On December 3, 2012 Rwanda joined the rest of the World to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day was established by United Nations in 1962. This year, at international level, the theme is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”.

Prior to this day, many activities were conducted during Disability week from 24 to 30 November, 2012. The first activity has been the community work (Umuganda), and after participants gather to receive the message on “Barrier free environment”. At National level, the Umuganda took place at Muyumbu Cell, Gahanga Sector, Gasabo District.

The accessibility audit of public infrastructures conducted countrywide was the major activity that marked the disability week. It aimed to record access and ease of use of the public buildings by a range of potential users (both visitors and employees) with disabilities, particularly those with sensory and mobility impairments, and to identify specific measures to improve accessibility (including quick and cost-effective modifications).

The thought celebration was attended by different government authorities, Representatives of NGOs working in disability movement, Persons with disabilities organizations (PDOs), and many Persons with disabilities coming from countrywide. The Prime Minister Hon. Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was the guest of Honor.

During the celebration, authorities assisted the final match of Sit ball men where Southern province competed with Kigali city and Southern was qualified as a Winner of this competition.

From songs and sketches performed and testimony given, persons with disabilities highlighted different barriers that hinder their participation in all aspects of society ”A student with visual impairment cannot have a home study as others do to get a good performance because he/she leave all materials written in braille at school” said Consolatrice Niyibizi, person with visual impairment.

In his speech, the Guest of Honor Prime Minister Dr. HABUMUREMYI Pierre Damien saluted the effort of persons with disabilities in improving their socio economic and capabilities. He told them that the Government of Rwanda put much effort in supporting them and for this reason signed the UN Convention, put in place laws protecting PWDS and other related Ministerial Orders.  He promised that the Government will do all necessary arrangements to fight for removing barriers that hinder the fully participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life.

The NCPD thanks all his stakeholders who contributed to the preparation of this important event.


Reported by NYIRABUGENIMANA Sylivie

Disabilities Friendly Communication Officer/NCPD