Disabled Peoples' International

North America and the Caribbean

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Regional Youth Network

Meet Mr. Dion Green from the Commonwealth of Dominicabefore he became the Treasurer of the DPI NAC Inc. Regional Youth Network!  Click here and go to page 9 to really MEET Dion!

DPI NAC Inc. Regional Youth Network (RYN) Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator selected and attended the AIDS-Free World Biannual International Conference

The Disabled Peoples' International North America and the Caribbean Incorporated (DPI NAC Inc.) Regional Youth Network (RYN) Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator, Mr. Ganesh Singh and Miss Sharmalee Cardoza respectively attended the AIDS-Free World Disability & HIV Leadership Forum on July 21, 2012 and the XIX International AIDS Conference from July 22-27, 2012 in Washington, DC.  The event was organized by AIDS-Free World and sought to promote inclusion and access.  AIDS-Free World hosted a town-hall meeting on AIDS and Disability to further increase the profile of disability rights, with hopes that the issue finally got the full attention it deserves.

There was a one-day pre-conference event for approximately 25 young leaders from the disability community in countries where the AIDS crisis continues to be a significant issue.  This pre-conference trained young people with leadership potential on current issues and advocacy strategies to broaden the discussion around the intersection of AIDS, disabilities, and human rights.  The pre-conference  was a day-long meeting exposing young advocates to current world leaders among AIDS advocates and the global disability rights movements. The purpose was to pass the torch to a new generation of disability rights advocates, and teach them some of the successful “tricks” of the advocacy trade, including how to form a national or global movement and stay connected with one another; how to get the media’s attention; how to get the attention of political leaders; how to make disability and AIDS an important human rights issue for everyone, not just for people with disabilities.

On completion of the one-day training, the young people were prepared to try out their new advocacy skills at AIDS 2012, and then return home to continue their advocacy work.  The young persons who received this training was part of a global youth group to keep in touch and support one another.

The DPI NAC Chair nominated the RWN Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator, Mr. Ganesh Singh of Guyana and Ms. Sharmalee Cardoza of Jamaica respectively participated in the activity because of the funding provided by the organizers of the Conference.  Guyana and Jamaica had received a high level of international attention in the areas of HIV and AIDS.

DPI NAC Inc. Regional Youth Network (RYN) Coordinator represents  DPI NAC Inc.

Mr. Ganesh Singh, Coordinator of the Disabled Peoples' International North America and the Caribbean Incorporated Regional Youth Network (DPI NAC Inc. RYN) accompanied the DPI NAC Inc. Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Perro Holloway to attend the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Technical Meeting of Government and Civil Society Representatives in Paramaribo, Suriname from November 7-8, 2011 funded by the European Union (EU).  The CARICOM Secretariat extended the invitation to DPI NAC Inc.  Click here to read Mr. Singh's Report.

DPI NAC Inc. launches a Regional Youth Network!

Since being founded in 1981, neither Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) nor any of its then 5 Regions paid serious enough attention to continuously building a cadre of young persons with disabilities to take up leadership roles in DPI and/or its Regions.  The resulting consequences being:

  1. The early original leaders had to carry on the work of advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities at the highest level for quite a long time

  2. This took a tremendous toll on them

  3. They became overwhelmed not out of lack of interest and/or enthusiasm but rather from multiple health challenges and age

  4. DPI lost many hard-working and committed leaders

  5. No one had been groomed to take over these leadership roles causing DPI and the movement of persons with disabilities worldwide in general to lose momentum and suffer.

During the Civil Society Forum on August 31, 2010 preceding the Third Conference of States Parties from September 1-3, 2010 at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, USA, Mr. Shuaib Chalklen, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability noted, "there is a global fatigue in the global disability movement weakening its capacity".

n recognition of a shortage of persons take up leadership roles, DPI took the major step to focus on and include youth with disabilities by giving them an opportunity to express their views during the DPI World Summit from September 8-10, 2004 in Winnipeg, Canada.  The Summit gave young persons with disabilities from around the world an opportunity to:

  • Express their frustration at not being included in the decision-making processes of DPI, its Regions and other organizations of and/or for persons with disabilities

  • Highlight the fact that whenever there was a national, regional and/or international event of persons with disabilities, youth with disabilities were usually included in the agenda but youth with disabilities themselves were not intrinsically involved in the planning, decision-making and/or executing of the events that are supposed to impact their lives

  • Present their perspectives using abstracts they prepared in workshops specifically earmarked for them during the Summit

Unfortunately, neither DPI nor its Regions followed up on the views of the youth with disabilities expressed during the DPI World Summit June 2004, unfortunate in light of the opinion of the deceased DPI 2nd Deputy Chair with responsibility for Underrepresented Groups, Mr. Khalfan H. Khalfan that: "a successful social movement is one that ensures its longevity by nurturing and supporting future leaders" (Disability International, Winter 2003).  Mr. Khalfan passed away on March 28, 2009.

It is with this in mind that the DPI NAC Regional Assembly 2011 began the process of training youth with disabilities in leadership, team building, advocacy, motivation, and self-esteem that will ensure the future of DPI NAC and strengthen the organizational capacity of DPI NAC and its Member Organizations to secure the continued success of the disability movement in the Region. 

At the DPI NAC Regional Assembly 2011, six (6) youth with disabilities were elected by their peers as the Coordinating Committee (CC) to manage the DPI NAC Inc. Regional Youth Network (RYN).   Miss Lesley Williams representing Grenada had been elected as the CC Secretary who unfortunately died on December 17, 2011. Therefore, the CC had to make to intern appointments accordingly:

  1. Mr. Ganesh Singh, Coordinator, Guyana, ganeshyvg@gmail.com

  2. Miss Sharmalee Cardoza, Deputy Coordinator, Jamaica, csharmalee@gmail.com; csharmalee@yahoo.com

  3. Mr. Swanye Brown,  Interim Secretary, Barbados, realbrown24@yahoo.com

  4. Mr. Dione Green, Treasurer, Dominica, ondisyn@hotmail.com

  5. Mr. St. Claire Henry, Interim Ordinary Member, Antigua and Barbuda, st.clairehenry@gmail.com (replacing the  youth originally representing Antigua and Barbuda based on disciplinary measures)

  6. Vacant …

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Deputy Coordinator of the DPI NAC Inc. Regional Youth Network stated an interest in the Civil Society Forum and presented at the DPI Side-Event during the Sixth Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

Deputy Coordinator of the Disabled Peoples' International North America and the Caribbean Inc. (DPI NAC Inc.)  Regional Youth Network (RYN), Sharmalee Cardoza stated an interest in the Civil Society Forum (CSF) on July 16, 2013 preceding the Sixth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). DPI NAC Inc. Acting President, Henrietta Davis-Wray and DPI NAC Inc. Associate Member Organization, President of Barbados Council for the Disabled, Sen. Kerryann Ifill also stated an interest in the CSF.

Ms. Cardoza presented at the DPI Side-Event entitled "Voices of Youth with Disabilities from the Global South" on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 between 1:15-2:30 PM during the Civil Society Forum (CSF) preceding the Sixth Conference of States Parties (COSP6) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) from July 17-19, 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.

Click the button below for more information about the COSP5, the CRPD and its Optional Protocol.

Click the buttons below to view the DPI Convention Ratification and Implementation Toolkits respectively in a PDF format.

    DPI DPI

Click here to see Status of North America and the Caribbean countries on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Optional Protocol (OP) to the CRPD.

HIGHLIGHT: International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2014

IDPD 2014 will be celebrated on December 3 under the theme "Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology".

Click the following button to visit the United Nations website designated to the IDPD 2014.

Click here to read a Message from the DPI NAC Inc. Acting President, Mrs. Henrietta Davis-Wray to observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December, 2014.

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