Ongoing work of Blind Youth Association Nepal
In its foundation in 2012, BYAN has been able to deliver some history breaking results towards the provision of rights and utilisation of the same by the people with disabilities in general and BPS in particular. Some of the key achievements has been mentioned as follows:
- Outreach and coverage: BYAN’s network now have reached to 9 districts i.e. at least covering one district in each Province affiliating 472 BPS youth in its Chapters. Formalising Chapters by gathering scattered BPS youth for their rights advocacy was of sigficant challenge in the context where families were not aware of the situation, BPS youth themselves were uninformed about their rights coupled with functional limitation, mobility restriction and inaccessible public transportation.
- BYAN’s Organisational Development: When founded, BYAN had a set of its Constitution only. We conducted our board meetings in others office premises. Now, BYAN is equipped with all relevant and required policies i.e. staff, financial, whistle blowing, child protection etc. The organisation now has 9 staff members working in different natured projects where our annual turnover reach to US$ 156,041 Though less however is significant one compared to our own organisational development trend, and such turnover used to be US$ 65 in 2012. In addition, BYAN exercises democratic principles alongside of inclusion of gender and geography in its board. We have 36% BPS women in the federal board while close to 80% staff are female. This is inclusive of 2 BPS persons as well. Further, BYAN is now affiliated with different networks such as National Federation of the Disabled Nepal-an umbrella organiation of disability movement in Nepal, Human Right Treaty Monitoring Committee (HRMCC), Educational Committees under several local governments and other relevant national forums. We have advocacy and fund-raising strategy in place that guides us to carry out our advocacy work in a structured manner. BYAN has also developed position papers on Acess to Education of BPS persons and SRHR. The position paper on SRHR covers all categories of persons with disabilities.
- Policy Changes: Over the past years of engagement in advocacy and lobby work, BYAN has contributed to achieve remarkable changes in the policies and program of the government. The advocacy work with the Public Service Commission (PSC) led to have a provision where BPS persons are opted to write answers related to graphic/pictorial question while taking examinations as commissioned by the PSC. In addition, examinees will get 10 percent additional time along with the provision of writing assistants to those persons with disabilities who cannot write on their own. This is a history breaking changes. Similarly, BPS are allowed to have writing assistant with 10 percent extra time while taking examinations commissioned by the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC). In the education front, BYAN has been successful to manage large print books of 2 subjects from the government for grade 10 students along side of having policy provision on large print books for partially sighted and availability of text books in the audio format in Inclusive Education Policy of the Government. Similarly, BYAN has been successful to have better writing assistant provision (person studying/passing grade 9) while taking secondary education examination. In addition, the Tribhuwan University, the largest university in Nepal has also made provision for writing assistant to BPS persons. Moreover, The questions of Science and Maths in the SLC and other examination were not blind friendly hence, new BPS friendly curriculum has been developed for Science and Maths.
- Employment promotion: In the context where persons with disabilities in general and BPS in particular are viewed as incapable for the employment, BYAN’s effort has yielded good results in this area too. Throygh BYAN’s employment dialogue, exam preparation courses, a total of 86 BPS youth has been abled to get job in the government and non-government sector. In government sector, particularly the TSC exam, a total of 70 BPS passed the examination and recruited as permanent teachers in the government schools. In the area of self-employment, there were 16 BPS involved in their own business for their daily living for which BYAN made available the required skills and credit support.
- Creating a local-national space to work in SRHR: BYAN has been working for the promotion of Friendly SRHR since 2015. Where BYAN has been collaborating with various organisations like Mariestopes, NERF and other like minded organisaitons to increase the understanding on SRHR of the service providers as well as create demand of BPS. In 2015, BYAN is carrying a project through the financial support of FP2020 since 2019. As society perceive persons with disabilities beign asexual one or not being sexually active, there were also many cultural and societal stigma towards persons with disabilities. The SRHR need discourse was just like the black box and BYAN made an open such box through the involvement of national-local level DPOs, policy makers, service providers and other actors in this field. This intervention was first of its kind in Nepal that led to initiate policy and program discussions among the large mass and decision makers.
- Chapter expansion process: Citing the context where BPS youth are cornered from several dimension of their daily life, BYAN does not simply establish Chapters but provide them required knowledge and skills on human and disability rights, leadership and organisational management with ongoing support. Our ambition is that we provide better support for the qualitative functioning of the Chapters instead of counting the number of Chapters and headcounts of youth affiliated.
- Sexual and Reproductive Health Right (SRHR): SRHR issues of people with disabilities are yet to be fully disclosed, and generally not talked as public concern. In this connection, BYAN, for the first time in the history of disability movement in Nepal, designed an increased access to SRHR project covering all disability categories. This was a year project steered by 6 different disability organisationations formalised in a Steering Committee. Though it was a short natured small project, is project has opened up debate and discussions among the multiple stakeholdres; the government, persons with disabilities, DPOs, policy makers, service providers to deeply think on the efforts and approached adopted so far. The development of inclusive IEC materials in SRHR Education is another milestone where BYAN producted BPS inclusive IEC in Braille, large print, Tactile and plain language. Video with sign language and Caption for Deaf and hard of hearing.
- BYAN’s Advocacy work: BYAN adopts a unique advocacy approach while lobbying on the issues of BPS people. BYAN’s strongly feels that reasons for not addressing the issues of people with disabilities are not due to the ignorance of policy makes and programmers. In fact it is due to lack of understanding about disability and category specific needs. In this connection, BYAN involves with the authorities to identify issue and identify options to get solution. It is working together with the authorities. Working in this way, BYAN has been able to contribute making several changes shoud it be the policy or program.
- Our work-disability in general and BPS in particular: BYAN is basically connected with BPS persons and therefore much concerned towards their issues, rights and services. Despite this natural connectivity, some of the projects of BYAN also connect persons with disabilities together in the development mainstream so that every disability population is served well and not left behind. Our project on SRHR worked with persons with physical disability, deaf and hard of hearing, autism spectrum disorder and persons with intellectual disabilities and it is still ongoing. BYAN’s national level advocacy work with the public service comission also took care of persons with physical disability to have writing assistants with 10 percent extra time. In Nepal, there are hardly such DPOs that works with broader concent and coverage.
- Respect each other’s ideas
We respect each others’ ideas in BYAN. We give equal opportunity to all to provide suggestions or in the meetings or collaborations. If anybody’s expressed ideas are outside of the territory of organisational benefit, we facilitate these further to have acceptable conclusion.
- Transparency and Accountability
We believe that transparency helps to keep the higher image of the organisation and its activities. Therefore, we are committed to be present among the office bearers, stakeholders and target group clearly with correct and factual information. In addition we are accountable to the issues of all members, office bearers and staff.
- Respect to diversity
Diversity demonstrates organisational standard and work capacity. We will be active to affiliate people from minority and backwarded class in the organisation by respective diferent diversities such as caste, indigent, language, religion and gender.
- Creativity and positive thinking
We suppose that our first responsibility is to make positive attitude to perform the job assigned by this organisation. Despite the fact that social change itself is a complex process, we assume that with our united positive thinking it will help us to impact towards our vision by accomplishing whatever difficult task. In addition, BYAN is always ready to respect and highly evaluate creativity of all concerned.
We believe in clean and clear behaviour. We believe that honesty maintains good relationship between individuals, and between team and community. While implementing program of the organisation we will be fully faithful and totally discourage behaviours such as cheating, lying, hiding, providing false information and stealing.
- Learning attitude
Whatever progress that the world has made in the human civilization, one cannot be fully knowledgeous. Therefore we want to learn with our communities, stakeholders and other person or organisation in the course of working with them. We are committed that such learning will help us to make our work further strong and practical.
- Participation and self-representation
We believe the compulsory participation of all concerned while planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of organisation and its program. Programs designed from the top are not only difficult to implement but also are not sustainable. Therefore we guarentee the meaningful participation of our office bearers, staff, stakeholder and target groups in our organisational business. In the tasks related to the issues of Blind and Partially Sighted (BPS) persons our feeling cannot be represented by others persons apart from representing by ourselves.
We will present ourselves humbly with our target groups and stakeholders. With the motto that each person or human has one or other types of knowledge, skill and capacity, we listen their response with respect and respond them in a way that do not harm us and our prestige.
We would like to be truthful in each aspect. When procuring and using goods and services and doing financial transactions related to our work, we will be fully bear honesty and accountability.
We never discriminate anybody based on his/her cate, indigent, complexion, religion, beliefs, language, culture and geographical location. Our actions and behaviour shall never reflect discriminations towards rich or poor or any other types.