We would like to congratulate Kihembo Wilbert for joining the Executive Board of the Commonwealth Disabled People's Forum as a Youth Representative!
Kihembo is closely involved with the Rwenzori Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities (RAPCD), which was founded by his father, Maali. (RAPCD and Accomplish have worked together since our inception.)
We asked Kihembo to write a few words introducing himself and describing his new role:
I am Kihembo Wilbert, a child of Rev. Wilson Maali and Defrose Masika, and I was born with cerebral palsy. I am very passionate about computer programming and discovering more technology, and I am a disability rights activist.
I started a community-based organization called Voice of the Youth with Disabilities under RAPCD as its host organization after [being inspired by pupils attending] RAPCD's schools. I managed to register the organization and partner with the Commonwealth Disabled People's Forum (CDPF). Later, I got nominated and elected as a youth representative. The organization also operates an online radio station that advocates for disability rights in urban areas.
First and utmost, during my term in office, I want to focus on creating a self-reliant generation of youth living with disabilities (YWDs) through developing their self-esteem, financial literacy, and capacity building training. My other goals are:
to mobilize and organize YWDs groups into the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum to have one voice and to get recognized by governments
to enforce proper planning and management of funds among YWDs groups
to equip YWDs with marketable skills to help them compete with the current demand in the job world
to advocate for disability inclusion in education, employment, medical, and other challenges facing YWDs
Lastly, I am excited to be the Youth Representative on the CDPF Executive Committee because I see it as an opportunity to expand my mind about disability and management issues.
RAP-CD has played an important role in my life for many reasons:
modelling me into a social role model for disabled children
the positive attitude toward disability that is being promoted by RAPCD and its founders
the pride and confidence built in me by RAPCD to value me as a potential person
the foundation of my computer literacy started at RAPCD
Thanks Kihembo for writing this article. We wish you every success in your new role!