Stepping out of the shadows? : empowerment and the young voices project in Zambia

TitleStepping out of the shadows? : empowerment and the young voices project in Zambia
Publication TypeOther
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsL. Vogelzang, W.J. Elbers, and T. Mtonga
Date Published2018///
PublisherLiliane Fonds
Place Published's- Hertogenbosch
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsdisabled, youth, Zambia

Too often the voices of youth with disabilities remain silent. This raises the question how these youth can best be empowered. As of yet, however, little research has looked at interventions seeking to empower youth with disabilities. Based on research in Zambia, this paper addresses this gap. It examines a one-year project in which two youth groups were formed and trained in advocacy and leadership skills whilst being taught on different models of disability and disability rights. These groups, which came together in monthly meetings, also undertook outreach activities to sensitise communities and companies about disability issues. The research shows that the project activities had a range of positive effects on the youth that participated in the project. Reported effects include reduced feelings of isolation, a more positive self-image, a strengthened self-confidence and increased assertiveness. Overall, the project enabled the project-participants to envision and pursue life goals they previously could not imagine. As a catalyst for enabling the youth to (also) change their environment, in particular raising awareness in communities and companies on disability issues, the project was severely constrained. In particular, the project-period was too short and the issues too deep-rooted whilst insufficient funds were available to overcome the (transport) costs of follow up activities.

Citation Key9972