To ensure all Quadriplegics and Paraplegics in Zimbabwe have an equal opportunity in accessing essential services and enjoying the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities to promote socio-economic justice.
To establish a forum and space to promote the wellbeing and rehabilitation of Paraplegics and Quadriplegics for participation in collective lobbying, advocacy and information sharing to improve access to justice and development of a disability friendly environment.
Registration and target group
QUAPAZ was formed in 1998 and was then formally registered as a Private Voluntary Organization on 4 December 1999 to serve a targeted population of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and head injuries.
Who/What is QUAPAZ?
Quadriplegics and Paraplegics Association of Zimbabwe (QUAPAZ) is an organization of People with Disabilities that works with, and for all people that have various types of impairments in particular quadriplegics and paraplegics. Our organization is deeply concerned about the day to day challenges that are faced by persons with Spinal Cord and head injuries. Most importantly, QUAPAZ was formed by a group of people who had spinal and head injuries comprising of quadriplegics and paraplegics in the year 1999. The motive of coming up with this organization was derived after recognizing the needs for cooperative action to address the welfare needs of persons with disabilities. Therefore the organization is deep-rooted into issues concerning people with SCIs and Head injuries.
What services does QUAPAZ provide?
QUAPAZ provides advice on policy related issues and representation of people with disabilities to government and other organizations on matters that impact on the lives of PWDs. QUAPAZ works with a specific niche population or constituency that include women and youths with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We seek to build a stronger and more united disability family paying special attention to women and youth with disabilities, however, men are not excluded. We also promote the Disability inclusion movement through informing and educating the general community about disability so as to develop an inclusive community where people with disability can participate in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life. We promote and offer a fundamental commitment to economic empowerment through self-help projects (Isals/mukando), mutual support (counseling on bladder and bowel management) and self-representation for all people with disabilities. The organization also provides systematic advocacy to achieve better outcomes for all people with disability in Zimbabwe. QUAPAZ therefore implements advocacy programs to break down the barriers of inequalities and injustices that Zimbabweans with disability face each day. Through our commitment to upholding the rights of PWDs, we therefore seek to influence long term disability inclusion.
We are currently in a partnership with Plan International and Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe among other 6 Organizations for People with Disabilities (OPDs) in Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland Provinces working on a project based on strengthening the capacity of OPDs so as to promote participation of PWDs in governance processes. Our OPD works with both rural and urban communities in Silobela, Shurugwi and Kwekwe. The key beneficiaries include both the disability community and the able bodied.
QUAPAZ activity focus areas are centered on disability rights through sensitization on various local and international disability laws and policies such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the National Disability Policy of 2021 and advocacy on reforming the Disability Act as it is a dated piece of legislation. Other focus areas include women and youth rights as most of our activities are centered on promoting women and youths with disabilities specifically in actively and meaningfully participating in governance processes. There is one of our members, Sarah Maseko from Silobela who through our trainings on disability rights and economic empowerment is eager to re-campaign for Ward 20 Councilor in the upcoming 2023 elections. Her first campaign was not successful as most people from her community were not willing to accept a woman with a disability as a leader that would represent their needs. Since our trainings, Sarah resolved to campaign once again for the councilor position and on top of that started a saloon business thereby being empowered economically.
Focusing on inclusive sustainable development, we target on improving the livelihoods of PWDs through economic empowerment activities and training on how to run self-help projects. The activities and projects range from small scale poultry and vegetable farming, vending, starting up small businesses for the purposes of strengthening self-reliance among PWDs. There has been some success stories that have been documented during the course of implementing our activities, trainings and projects. QUAPAZ has been engaging with stakeholders to sensitize them on the disability policy and adopt it as a policy instrument within the Urban Council’s Act or Rural District Council’s Act. From these engagements, there has been some considerable impact the disability inclusion movement has made in Shurugwi town where the local authority is leading in promoting inclusive development in all facets of public life. The town council has a waiver on rates, bills and even market stall fees that it put up as policy to ensure that PWDs do not face any additional costs of living or of generating income.
Adopting and fully embracing the National Disability Policy, Shurugwi town council ensured PWDs have access to stands as guided by the 15% allocation of services or other benefits that goes towards PWDs. One of the beneficiaries from this program is Grace Dube, a woman with a disability who achieved more than what society had expected from her. She is currently constructing her house which is above window level and expects it to be completed by end of this year. Similar success results have also been experienced in Kwekwe District were the government run passenger company, ZUPCO was engaged by the disability advocacy committee to put up a waiver on transportation of PWDs. As part of government’s social service, PWDs that produce their holders cards issued by social development department are transported free of charge when they board Zupco buses. The engagement was successful and such progress promotes disability inclusion in its fullness. Stakeholders from the Education sector were also engaged on the basis of promoting the inclusive education program which has not yet been fully implemented. Our organization has since received reports on some milestones achieved by schools in the different districts we operate in. Chiedza Primamry School in Kwekwe started enrolling children with disabilities and are awaiting the government to assign them a special needs teacher. Another primary school in Silobela has also made efforts in constructing disability friendly ablution facilities and pavements with ramps. Our organization also participated in the Disability Expo last year 2021 that was hosted in Gweru under the theme: “Disability mainstreaming for a prosperous and empowered society which leaves no one behind”. Our presence there increased our visibility, network and partnership opportunities.
- Address : No. 85 9th Street, Gweru
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel : 0712552718 / 0772709111
- Social Media : Facebook – QUAPAZ Midlands ; Twitter – @QUAPAZ_99