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    Protection of the rights of people with disabilities in Zambia

Open-air group activities
  • Although in Zambia there are rules providing for the protection of people with disabilities, these are not fully and correctly implemented. These people’s life is made more difficult by numerous architectural barriers, as well as being affected by discrimination and prejudices. This leads to heavy social, educational and economic isolation.

    Project objectives: socio-economic inclusion and protection of the rights of 286 people with disabilities in the district of Ndola and Luanshya.

  • 286 people with disabilities assisted

    Removal of architectural barriers

    Extension of the Da Gama’s centre’s health and physiotherapy services

According to data from the World Health Organization, 2 million people in Zambia are affected by disability, accounting for about 15% of the population. Data show that there is a prevalence of women compared to men, with a higher concentration in rural areas than in cities.
Unfortunately, disabled people are often the victims of heavy discrimination, both from their family and from society.

Isolated by both society and their families: in Zambia, disability is seen as a curse that has to be hidden

For this reason, the literacy and employment rates of people with disabilities are very low, making them one of the most vulnerable groups and the most excluded from economic and social activities.
Children with special educational needs, such as learning disabilities, are not adequately followed by teachers, who have often not been prepared to help them in the best possible way. And to make things even worse, there is a great shortage of adequate means of transport, and many facilities – both public and private – feature architectural barriers and difficult access.

Entrance to the Da Gama centre

Our goal is to promote, within two years, the educational, social and economic inclusion of children and adults affected by different disabilities.
To guarantee access to quality education to everyone, we will firstimprove school facilities, making them easier to access for children with reduced mobility, for example by building separate girls and boys equipped bathrooms and changing rooms.
We will then provideteachers with adequate training,enabling them to handle the most critical situations: being able to recognize certain learning disabilities is a crucial skill to enable children to follow a path and develop without being affected and limited by their disability.
In an effort to reduce prejudice and discrimination, the awareness-raising activity will also be extended to families and community leaders.

In addition to education, the project also takes action within the workplace. Some employment agency staff members and teachers of the Da Gama and Ukubalula schools will be provided training that will enable them to become job coaches and thus be a point of reference for people with disabilities, by helping them find a job and supporting them in their relationship with employers.
In addition, small plots of land within the Mary Christine farm will be allocated, so that the beneficiaries’ families will also be involved. The production of small handmade items will also be started both at this farm and at the Cicetekelo centre.
Finally, to ensure greater physical well-being, the Da Gama Centre will be refurbished, appropriate physiotherapy tools will be provided and the number of physiotherapists will be increased.

  • My name is Tommaso Sartori, I'm 29 years old and I'm the project manager.

Project’s overview

The overall objective of the project is to protect and promote the human rights of people with disabilities, ensuring their socio-economic inclusion within the community.


  • supplying a 45-seat bus and wheelchairs for people with physical disabilities
  • building and improving the existing school facilities, providing training on special educational needs to teachers, training educational and medical staff on diagnosing children with disabilities, awareness-raising activities for families and community leaders
  • providing training to personnel of the Pope John XXIII Community Association, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi and local employment agencies enabling them to become job coaches, awareness-raising campaigns for employers, building the infrastructures of the Marie Christine farm, starting the production of handmade items by people with disabilities and allocation of plots of land to the families of people with disabilities
  • extension of the Da Gama centre’s structure and supply of electrotherapy, traction machines and equipment for therapeutic exercises, increasing the number of physiotherapists available thanks to a specific agreement with the hospital
  • Project title
    Socio-economicinclusion of people with disability in the district of Ndola and Luanshya

    Project Manager
    Tommaso Sartori, [email protected]

    marzo 2018/marzo 2020

  • Partner
    APJ 23 – Association Pope John 23
    SFMA/FMSA Franciscan Missionary Sister of Assisi