established Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (SETA's) which provide an institutional framework to devise and implement workplace strategies to develop and improve the skills of the South African workforce.
As part of its skills development mission, the HWSETA strives to create an awareness of disability and how employing persons with disability can enrich the working environment, as well as the lives of those living with disability.
Our interaction with blind and partial sighted people has identified a critical need for skills development to bring about economic empowerment which include running own cooperatives, businesses or be employed.
The objectives and priorities for the training and skills development program are:
The organisation currently provides trainings for skills development on the following:
d) Advocacy, Awareness-raising and civic participation
The Advocacy, Awareness-raising and civic participation program is aimed at building and strengthening partnerships that promote advocacy on human rights protection in Kwazulu-Natal. The objectives of the programme are to promote the rights of Blind and partial sighted people at Provincial level and to contribute towards the progressive realization of effective participation and enjoyment of human rights enshrined under the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The program ensures the promotion of rights of blind and partial sighted people and contributes towards the progressive realization of effective participation and enjoyment of human rights.
e) Economic Empowerment
The goal of the program is to contribute to efforts by government departments and other partners to improve the quality of life of blind and partial sighted people through the design and implementation of sector-wide strategy and programs.
The objective of the program is to improve the capacity of the blind and partial sighted people to actively participate in broad-based sustainable economic activities.
The program components comprise of: Functional literacy, Basic Business Management, Vocational and Skills Development Training, Institutional Strengthening, Micro-finance Scheme and Project Management.
f) Gender Equality
KZN-SB recognises Gender equality as both a crosscutting concern and a core issue in all different programmes. Gender mainstreaming and an approach on gender are integrated at all levels of the organisation. This is in line with internationally agreed Action Plans and Declarations such as the Beijing Platform for Action, Millennium Declaration, and the Monterrey Consensus.
The goal of Gender equity programme is to ensure mainstreaming of issues of women with disabilities in policies and programmes of government and civil society organisations. This is in recognition of the fact that for decades, women in Africa have actively organized and advocated for equality and realization of their political, socio-economic and human rights. The outcome of this very difficult but necessary struggle is that more women are represented and actively participating in political and economic life and more women are economically and socially independent. In addition, more women are engaged in previously traditional male dominated professions and careers such as engineering, owners of business, construction, and the science and technology fields. By and large, however, women with disabilities have not been included in campaigns to promote the rights of women, and as a result their particular issues have neither been highlighted nor mainstreamed.
The program is therefore aimed at ensuring an inclusive society where the rights of blind and partial sighted women are protected, promoted and realised while staying committed, through advocacy, mainstreaming, and partnership building at all levels, to achieve equality, social / legal justice, inclusive development and the elimination of all forms of discrimination for all blind and partial sighted women.
g) Youth and Children
The main objective of the program is to create an enabling environment for blind and partial sighted youth and children of Kwazulu-Natal so that they can be self - dependent, contribute to the development and be active participants in development effort of the Province.
The program inculcates entrepreneurial skills in the youth, to make them self-employed, and initiate them to be engaged in sporting activities, small business (micro-credit revolving fund), vocational skills training, ICT enterprises, music, arts, culture and other similar innovative and creative projects.
The project further aims to empower both in and out of school blind and partial sighted youths with Skills and keeping them out of current dangers (HIV/AIDS, Early pregnancy), Breaking the York ?? of vulnerability and having good working conducive environment to enable them obtain a successfully/desirable life so as to eradicate poverty in Kwazulu-Natal.
h) Community Based Rehabilitation
Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) was initiated by WHO following the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 in an effort to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families; meet their basic needs; and ensure their inclusion and participation. While initially a strategy to increase access to rehabilitation services in resource-constrained settings, CBR is now a multi-sectoral approach working to improve the equalization of opportunities and social inclusion of people with disabilities while combating the perpetual cycle of poverty and disability. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities, their families and communities, and relevant government and non-government health, education, vocational, social and other services.
The Republic of South Africa Policy Framework and Strategy for Disability and Rehabilitation services in outlines comprehensive and integrated disability and rehabilitation services within the broader health and developmental context to facilitate improved access at all levels of health care.
The program focuses on providing community services to blind and partial sighted people through guidance from the CBR overarching strategy five core components; health, education, livelihoods, social life and empowerment, and their key elements.