Faces of DRF_ Images of people around the world
July 2016
Dear supporters, colleagues and friends,
June is our busiest month of the year, which explains why you're not hearing from us until mid-July!  

June is when we bring our advisors, donor representatives, and Board members to Boston to work together on strategy and make decisions on Round One of our grants. June is when we hold our annual event - this year, focused on gender and disability. (Stay tuned for a video from the event, upcoming in the next months!)

June is when staff travel to New York to participate in the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations.  (A full report on this trip will be in our next newsletter.) 

In June,  we look back to look forward. We review advances and barriers in achieving rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the countries where we do our grantmaking. We dialogue and confer on the steps ahead. This June, we made final revisions to our new Strategic Plan - soon to be released. 

Look back with us, by entering our first digital annual report, showcasing 2015 achievements  annual2015.disabilityrightsfund.org/
A Word Document version is available here 

Annual Report Image_ A Movement to Change One Billion Lives
Click the Image to View Our 2015 Annual Report

Learn about why participation is so key to our work, how we approach impact and track results. Follow how we lift up what happens at national level to global level, and read about how our grantees are scaling their work across communities and movements.  Delve into their successes with access to justice and with making sure education is inclusive. Read perspectives from our staff. Join our movement and contribute to the future of people with  disabilities around the world who are doing work that matters to you. 

With thanks for your continued support, 

Diana Samarasan
Founding Executive Director

One in Seven: Ensuring No One is Left Behind  
Sharing Our Successes 
Panelists present One in Seven: No One Left Behind 

DRF/DRAF leadership, staff and grantees kicked off the summer with a trip to the United Nations in New York City.  Our team participated in the 9th Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP-9). 

Be on the lookout for a special issue of our newsletter with details from COSP-9 and a video highlighting happenings from the event later this summer! 

What's New at DRF & DRAF?
Leading a Movement
DRF/DRAF Hold Annual Meetings and 
Welcome New Board and Advisory Members

Catherine Hyde Townsend
DRF/DRAF Board Co-Chair, Catherine Hyde Townsend at our June meeting.
I n June, The DRF team hosted our Boards of Directors, Grantmaking Committees and Global Advisory Panel in Boston. 
We welcomed several new additions our boards: Ms. Kai Dickerson, Chief Operating Officer of Innovation and Advisory Services at the Boston-based financial services company State Street Corporation and former chair of State Street's Disability Awareness Alliance; Ms. Beth MacNairn, Director of Public Sector Development for Partners In Health and former Executive Director of Handicap International US; and Charlie Clements, former Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a founding Board member of Physicians for Human Rights. 
We also welcomed three new members to our Global Advisory Panel;  Pratima Gurung, the Secretary General of the Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association and president of the National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal; Jenipher 'Jane' Akinyi, advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities with the Kenya Association of Intellectually Handicapped. As part of our commitment to promoting cross-movement collaboration, Dan Christian Ghattas, Co-Chair of Organisation Intersex International Europe joined as a Bridge Builder. 

You can learn more about our team on our website

Grantees from Haiti Visit Boston
Women Led Changes on the Horizon 

Esther Louis, Executive Director of l'Union des Femmes a Mobilité Réduite d'Haiti shares her successes.
Esther Louis, Executive Director of l'Union des Femmes a Mobilité Réduite d'Haiti and Nephtalie Jean Louis, Executive Director of Association Filles et Femmes au Soleil inspired the audience during our annual event with their stories as emergent leaders in Haiti. 

The two also demonstrated how tragedy can propel social change by sharing a story of three deaf women from their home country who were brutally murdered by members of their community. The Guardian published an article stating that the assailants, pulling from ancient mythology, viewed the trio as "bad spirits"; believing that disability is something to be feared.  This violence has sparked widespread outrage and brought country's disability rights, women's rights and human rights campaigners together to demand action. DRF's program director Lisa Adams is quoted in the piece and brings attention to the disproportion of violence against women with disabilities. You can read the full article here. 

Bringing Rights Home: Civil Society Impacting Change
DRF Grantees Inspire in Ireland

During Day 2 of the NUI Galway Summer School on Disability Law, Yeni Damayanti spoke about the fight to reform laws barring persons with psychosocial disabilities from voting.
Yeni Damayanti speaks about the successes of her organization, Indonesian Mental Health Association.
Diana Samarasan and a group of DRF grantees participated in the 8th International Summer School on Disability Law at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy held from June 20-24 at the National University of Ireland (Galway). This year's theme,  Bringing Rights Home: Civil Society Impacting Change, focused on how civil society can, with the right knowledge, insights and skills, capitalize on the "new politics of disability". 
Apollo Mukasa shared successes of his organization - Ugandan National Action on Physical Disability - advocating to government to include Accessibility Guidelines in Uganda's Building Contraol Act, giving Ugandan persons with disabilities the force of law. 
Yeni Damayanti spoke about the successes of her organization- Indonesian Mental Health Association- the first organization of persons with psychosocial disabilities in the country in reforming laws (and practices) barring persons with psychosocial disabilities from voting.

Alberto Vasquez addressed the work of his organization- Society and Disability - to reform Peru's Civil Code, so that it will no longer restrict the legal capacity of persons with disabilities.

Activists in Malawi Rally for Change
DRF Grantees Celebrate International Albinism Awareness Day  June 13

Activists in Malawi advocate for the importance of dismantling the profoundly harmful myths surrounding persons with albinism. 

You can learn more about albinism here.  
NEW!  2016 Round 2 Request for Proposals

As part of the second grantmaking round of 2016, DRF is excited to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the following countries:
Rwanda and Pacific Island Countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.  DPOs in Bangladesh and Uganda will be invited to apply. Deadline to submit a proposal is August 18, 2016. For more information, visit our website. 

Join the Movement
People Celebrating Their Successes
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