Percos Sinkamba – Zambia

Percos Sinkamba – Zambia

Date: May 29, 2012
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My name is Percos Sinkamba, and I live in Luanshya District, which is on the Copperbelt province of Zambia. I have a degree in Theology obtained from North Star Bible of Zambia and a certificate in sign language. I am trying hard to fight for the rights of the deaf, the blind and also the mentally challenged people in my community. I want these people to be heard in parliament; they need care and love just like any other human being.

I first met Gender Links in the year 2010, when we had 16 days of activism in Luanshya District. It was an interesting event because many of us were aware of GBV, but I realised that inequality and discrimination were the leading causes of violence against women. Every human being demands to have access to information. However, it’s very unfortunate to see that the physically challenged have been deprived of information on issues of HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence.

After meeting GL, I was motivated and encouraged to do more community sensitisation on GBV to the people living with disabilities. The most memorable experience with GL was the time I travelled to South Africa to attend a summit, and I was awarded for the work I’ve done; I came third in the prevention category. This category was so competitive; each participant had prepared good presentation, and I was pleased to be part of the summit. I learned a lot from other participants.

Being the Director of the Good Shepherd Day Care Mission, I have been advocating for the rights of deaf girl children. We sponsor six deaf persons with education; others are doing skills in tailoring and metal fabrication. Then we also share love and care by distributing clothes, salt, soap, mealie meal and motivational talks.

On 3rd December 2010 we had a workshop which was held at Luanshya Municipal Council, which was facilitated by Faides .T. Nsofwa, the Gender Justice & Local Government Facilitator. Although the Good Shepherd Deaf and Care mission come into existence in 2003, I was lacking the technique to use in the fight against GBV. Today, we have sustainable programmes with other stakeholders, and we have achieved many of our objectives.

I am a gender champion, and I make sure that the people I represent have equal opportunities. I move around the community to sensitise people on GBV. I interact with the deaf very well and listen to their problems and find the best resolution for them. We have put up a monitoring and evaluation office to collect data, analyse and make reports based on accurate information collected on GBV.

Gender Links has changed my life. I care for people with disabilities, and I will ensure that they will contribute to the development of this country in economic, social and cultural terms. I give credit to GL for being hard working and dedicated. They have sacrificed a lot to disseminate information on gender violence. Indeed, GL wants to see a gender violence free way of life everywhere. We all want equal opportunities despite the status, race or religion of an individual.

I also appreciate Faides .T. Nsofu and Albert Ngosa for communicating, and giving us the right information. I have developed good communication skills, both verbal and sign language, and I am more knowledgeable in performing and producing sound results. I now know that both women and men should have equal representation in decision making, and considering women as weaker vessels is a violation of human rights. Perpetrators must face the law.

Apart from being a Director for Good Shepherd, I am a coordinator for the blind at Fisenge Blind Centre. We have a referral programme with the Zambian Police under the Victim Support Unit, with Community Development support. People are now increasingly aware of the consequences of GBV; they shun all cultural norms that contradict the law, and they know where to report such cases. People with disabilities are free to talk about challenges they are having with fellow community members; they no longer feel inferior or discriminated against.

In future I want to teach a lot of people sign language, and open a Skills Training Centre for people with disabilities. I have observed that people with disabilities are more prone to HIV/AIDS infections, and I want them to have their own hospital as this will help them to go for voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). I want them to have their own farm, as I have noticed that most of them have an interest in farming. I am appealing to Gender Links to continue the good work that is being done, and support us further in publishing books in sign language on issues of gender violence.



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