International Service

International Service

'Bringing disability into the mainstream'

‘It is not acceptable for a development organisation to say, “we are doing some nice disability projects and some nice water projects”,’ says Jane Carter, chief executive of International Service. ‘It is time to see the inclusion of disabled people as intrinsic to every project.’

International Service works in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East providing skilled and experienced people to collaborate with locally organised initiatives. For three years, the charity has specifically striven towards the inclusion of people with disabilities in every part of the development process.

Under the banner ‘mainstreaming disability in development’, International Service organised two international conferences and devised new approaches with partner organisations in West Africa. According to the World Bank, disabled people make up 20 per cent of the world’s poorest people, but very few funders address this need. The following situation described by Mrs Djikiné, a disabled people’s activist from Mali, is typical. ‘In my country disabled people are the poorest people in the community because they have no access to education, no access to healthcare and no access to other facilities such as micro-credit.’

The two conferences, held in London in 2001 and 2003, raised awareness of the issues and contributed towards new government guidelines.

‘We have initiated partnerships in Mali and Burkina Faso to discuss negative stereotyping, disabled people’s needs and what they have to offer as employees,’ says Carter.

The Charity Awards 2004 - Highly CommendedJane Carter
Chief executive
57 Goodramgate
01904 647799
Reg no. 1069182


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