Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

In Pictures: Belfast charity's Tanzania photo exhibition launches in US

These are the powerful images captured by a Northern Irish disability charity that have gone on show in the US.

The exhibition, which is being organised by Belfast-based Disability Aid Abroad, chronicles the daily hardships of disabled young people in rural Tanzania.

Taken by US photographer Burk Jackson, the photographs were exhibited for the first time yesterday in Portland, Oregon.

The colourful pictures document the plight of disabled young people who live with little support in many African countries. Welcoming the launch of the worldwide exhibition, John Coghlan, of Disability Aid Abroad, said 90% of kids with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, and the global literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3%.

The exhibition, Changing the Face of Disability, aims to challenge the stereotypical view of disability and promote awareness of disability in developing countries.

The photographs will be on show in a number of countries before before beginning an Irish tour in January.

Welcoming the launch of the worldwide tour John Coghlan, Chairperson of Disability Aid Abroad said:

"Disabled people are the forgotten voice of international aid and in many developing countries disabled people are seen as having a social and cultural stigma,to be hidden away and ignored."

"90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, and the global literacy rate for adults with disabilities is as low as 3%, and 1% cent for women with disabilities. These appalling statistics highlight the need for international governments and donors to specifically address the needs of disabled people."

"Far too often people with disabilities are denied basic human rights. The mission of Disability Aid Abroad is to promote these rights through education, health and employment projects."

"This photographic exhibition, which begins its worldwide tour in Oregon, is part of Disability Aid Abroads global educational program to promote awareness of disability in developing countries as a mainstream international issue which demands urgent attention."

"The United Nations agency UNESCO recently reported that 'unless disability was mainstreamed as an international development issue then the Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved. Therefore we call on international governments and donors to recognise the needs and rights of disabled people and to urgently develop and implement policies which will end the appalling worldwide discrimination against disabled people."

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