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The Platform Disability and Development Cooperation originated in 1994 and was recognized as an NGDO (non-governmental development organization) in 1998. PHOS wants to contribute to improve the living situation of persons with a disability in the South.

As a service-NGDO, PHOS guides the initiatives of other actors, particularly NGOs related to disability in the South. We stimulate activities that have particular attention for the participation of disabled persons and are oriented towards community development and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

At present, PHOS is working at the following actions :

- describing the place of disability in the Belgian development cooperation.
Different actors in development cooperation - policymakers, non-governmental organizations, lobbies and pressure groups for disabled persons, research centres, institutions for higher education, ... - are being interviewed on 'disability in the South'. What do they know about the living situation of disabled persons in the South ? Which kind of actions are they undertaking ? Which resources are they using ? What are their wishes concerning support ? Etc.

The collected information is being analysed with a view to develop strategies to reinforce the place of disability in DC.
(2006-2007, with the support from the EU and the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation - DGDC)

- stimulating and guiding the mainstreaming of disability in the actions of non-governmental development organizations and their partners in the South.
Non-governmental development organizations, which don't have disabled persons as an exclusive target group, are being stimulated to admit persons with disabilities in their target group. Interested NGOs, their partners in the South and pressure groups for persons with a disability in the South who are acting as intermediary, can appeal to PHOS guidance for working out inclusive programmes. Subjects such as prevention of disability, water and sanitation, food security, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), inclusive education, vocational training, micro-credit, representation in society, ... can get a chance here. (2005-2008, with support from the DGDC)

- formulating quality criteria for actions in favour of children and youngsters with an intellectual impairment in the South.
In dialogue with actors in the South, who are setting up actions for children and youngsters with an intellectual impairment, one works at the vision- and concept development of these actions. Together with all those concerned -children, and youngsters with an intellectual impairment, their natural educators, their professional counsellors, associations for persons with disabilities, primary health care services and key persons in the community, authorities and researchers ... - quality criteria are being set up for the support of children and youngsters with an intellectual impairment. The result is a quality instrument that allows actions for children and youngsters with an intellectual impairment to evaluate themselves. From this follows, naturally, the development of training modules to fill-in projects for improvement. (2007-2008, with support from DGDC)

- developing a training programme on 'Hiv/aids-information for young persons with an intellectual impairment'.
Hiv/aids-information is being cast into a training programme that can be used immediately for counsellors of youngsters with an intellectual impairment in the South. The information should stress an adapted methodology, which should lead to changes at behavioural level for the youngsters who are going through the training. Participative training techniques as well as visualization methods play an important role in the guidance of youngsters with a mental impairment. This training is set as a part of a broader action to prevent Hiv/aids for mentally impaired persons.
(2006, with EU support) - studying about setting up accessible ICT-centres (information & communication technology) in the Limpopo province in South-Africa.
PHOS guides a study group on setting up accessible ICT-centres in the Limpopo province in South-Africa, carried out by the Meraka Institute in Pretoria. Elements in the research proposal are : to determine who will use these centres, to draw up user profiles, to develop scenarios in function of the selection of location and centre design, to describe adaptations which have to guarantee the accessibility and easy use of the centres and their technologies for persons with a disability, to describe the process of running a centre including the training needs of the personnel who have to ensure the working, to develop models of management by modules (operational, technical, financial) and to identify possible partners when realizing the centres.
(2006-2007, with support of the Flemish Community)

- promoting attention towards the subject 'Disability in the South' with local actors in DC and with training organizations in the North.
PHOS stimulates the interaction between North-South groups and (associations of/for) disabled persons. North-South groups are being supported when they're making their actions more accessible for persons with disabilities and giving attention to the theme 'Disability in the South'. Educational material is being put at the disposal of those who are interested, a.o. the game '1 World', where one imagines oneself in the situation of a disabled person, with adapted versions for persons with an intellectual or a visual impairment. This action goes in collaboration with Feniks Unite, a non-profit organization which is active in training actors with an intellectual impairment in South-Africa, and another non-profit organization, 'De Stroom', a training- and leisure activities organization, established in Kortrijk (West-Flanders).

Allillanchu is a workshop about South-American themes for adults with an intellectual impairment, produced and carried out by a collaboration between Djapo, an organization for global education, Handicum, an educational organization for persons with a disability and PHOS.
(2005-2007, with support from the Flemish Community and the Province of East-Flanders)

- In the future, PHOS wants to set up a number of facilities for care and education for children wit an intellectual impairment in Africa. PHOS thinks that children with an intellectual impairment have the right, just as all other children, to be part of an education group. In many development countries, mentally disabled children remain as yet deprived of any form of systematic education. The parents are often standing alone for educating their disabled children. PHOS would like to support them by setting up small-scale care- and educational facilities in local communities. We'd like to set these educational methods, with a curriculum adjusted to children with an intellectual impairment, in close connection with regular primary schools. For these actions, PHOS is looking for collaborations with organizations from the Flemish disability sector and with NGOs working on disability, health, education, children's rights or community building in African countries.

PHOS is a member of Coprogram, 11.11.11. and 'The International Disability and Development Consortium' (IDDC).

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