Out of Darkness, Towards the Light

Darkness to lightThe long, dark year is over. Months of life-threatening illness combined with money problems to make my 2017 a year not to be repeated and best forgotten. It has been a challenge both personally and for the IMAXI Cooperative, which was also down and out for months at a time. The darkness obscured the route ahead, and our important research project on participation in global health institutions, All Aboard, had to be halted before it arrived at its final destination.

It was not the first year in which some of IMAXI activities had to be postponed or cancelled due to our members, all volunteers, falling either seriously ill, seriously skint or just blown off track. Yet 2017 will be the last. The Board of the IMAXI Cooperative has decided at its recent meeting to change its way of working so that a crisis affecting individual members does not derail all of our collective efforts. In short, we recognise that our all-volunteer approach to functioning must change, and that resources should be found so that project teams are supported both financially and materially. The failure of one individual’s health or finances must not bring the collective’s progress to a full stop again.

 This change requires that the Cooperative establish a revenue stream independent of the projects that we develop. We are presently studying three different ideas which could possibly deliver sufficient income to provide some support for our activities and the activists who work on them. This would be a major relief as IMAXI has tried to function only through our own donations since it was established in 2010. Since we are all poor, living with disabilities or diseases, this system may have been appropriate to ‘start-up’, but it is no longer workable. So we are down in the IMAXI Forge, designing some prototypes for our own use. In the next few weeks we will decide which of these would work best.

After a year often derailed in the darkness, we are now beginning to roll forward. We can not only see the light at the end of this long tunnel, but can almost breathe the fresh air that awaits us. From full stop to full speed ahead, soon.

COSP: Full Participation of PWD?

COSP is comingCOSP is coming. The UN will soon hold an important international meeting to advance the rights of people with disabilities (PWD). The 10th session of the Conference of State Parties (COSP) to the human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) aims to build on the work that has been done during the last ten years. It will involve governments, UN agencies and civil society organisations, even some that represent those most affected and most in need of the implementation of the CRPD treaty.

Because I am a woman with a disability, this meeting is important. Since I believe that PWD must not be excluded from participating in decisions others make about our health and well being, the COSP is also a step in the right direction because a few PWD can have a say. It could be a giant step in the right direction if the civil society representation was fully accountable to the community and defended our interests, not their own. But, we will get there one day.

I am curious about what this meeting will do to improve our lives. So to provide further information, below is the blurb from the UN. I will try to follow the meeting by internet and write more on what is happening in New York, for all of us not able to be there.
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Beginning a second decade to advance the rights of persons with disabilities

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