Ⅰ. Concept

The first goal of eight UN Millennium Development Goals is to “Eradicate Hunger and Poverty. ” Disability and poverty are intertwined. Approximately twenty percent (20%) of the poorest of the poor in developing countries are said to be persons with disabilities. Many of them receive charity but not a chance for education or job. Prejudice and discrimination are always in front of them. Unless persons with disabilities are brought into the development mainstream, achieving this goal will be impossible.

In order to change the current situation and promote the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, the movements led by persons with disabilities themselves involving their organizations and families are indispensable. Since the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes and protects the human rights of persons with disabilities, was adopted in December 2006, it is time for persons with disabilities themselves to strive for the creation of a society for all where everyone can live independently and participate fully in society. Therefore, fostering leaders of persons with disabilities is essential.

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This program aims to help the participants contribute to protection and promotion of human rights of persons with disabilities and improvement of their status in their respective countries.

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This program targets persons with disabilities, who are leaders of governmental or non-governmental organizations with more than three (3) years of experience, and who shall continue to work in their organizations upon returning to home countries.

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Throughout the program, the participants will obtain the knowledge and skills by lectures, site visits, workshops and discussions on a wide range of issues related to leadership development of persons with disabilities. At the end of the program in Japan, the participants shall formulate a project plan describing what they will do after going back to home country based on the knowledge and ideas acquired in Japan. This project plan should be the first step to solve the problems and improve the situation surrounding persons with disabilities in respective countries. After 6 months, the participating organization is required to submit a progress report to JICA as a final output of this program, reporting how the project plan has been implemented.

Information on the previous training courses can be obtained from “Training” pages of the “JICA friends° website, which was created to promote exchanges among ex-participants of two training courses, “Leadership Development of Persons with Disabilities ” and Employment Promotion and Realization of Decent Work of Persons with Disabilities. ” URL: http://www.jicafriends.jp/

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