Update on the ‘WFD Human Rights in Maghreb Region’ Project

The ‘WFD Human Rights in Maghreb Region’ project, funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, was launched in March 2016. So far, two capacity building training workshops have been conducted under this flagship project. Two more training workshops, which will focus on human rights work, are in the pipeline. The WFD is pleased with the positive results and will continue to work with the WFD Ordinary Members (OMs) in the Maghreb Region to further empower its Deaf communities.

Five WFD OMs’ representatives were invited to each of the two training workshops. They were Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya; also in attendance were the Regional Secretariat of Arab Region Director, Ms Hend Al-Showaier, and WFD Project Officer, Mr Paul Scott.

The first training workshop, organised by OM Morocco, was delivered in Morocco by two expert trainers, Ms Megan Youngs (Canada) and Mr Kasper Bergmann (Denmark).

Ms Tessa Padden-Duncan (UK) and Mr Edgar Sekerani (Malawi) conducted the second training workshop, which took place in Tunisia and was organised by OM Tunisia.

Workshop topics ranged from building the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) structure to applying for project funding – these aimed to equip the participants with tools to support the capacity building of their associations and strengthen their Deaf communities. The upcoming workshops will focus on enhancing understanding of human rights, particularly with regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as on advocacy work.

Participants expressed appreciation of the value of these training workshops, in which they felt more empowered, gained a better understanding of how organisations worked, and realised the importance of including the Deaf Community in their work.

The following comments are collected from the workshop participants:

“From the training, it is clear that it is important to do more work for deaf youths in Maghreb. When I go back to Algeria, I will follow up in this aspect.” – Participant from Algeria.

“We must consider looking for external funding to establish the different projects that will help to build the profile of my organisation, as learnt from the WFD training workshop.” – Participant from Mauritania.

“We need to develop better relationships with other DPOs and NGOs in my country to rally support on human rights work for the Deaf community.” – Participant from Tunisia.