Unlocking an Inclusive Society for Persons with Disabilities in Southern Africa

During the Southern Africa Disability Round Table Forum held in June 2017 in South Africa, organized by the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), one of the key issues that were discussed was the draft SADC Disability Protocol currently being championed by SAFOD.


To ensure that persons with disabilities have full access to fundamental human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Southern Africa.


a) To provide technical support and inputs towards the drafting of the SADC Disability Protocol

b) To lobby and advocate for the adoption of the SADC Disability Protocol both a national level and international level.

c) To fundraise for resources that will ensure successful drafting and final adoption of the protocol

d) To promote and systematically monitor legislative proposals and strategic campaign work to influencing policy and practice throughout Southern Africa.



Property For Sale

The property in Francistown can be perfect for potential real estate investors, especially those interested in investing in a lodge as the complex consists of five units, including what used to be a bar before it was owned SAFOD’s property by 2009. It also consists of what used to be swimming pool which currently needs complete refurbishment. Apart from the administrative office, the other units were meant to be rooms for lodging.

For more information read here: http://property.safod.net/

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SAFOD and the University of East London (UEL) of Docklands Campus in the UK, signed a Sub-Contract to jointly conduct a research in South Africa entitled “The myth of asexuality? Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships in South Africa.” with financial support from the the France-based International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH).

The project is investigating the prevailing myths and attitudes towards the sexuality of Persons with physical Disabilities.

This is collaborative research project which also involves two other key partners, namely the South Africa-basedStellenbosch University and the Norway-based Stiftelsen for industriellogtekniskforskning(SITEF) – or in English, the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF).

Strategic Goal:

To investigate the prevailing myths and attitudes towards the sexuality of people with physical disabilities among a sample general population in South Africa, as well as the experiences of people with physical disabilities.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Investigate the attitudes of the general population towards the sexuality of people with disabilities in South Africa;
  • Explore the experiences of stigma and barriers to fulfilling sexual relationships among people with disabilities in South Africa;
  • Raise public awareness about the intersection between disability stigma and sexuality

The myth of asexuality_ Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships.png

The SAFOD is a leading Southern African disability-focused network engaged in coordination of activities of Disability Peoples Organizations (DPOs) in the Southern Africa region working in 10 countries within the region, coordinating programs and activities through its national affiliate federations of DPOs in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In many of these countries, either our affiliate federations or at least some of their member DPOs are implementing Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programs on the ground. Yet, at the same time, there is an academic theory that there is a strong correlation between CBR and inclusive Early Childhood Development and Development (ECDE). SAFOD intend turn the theory into practice.

Strategic Goal:

To strengthen the capacity of Disability Peoples Organizations (DPOs) and other community structures working in already existing Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programs in increasing access to quality ECDE services for children with Special Needs Education (SEN).

Strategic Objectives:

  • To enhance early identification at community level for children with special needs through inclusive CBR interventions.
  • To build the capacity of SAFOD’s affiliate DPOs already working in CBR programs to strategically link CBR and inclusive ECDE interventions within target communities



The Federation Organization of the Disabled People in Swaziland (FODSWA), which is a national affiliate of the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), will seek to collaborate with the latter in undertaking capacity-building activities to support Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) in advocating for the domestication of the Un Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and enactment of appropriate laws by December 2016.

This is on the basis that one of the mandates of FODSWA is to lobby Government, through its membership of DPOs nationwide, to implement existing pieces of national legislation and policies affecting Persons with Disabilities.

Strategic Goal:

To strengthen the institutional capacity of FODSWA and its member DPOs in Promoting an Inclusive Legislative Environment in Swaziland through sustained advocacy for the domestication of the UNCRPD and enactment of appropriate laws by December 2016

Strategic Objectives:

  1. To enhance the internal governance and leadership management within FODSWA structures through the leadership forum by October 2015
  2. To strengthen SAFOD affiliates’ good governance capacity to promote the rights of persons with disabilities on national level.
  3. To build the capacity of FODSWA and its affiliate DPOs in advocacy and lobbying techniques through training workshops, by December 2015;


The Assistive Technology Information Mapping (AT-Info-Map) Project was funded by the Google Impact Challengeas one of the ‘big ideas that will use technology to expand opportunity and independence for people with disabilities’.

The project was officially launched in April 2016 and started in Botswana where SAFOD is headquartered as a one-year pilot. The first year involves designing and testing the technology system with a small group of participants to ensure it is useful and understandable by both persons with disabilities and organizations involved in supplying AT.

Strategic Goal:

AT-Info-Map is a 3 year project (2016-2019) that has the goal of mapping the availability of different types of assistive technology (AT) in 10 countries in Southern Africa.

Strategic Objectives:

Identifying WHAT types of AT are available and WHERE those products are located will serve three purposes:

  1. Connecting persons with disabilities to the available AT near their community,
  2. Supporting key actors in identifying AT needs. Key actors include public AT providers (clinics, community health centers, secondary and tertiary hospitals, schools), civil society, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), disabled people organizations (DPOs) and businesses,
  3. Informing AT suppliers, manufacturers, and designers of unmet public demand.


The Organisational Development Project is part of the FFO’s Theory of Change, to contribute to organisation development and Human Rights training that empowers its partner organizations. FFO’s partner organizations, such as SAFOD, contribute to change in attitude towards persons with disabilities in society in general, in governments and other spheres.

Strategic Goal:

The project will strengthen SAFOD as a regional disability federation to contribute towards making its affiliates stronger and the civil society independentin the Southern Africa region.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. The project has prioritized the following key strategies for the period 2016-2019 to work for inclusion of persons with disabilities in Southern Africa:
  2. To strengthen SAFOD affiliates’ good governance capacity to promote the rights of persons with disabilities on national level.
  3. To strengthen SAFOD’s advocacy towards SADC and the African Development Bank to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities on regional level.
  4. To develop a UNCRPD monitoring and shadow report program for SAFOD affiliates.
  5. To revive the Youth Wing of SAFOD.

The Organisational Development in Southern Africa Project