[social-work] SOCIAL WORK : DISABILITIES : COUNTRIES: LESOTHO : JOURNAL ARTICLE: People with Disabilities and the Role of Social Workers in Lesotho

 

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SOCIAL WORK :

DISABILITIES :

COUNTRIES: LESOTHO :

JOURNAL ARTICLE:

People with Disabilities and the Role of Social Workers in Lesotho

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People with Disabilities and the Role of Social Workers in Lesotho

Christopher Chitereka,

Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work,

The National University of Lesotho, Southern Africa

Social Work and Society

Home > Vol 8, No 1 (2010) > Chitereka

http://www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/25/69

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1 INTRODUCTION

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According to Pachaka (2003:109) the United Nations General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons at its 37th regular session in 1982. The purpose of that programme was to promote measures for prevention of disabilities, rehabilitation and realisation of goals, “full participation” of disabled persons in social life, development and “equality”. The Programme further emphasised that these concepts should apply with the same scope and urgency to all countries, regardless of their level of development. It was during this era that public concern and consciousness were directed towards providing people with disabilities with the same opportunities available to ordinary citizens. Subsequently, the United Nations Decade of the Disabled Persons (1983-1992) came into force thereafter. However, the situation of people with disabilities has not greatly improved since then and their numbers are actually increasing.
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There are more than 600 million people with disabilities worldwide and 180 million are children, 400 million live in developing countries and 80 million in Africa. The World Health Organisation (2002) reported that about 40 per cent of Africa’s population consists of people with disabilities, including 10-15% of school age children. This percentage translates to about 300 million people with disabilities in Africa. Burton (1996) notes that people with disabilities have been treated like outcasts for over 100 years and whatever attention is drawn to them, it is only with sympathy and pity. Disability has been presented as a culturally embedded socially accepted form of oppression against people with disabilities. To date some community members still encounter difficulties in accepting people with disabilities. It is against this background that this paper seeks to examine the situation of people with disabilities in Lesotho. The paper also highlights the roles of social workers in dealing with people with disabilities. It should be mentioned at the outset that this paper is mainly a review of the literature of people with disabilities in Lesotho and it also includes interviews with people working with PWDs in the country. For purposes of this paper, the Word Health Organisation (WHO)’s definition of disability is adopted. The WHO (2002) defines disability as an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. Impairment is a problem in the body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action while participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Therefore, disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person body and features of the society in which he/he she lives. A disability may occur during a person’s lifetime or may be present from birth.
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The paper is divided into seven sections. The first section provides background information on Lesotho. The second section provides the models of disability. The third section discusses the prevalence of disability in Lesotho. The fourth section examines the problems faced by people with disabilities in Lesotho. The fifth section provides the legislation and institutional frameworks governing disability issues in the country. The sixth section provides the organisations working with people with disabilities and the last section deals with the role of social workers in dealing with people with disabilities in Lesotho.
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ARTICLE SECTIONS
1          INTRODUCTION
2       LESOTHO: THE COUNTRY
3       MODELS OF DISABILITY

4       PREVALENCE OF DISABILITY IN LESOTHO

5       LEGISLATION AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS
GOVERNING DISABILITY ISSUES IN LESOTHO

6       ORGANISATIONS FOR AND WORKING WITH PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES IN LESOTHO

7       PROBLEMS FACED BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
IN LESOTHO

8       THE ROLE OF SOCIAL WORKERS IN DEALING WITH
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN LESOTHO

9       CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

Bureau of Statistics 2001: Lesotho Demographic Survey (Vol. 1) Analytical Report Maseru: Government Printers

Burton, L. 1996: Disability and society: Emerging issues and insights London: Longman

Dubois, B. and Miley, K. 2005: Social Work: An Empowering Profession. Boston: Pearson

Harris, A. and Enfield, S. 2003: Disability, Equality and human rights: A training manual for development and humanitarian organisations. Oxford: Oxfam Publications

ILO. 2006: Employment of People with Disabilities: The Impact of Legislation (Southern Africa). Geneva: ILO

Lesotho Review 2009: An overview of the Kingdom of Lesotho’s economy. Maseru: Wade Publications

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare 2008: National Disability and Rehabilitation Policy: Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities into Society. Maseru: Government Printers

Motsepe, M. 2010: Situation of People with Disabilities in Lesotho (Personal communication at Sentebale Offices, on 24 April)

Oliver, M. 1990: The individual and Social Models of Disability. Paper presented at joint workshop of the living options Group and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians

Pachaka, L. M. 2003: Legislation Concerning Children with Disabilities. Maseru: Lesotho Law Reform

Shakespeare, T. 2006: Looking Back, Moving forward, online at: http:www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/communists/tom/2509%index.shtrr. Accessed on 27 February 2010

Tsuinyane, M. 2010: Services offered by the Department of Social Welfare (Personal communication at the Department of Social Welfare Offices, on 28 April).

UNDP 2004: Human Development Report 2004. Washington: UNDP

WHO 2002: Community Based Rehabilitation as we have experienced it: Voices of Persons with disability. Geneva: WHO

Weaver, H.N. 2006: Social work through an indigenous lens: Reflections on the state of our profession, in: Hall, N. (ed.): Social Work: Making a World of Difference, Social Work Around the World 1V in the year of IFSW’s 50th Jubilee. Berne: International Federation of Social Workers and Fafo, pp. 37-51

Weiner, B. 2003: Disabled Village Children. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Zastrow, C. 2000: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. Pacific Grove: Brooks

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[social-work] SOCIAL WORK : DISABILITIES : COUNTRIES: LESOTHO : JOURNAL ARTICLE: People with Disabilities and the Role of Social Workers in Lesotho

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