The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has begun Phase 4 of the West and Central Africa Regional Secretariate Project (WCARS). Dubbed “Stronger after the Pandemic’, the transnational Capacity Building of Deaf Associations”, the long-term impact of the project is to ensure that the national associations of the deaf in the participating countries are functioning effectively and are able to defend deaf peoples’ human rights.
The project team are working with the Target Deaf Association (TDA) to develop organizational strategies and action plans, gender strategies for the Deaf association and also an elaborated Octagon analysis of each of the TDAs.
So far, the project team have visited Association des Sourds du Niger (ASN), Association des Sourds du Togo (AST), and Association Malienne pour les Sourds (AMASOURDS).
BACKGROUND OF THE WCARS PROJECT
The WCARS transnational Capacity Building Project seeks to strengthen the organizational capacities of four national associations of the Deaf; Association des Sourds du Niger (ASN), Association des Sourds du Togo (AST), Association Malienne pour les Sourds (AMASOURDS) and Association Nationale des Sourds de Côte d’Ivoire (ANASOCI). Built on lessons learnt from the project partnership between GNAD and Danish Deaf Association (DDL).
The project went through three phases already and is in its 4th phase. Unlike previous phases, phase 4 puts its focuses on strengthening the existing network between the four National Associations of the Deaf, WCARS, and GNAD in consolidating major gains made in the inception and first three phases with a specific focus on country-level needs.
The focus of the 4th phase is also advancing national-level advocacy work including increasing the organizational capacities of four National Associations of the Deaf, advocating for the human rights of deaf people, participating fully in the disability movement, and access to Skilled Sign Language Interpreters (SLIs) in all the four countries and to serve as a role model for the other deaf association in the Western and Central Africa. Finally, taking a cue from GNAD, phase 4 will work to address and strengthen local branches with specific areas of intervention depending on the country-specific needs assessment.
The project is funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) through Disabled Peoples Organizations Denmark (DPOD) and is supervised by Danish Deaf Association (DDL).