Hope and homes for Children Rwanda (HHC) continues to advocate and promote the rights of children with disabilities by ensuring their needs are known and responses for their issues are timely provided. This time they introduced an initiative of using SMS technology to report issues related to persons with Disabilities in an effort to get a quick response.
Speaking about this initiative, Mr Innocent Habimfura, HHC Regional Operations Director of East and Southern Africa said: “The idea of SMS technology started from our experience of working with families and communities whereby some children with disabilities are locked in homes, abused, neglected, not taken to schools, called inappropriate names by their parents and community members and experience other several sort of discrimination”
According to HHC Rwanda staff, this initiative is connecting a wide network of stakeholders that include alternative families, community volunteers, local government institutions, NGOs … Those are players who are geographically dispersed but involved in promoting the rights of people with disabilities by ensuring their needs are known by The National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) and local government structures and responses for their issues are timely provided.
“We need to ensure a quick and effective communication towards prevention of family separation that may be caused by any abuse or neglect of children with disabilities” Said Remy Twagirimana a Database and IT manager at HHC Rwanda.
Last year, thanks to SMS technology initiative, Hope and Homes for children won the first award in the competition organised by Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA). The value of this award is 4 million RwF. All innovators in Rwanda were invited to participate in this competition dubbed “INNOVATE 4 Disability Inclusion Hackathon”. The INNOVATE 4 Disability Inclusion Hackathon is a national design competition, which consists of developing Assistive Technologies (with digital solutions) that contribute to addressing needs of people with disability, increase their equal participation, safety and autonomy. Developed Solutions are key for Rwanda to bridge the disability digital divide.179