Dili, 06/12/2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Government of Japan, and the Asosiasaun Halibur Defisiensia Matan Timor Leste (AHDMTL) conducted a Braille letter training in three municipalities to increase the participation of people with visual impairment in the upcoming elections.
The two-week Braille letter training was implemented under the UNDP COVID-Resilient Elections (CORE-TL) Project which supports Timor-Leste to conduct COVID-resilient, informed and inclusive elections both at the national and municipal levels. 120 people with visual impairment from different regions participated in the training at Aileu, Lautem, and Manufahi municipalities and increased their capacity of Braille letter as well as access to information on elections and COVID-19 prevention measures.
The event took place at Hotel Timor with representatives from UNDP, AHDMTL, and the Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste. They remarked on the importance of this activity contributing to the inclusion of people with disabilities in accessing the information on elections.
“To leave no one behind is one of the universal principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that undermine the potential of individuals. Through the UNDP Covid-Resilient Project, we promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups, such as women, youth, and persons with disabilities, to enhance their participation in elections and access to democracy,” explained Ms. Munkhtuya Altangerel, UNDP Resident Representative.
Moreover, the Director of the AHDMTL Association, Gaspar Afonso, expressed that “besides enabling the participants to be part of the upcoming elections, this inclusive-education space provided them with tools that can replicate in future training to other people with visual impairments.”
Lastly, Ms.Kazumi Yamada, Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste, remarked: “Free and fair election that is inclusive of all eligible voters is a cornerstone for democracy. We are delighted to that the training on braille letter was successfully carried out under the project COVID Resilient Elections in Timor-Leste funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP. This will contribute to making elections in Timor-Leste more inclusive not only under the COVID situation but also in all future elections.”
By 2022, the UNDP CORE-TL Project will continue implementing this training in other municipalities and the RAEOA and other activities that strengthen the capacities of People with Disabilities in promoting their political participation and representation in elections.
Mariano Redondo – Communication Specialist, UNDP CORE-TL Project: 77566742