Through a special training programme in Yaoundé, Cameroon, CBM plays a leading role in the integration of persons with disabilities into humanitarian efforts.
On the road to inclusive humanitarian action, CBM has led a training programme in collaboration with Handicap International. and the IFHV of the Ruhr University Bochum on the topic of "Amplifying changes towards a disability-inclusive humanitarian response". This initiative, which involved 23 professionals from six African countries — Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo — was an important part of the 'Leave No One Behind! Phase 3' project. It focussed on the seamless integration of disability inclusion into global and local humanitarian efforts in line with Inter-Agency Standing Committee guidelines.
Why is the commitment to inclusive humanitarian practices so important?
"Leave No One Behind" is a principle that plays a central role in various international development and humanitarian efforts. It stems from the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. The "Leave No One Behind" principle is a commitment to ensure that the SDGs are achieved for all parts of society, at all levels of development and in all parts of the world. It emphasises the need to reach the most vulnerable, marginalised, and disadvantaged groups. This commitment is based on the realisation that despite progress in various areas, certain groups often remain excluded due to factors such as poverty, discrimination, or lack of access to resources.
Empowering Professionals for Disability Inclusive Action
Participants included representatives from international organisations such as the World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross, Danish Refugee Council, Plan International, Street Child Nigeria and ADKOUL Niger.
The curriculum covered the basics of disability, the application of the Washington Group Questions and data collection techniques, with an emphasis on practical application in the participants' projects. This is to ensure that the inclusion of persons with disabilities is an integral part of humanitarian action and that persons with disabilities are not left behind in humanitarian programmes and interventions. This is in line with the overall goals of the SDGs to promote equality, equity and inclusion in all development and humanitarian endeavours.
A unique aspect of the training was the focus on practical, hands-on sessions. These enabled participants to apply new concepts to their work. Insights from organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) enriched the training with the concept of participation of persons with disabilities, with representatives from Nigerian and Cameroonian OPDs bringing valuable perspectives.
To emphasise CBM's commitment to inclusion, the training featured accessible venues, subtitles for the online sessions and bilingual translations to cater for different linguistic backgrounds. This approach emphasises CBM's commitment to inclusive and effective communication.
Long-Term Collaborations and Skill Development
In Cameroon, a task force for the inclusion of persons with disabilities was formed to facilitate ongoing collaboration and the sharing of practical tips among participants.
CBM's leading role in this training emphasises its role as an expert in disability inclusion and underlines its commitment to building strong partnerships and developing skills that are essential for humanitarian work.