UN Supports Involvement of Visually Impaired in the SDGs
SEED trust receives 1000 copies of Global Goals Braille books
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Mr. Amon Anastazi Mpanju (left) hands over Global Goals factsheets printed in braille, which have been donated by United Nations Tanzania, to the Chair of the Seed Trust Board of Directors, Mr. Stephen Mashishanga (center right). Looking on are SEED Trust Executive Director, Ms. Margaret Mkanga (left); UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez (center left) and SEED trust Country Projects Coordinator, Mr. Peter Charles (right). Photo| Zainul Mzige
02 March 2018, Dar es Salaam – The United Nations has donated 1,000 copies of Global Goals factsheets which have been printed in braille(a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people with impaired vision) to Seed Trust Tanzania in an effort to reach persons with impaired vision. There are approximately 39 million people with vision impairment in the world today; and about 5.8 million in Africa. In Tanzania, it is reported that about 1.2 percent of type of disability results revealed that they had difficulty seeing. The donation to Seed Trust, an NGO working towards the social and economic empowerment of Tanzanians living with disabilities, is the United Nation’s latest effort to leave no one behind in the implementation of the Global Goals as called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The braille factsheets were handed over today by UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez to the -Social and Economic Empowerment of the Disadvantaged (SEED Trust Tanzania). The donation builds on a Global Goals awareness-raising seminar for persons living with disabilities conducted last year by Mr. Rodriguez and the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Tulia Ackson in partnership with Seed Trust Tanzania. The partnership between the UN and Seed Trust aims at enabling persons living with disabilities to be included in efforts to achieve the Global Goals in Tanzania.
Handing over the factsheets, Mr. Rodriguez highlighted the importance of the donation. “Whether it’s social media or distributing printed material, much of the awareness-raising that we’ve done on the Global Goals involves reading,” he noted. “Donating these braille factsheets is the first step to ensuring that persons with impaired vision can contribute to achieving the Global Goals because it will enable them to understand the goals.”
(from left to right) Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Mr. Amon Anastazi Mpanju; UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez; and the Chair of the Seed Trust Board of Directors, Mr. Stephen Mashishanga take questions from the media after the handing over of the braille Global Goals Factsheets. Photo| Zainul Mzige
Emphasizing the importance of including persons living with disabilities in development activities, Ms. Margaret Mkanga, the Executive Director for Seed Trust Tanzania and former Special seats MP for people with Disability said “The SDGs are a global agenda which is expected to run till year 2030. SDGs are more than just a mere agenda, its targets and indicators provide an opportunity for review at different levels through the implementation timeline. Participation of people with Disability is important for this agenda to be achieved. These factsheets we receive today is another step towards the inclusion of people with visual impairment to the Global SDGs agenda.”
The handover event which was held at UN offices was also attended by the Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Constitutions and Legal Affairs, Hon. Amon Anastazi Mpanju. Commenting on UN’s effort to reach out to persons living with disability, Hon. Amon said “Goal 4 of the SDGs is about ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Goal 10 is about ensuring reduced inequalities within and among countries. Goal 17 is about strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for Sustainable Development. These targets that specifically, in a way, mention disability will help to ensure the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs. Their inclusion will indeed ensure that no one is left behind. The inclusion of people with disability provides an opportunity for them to participate and voice their concerns as well.
SEED Trust Executive Director, Ms. Margaret Mkanga (left) highlights the importance of including persons living with disabilities in the implementation of the Global Goals. Photo| Zainul Mzige
One of the 1,000 braille factsheets that was handed over to SEED Trust to support the involvement of visually impaired persons in the Global Goals. Photo| Ayubu Lulesu/UNRCO