mini-TRY Campaign Under the Topic “Barrier-free Environment”
Phnom Penh Center for Independent Living (PPCIL) has aimed to promote the rights and equal participations of People with Disabilities (PwDs) through Independent Living movement and disability inclusion into Commune Development Program (CDP) and Commune Investment Plan (CIP), the project that is being implemented since November 2015 in six target communes of four district in Phnom Penh city. To successfully achieve this project, PPCIL has been working closely with local authorities, commune councilors and, especially, relevant stakeholder in order to include the disability into CDP effectively.
On August 21, 2016; PPCIL held one campaign called “mini-TRY Campaign” under the topic “Barrier-free Environment” in order to seek for support and to include the disability issue into CDP as well as to raise the voice of PwDs for their needs such as accessibilities and Personal Assistant (PA) service. The purpose of the campaign is to advocate and demand for proper accessibility and to increase the understanding of disability within the target areas.
II. History of “mini-TRY Campaign”
The “mini-TRY Campaign” is derived from “ASIA TRY” originally organized by PwDs themselves. The campaign is to promote the rights and participation opportunities of PwDs and to demonstrate different challenges and needs of PwDs living in today society.
ASIA TRY was born in Japan in 1988 and, after that, spread out in bigger shape in a few Asian countries such as South Korea (2007), Taiwan (2009), Mongolia (2011), and Nepal (2016). Significantly, next ASIA TRY will be held in Cambodia in 2018. It is to bring in new innovative ideas and development in term of disability movement for member states. As experienced, ASIA TRY incredibly achieved the goals of decreasing obstacles that PwDs have faced and improved situations of PwDs living in communities.
Participants, PwDs and volunteers, were divided into groups to campaign along the street to directly disseminate disability information and demonstrate obstacles of PwDs to community people. Having stayed in the tent camp for several days, campaigners had been walking along the road passing through government and business buildings, schools, Buddhist temples, and health centers, that this allowed all participants to witness and understand about obstacles PwDs have confronted in their daily life. Meanwhile; community representatives, NGOs partners, mass media and publics had been in discussion on what should be raised to promote the social welfare and what should be done in the future to eliminate barriers of PwDs.
This event is created to promote the accessibility for all living in the whole society, including PwDs.
- To increase the understanding on accessibility and about obstacles of PwDs (government and private sectors and relevant stakeholders)
- To have enough accessible city buses for all types of PwDs
- To strengthen independent living concepts of PwDs
- To share ideas and experiences to one another
- To decrease the discrimination toward PwDs through eliminating barriers that bother PwDs from fully participating in the society
There were 54 participants, including Japanese, that 24 of whom are PwDs.
All participants were scheduled to meet up at PPCIL, and the mini-TRY campaigned from PPCIL office to Kbal Domrey village located in Kakap commune, Posenchey district. While campaigning, the participants also shared flyers and used speakers to spread out disability law and information to people and business owners along the street. After that, all participants were divided into small groups to go to different target areas as following:
There were 18 members led by Mr. Mey Samith. The group discussed with the representatives of Chom Chao commune in Posenchey district on accessible facilities within the commune office areas in order to assist PwDs to get public services and to urge the Chief of Commune to include disability into CIP for 2017. After the discussion, all group members took a city bus and got off in front of Kakap commune office and walked and shared flyers along the street to Cham-ka Preng Park.
There were 18 members led by Ms. Chea Bopha. The group discussed with the representatives of Tuek Thla commune in Sen Sok district on accessible facilities within the commune office areas in order to assist PwDs to get public services and to urge the Chief of Commune to include disability into CIP for 2017. After the discussion, all group members walked and shared flyers along the street to Cham-ka Preng Park.
There were 18 members led by Mr. Ven Ratana. The group discussed with the representatives of Beng Tumpun commune in Mean Chey district on accessible facilities within the commune office areas in order to assist PwDs to get public services and to urge the Chief of Commune to include disability into CIP for 2017. After the discussion, all group members walked and shared flyers along the street nearby the commune office and then took Tuk Tuk and minivan to Cham-ka Preng Park.
- The chief of commune of Chom Chao, Tuek Thla, and Beng Tumpun were well prepared to welcome each group and accepted request proposed by our PwDs.
- Group 1 was prepared to take the city bus from Chom Chao commune office to Kakap city bus station, and it was successful in accordance to Program Action Plan.
- People were interested and more understood about the campaign through the information on mass media and flyers.
- There was cooperation and coordination from traffic police in transportation.
- The understanding, unity and temperament of group members was outstanding.
- There were many youth with and without disabilities interested and willing to participate in this campaign.
- Group 2 received some money donated by a massage shop for snacks and drinks and a 10% discount for lunch.
- Through mini TRY campaign, PwDs were seen to be more brave, motivated, more friends and encouraged to raise their voice in public.
- New Personal Assistants (PAs) understood more on how to assist PwDs and gained an experience in helping wheelchair users as well as making better relationship with PwDs.
- A few members were not fully involved with the discussion with chiefs of commune.
- Few city bus drivers and staff were careless and thoughtless towards PwDs. They didn’t know how to help PwDs get on/off the bus properly. All city buses were not accessible for PwDs such as no ramp or lift equipped with the bus, no special space for PwDs, no bell or button to alert the driver for a stop, no ramp but high steps at each station, etc.
- All three commune offices and restaurants we went to were not accessible for PwDs
- The temperature was very high.
- A few community people rejected to receive flyers.
- Some drivers did not yield to PwDs when crossing the road.
- Time management was weak.
- Sidewalks couldn’t be used by pedestrians.
- Ms. Hong Anny, a lady with Muscular Dystrophy, had a hard time of using Tuk Tuk.
- The campaign should be held in late afternoon and flyers should be shared/given over to people at the parks since there would be a lot more folks, that would give us better of disabilities dissemination.
- Each group should have had small banners or quotes to greatly interest/attract people.
- Each member should have explained well about the main purpose of the campaign to people before giving them flyers.
- Each group should have had members to coordinate the traffic when crossing.
- Each group leader should have had a flag to show he/she is the leader.
- All group members shall fully have been engaged in the discussion with chiefs or representatives of commune.
- Each group should not have had a lack of communication to one another.
- Disseminating information of the campaign on mass media is best.
- There are few PwDs along the road.
- First, the noise from the speakers along the road was very strong but it became weaker and weaker due to the hungry and tiredness of PwDs, so the speaker shall be always actively sounded.
- All members shall be consistently active from the beginning till finish the campaign.
The mini-TRY Campaign was successfully completed and finished in accordance to the plan. PPCIL and its participants would like express sincere thanks to Phnom Penh City Hall governor H.E Pa Socheatevong for allowing us to hold this great and unique event, that this unforgettable and respectful consideration can show the significant participation, encouragement and empowerment of the government towards PwDs for changes in the near future.
All PPCIL staff members would like to wish H.E Pa Socheatevong and all members of the city hall success and happiness.