Senegal mission! The first official mission of Égalité took place in Dakar, capital of Senegal, on 12-18.7.19. (1) The opportunity was offered to us by the fraternal friend Pape, Cheikh Ahmed Tidiane Gueye, member of Égalité as well as founder and president of the local association Fierté de l'handicap. Thanks to Pape - and to the widespread enthusiasm he managed to stimulate in civil society, we organized the first Disability Pride Senegal. In Dakar, on 14.7.19/XNUMX/XNUMX.

Ma situation, ma force!
Sama Lago, Sama Dole!
(wolof)

Senegal, the mission and the ambassadors of Égalité

The first Disability Pride Senegal it will be remembered as a joyful street parade on a sunny July morning. Hundreds of smiling people, to the sound of fanfares, marched from the headquarters of the state TV (Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise, RTS) to the Place de l'Obélisque. commemorating independence from France (MCMLX, 1960). United and peaceful but determined to ask for attention to the many situations of disadvantage (physical, neurological or sensory) still lacking a suitable response, on a public and private level.

The disability it is a great resource for the community, an unrepeatable experience that forges its vassals to the authentic values ​​of life and spirit. It must therefore be understood as an opportunity for great humanity and due respect, in any society that intends to proclaim itself as civil. And it is precisely the level of inclusion, the ability to welcome disadvantaged children and siblings to offer that parameter of civilization that no monumental work or economic performance can ever match.

Disabilities there is no shortage, in Senegal as in any other country. Indeed, they are numerous and varied, with a prevalence here of conditions without diagnosis and treatments. To which are added the problems that recur most in the world universe. Cultural, physical and architectural barriers, the inaccessibility of essential services. First of all, of transport, increasingly indispensable in a country where life is concentrated between very large cities - Dakar (3,5 million inhabitants over 84 km2), Pikine (1,2 million over 95 km2), Touba (2 million) and the countryside with rare asphalted roads.

The serious inequalities income and health policies - light years away from the virtuous models of welfare state of socialist origin, in force in China as in Europe - involve the additional inconvenience of having to face the heavy costs of aids (eg wheelchairs, prostheses, crutches, postural units) and care. Assistance to the disabled is entrusted to families and friends, where love abounds but resources are scarce. In a country where half of the population lives below the poverty line. And social discrimination, inexorably, is consumed.

Our projects

Equality, with the help of Fierté de l'Handicap, is preparing to organize a laboratory in Dakar to produce 'smart' wheelchairs with wide wheels and electric motor on motorized, adapted to the needs of the disabled in Senegal. Based on projects and technologies Made in Italy, in the second half of 2020. We are now raising funds to finance this project and the production of a number of chairs with motors that can improve the fortunes of the very many in need. A prosthesis construction project will follow, at a later stage,

- it is also essential to organize a rehabilitation center, in Dakar in a first phase and subsequently also in the other cities, in collaboration and synergy with similar structures in other countries, possibly also in China. In order to be able to offer free analysis and diagnosis, medical assistance already in the pediatric phase.
In addition to rehabilitation programs aimed at different categories of disabled people,

- Fierté de l'Handicap also intends to promote the accessibility of schools and the inclusion of disabled pupils at all levels of education. This involves raising the awareness of school staff but also removing architectural barriers and organizing public transport for schoolchildren with mobility difficulties.

(Dario Dongo)

Notes

(1) The mission was fully funded by Wiise (Workable Ideas and Initiatives for a Sustainable Economy) Srl benefit company