Africa Jul 3, 2012
DAR ES SALAAM: The Foundation for Civil Society has promised to translate the current Constitution into the braille system which is readable by people with vision disabilities. This comes as a means of giving equal opportunities to people with disabilities as the country prepares to write a new Constitution,
The promise was made in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the foundation’s executive director, Mr John Ulanga, when opening a three-day-workshop for people with disabilities in Tanzania which, among other things, discussed the status of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities (2006).
Ulanga said the foundation has decided to produce about 4,000 copies of the Constitution in braille to make sure that people who are blind are not left behind in the historic process.
“We have realised that you should be able to know what is in the current Constitution so that you can be able to give your views in writing the new one,” he said. He added that when this is accomplished the Foundation would find out a way of helping other people with disabilities to participate in the process.
“Present this unique opportunity to persons with disabilities effectively so that you can be heard by the whole of Tanzania,” said Mr Ulanga. The workshop, which is the first in the country and consists of different groups of people with disabilities from all over Tanzania, would also discuss the implementation of the Persons with Disability Laws of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
Expressing their views, participants of the workshop said it is their right to engage in the Constitution review process and that the government should recognise their presence as Tanzanians. Khalid Chimomo, a participant from Mtwara who lives with albinism said it was time the government opened doors for disabled people in the country so that they could also participate in creating the Tanzania they have always dreamed of.
“We want to live in a country of equal rights so that we can also enjoy being members of the family called Tanzania,” said Chimomo.
Since its establishment in 2003, Foundation for Civil Society has sponsored about 200 projects organized by people with disabilities in different countries and according to Ulanga that has cost the foundation about Sh. 5bn.