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Documentaries by and about persons with disabilities

Coronavirus Fight Song

Music sensation SingStar Ali says persons with disabilities in Rwanda have been particularly impacted by the pandemic due to inaccessible washing stations, the inability to social distance, and more.

Filmmaker: SingStar Ali

Photo of SingStar Ali.

SingStar Ali is based in Rwanda.  Read more about SingStar Ali

A Place Where We Belong

Myths and superstitions about persons with albinism are putting this population at greater risk during COVID-19. OIPPA is fighting against these stigmas and for the inclusion of persons with albinism throughout Rwanda.

Filmmaker: Thacien Biziyaremye

Photo of Thacien Biziyaremye.

Thacien Biziyaremye is a journalist, director, editor, and camera operator and the co-founder of SACAMS (Special Advocacy, Communication and Media Services) Ltd. He is based in Kigali, Rwanda.   Read more about Thacien Biziyaremye

Disability Inclusion Music Video

Dancing through the streets of Zambia, R&B singer John Chiti encourages persons with disabilities to take precautions during the pandemic and says everyone is impacted, whether they have been infected or not.

Filmmaker: John Chiti

Photo of John Chiti.

R&B singer John Chiti is executive director of the Albinism Foundation of Zambia (AFZ). The musician has produced two songs about the coronavirus to raise awareness about its impact on people with disabilities.  Read more about John Chiti

News From the Global Frontlines of Disability Justice

Gorret Namwanjje, a young Black woman with short dark hair, sits at a table outside.

Teen Pregnancy During Covid

Uganda has seen a surge in teen pregnancies since schools were shut down due to the pandemic. The lockdowns have deprived girls of the social protection schools offer, making them more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. “During this COVID period, the teachers have been helping the parents to teach the children about sex education, but the fact that schools have been locked for a long time, it has been hard to educate the children on sex information,” says Gorret Namwanjje with Triumph Uganda.  

Read more about Teen Pregnancy During Covid

Dick Bugembe smiling at the camera, wearing a surgical mask down on his chin.

Leaving No One Behind

When Dick Bugembe was first diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2009, he thought of it as a death sentence. “I lost hope because I thought I was the only one with HIV and at the same time living with a disability,” he says. “I thought I was about to die and perish very soon.” He went on to found the Masaka Association of Disabled Persons Living with HIV & AIDS (MADIPHA). Today, he is a powerful advocate in Uganda for equal access to HIV services and information.

Read more about Leaving No One Behind

Solomon Okelola smiles at the camera.

“Success and Failure Are Born in the Same Cradle”

People who are deafblind can feel isolated, says Solomon Okelola, executive director of the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation. In Okelola’s case, though, his solitude also gave him an opportunity to reflect on life and the ways people respond to challenges. “Success and failure are born in the same cradle – in your mind,” he says. “You can conceive whichever you desire.”

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Rose Umutesi during a radio interview

A Voice for Rwandans with Psychosocial Disabilities

Many Rwandans developed post-traumatic stress disorder after the genocide. That led Rose Umutesi to psychosocial disability rights advocacy: “What we should do is to love what we are doing, love what you are doing and focus on it. I know things will be … fully done.”

Read more about A Voice for Rwandans with Psychosocial Disabilities

Julie-Marie Chibekete plays basketball in a wheelchair.

Data Driven

In 2018, Julie Chibekete was involved in a car accident that resulted in a permanent spine injury and a broken vertebra. Her doctor referred her to the Spinal Injuries Association of Malawi (SIAM), where she connected with other spinal injury survivors. She’s hoping to learn more about data storytelling from her DJP mentor. “We’re trying to strategize so that we can support more people,” she says.

Read more about Data Driven

Nissy Namuyomba, a young black woman with her hair pulled back, stares into the camera.

Promoting Inclusion Through Storytelling

Nissy Namuyomba’s identity is formed not just as a person with disability but also as a Muganda woman of the Ngabi clan, speaker of the Bantu language Luganda, young community leader, and family member. One of her greatest memories is presenting her poem about the Masaka Association of Persons with Disabilities (MADIPHA) at the coronation of the king of Buganda on live television.

Read more about Promoting Inclusion Through Storytelling