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The nation-wide communication for social change campaign #SeeEveryColour has managed to address the most wide-spread misconceptions and false beliefs around people with disabilities, reaching more than one million people and contributing to a reduction of stigma against disability – this was a major outcome of the campaign which summarized its results at a special event organized in Tbilisi. The two-year campaign was carried out by UNICEF with the support of USAID and the European Union with active engagement of children with disabilities and their parents.
“We are proud that Georgia has managed to reduce negative perceptions and attitudes towards children and young people with disabilities by more than 13 per cent”, said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “Children and young people with disabilities have more opportunities now to develop and enjoy their rights. As a result of the campaign, we have created a core group of change makers who will further work to build more inclusive societies. We will continue to support the Government to enable them to lead the process of social change and will work with various professional groups to further overcome stigma against disability”, added UNICEF Representative.
The ‘See Every Colour’ campaign involved a mix of interventions, delivered over a two-year period: educating the population about disabilities and deconstructing the prevailing myths and prejudices; illustrating the right models of attitudes and promoting interaction between young people with and without disabilities; empowering children with disabilities and their parents by giving them a platform for advocacy; initiating policy and community discussions and strengthening local government mechanisms and community networks.
Since February 2017, as part of the campaign, extensive outreach activities throughout Georgia were undertaken, including interpersonal meetings, media campaigns, and large-scale national and regional events, as well as cooperation with professionals – such as doctors and teachers – to enhance their collaboration with the parents of children with disabilities.
Students in schools and universities learned about the needs of people with disabilities through debates and discussions about the misconceptions related to disability. A video series called ‘Peer Journeys’ were produced, pairing young people with and without disabilities going through everyday situations and reflecting on their own experiences. The stories featured how attitudes and beliefs could be changed through communication and friendship.
A brochure ‘Myth and Realities’ deconstructing prevailing myths and prejudices on disability, as well as Commixes to illustrate right attitudes towards children with disabilities were produced and widely distributed followed by interactive discussions and quizzes about the issues.
A competition among municipalities identified 10 municipalities which shared their best practices in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for people with disabilities. These municipalities serve as role models for other towns and villages in the country.
The online campaign ‘Parents for Change’ invited parents of children with disabilities to share their stories, which were widely shared through social media. Online quizzes checked the knowledge of people about disabilities and partnerships with cinemas involved offline events and screening of videos demonstrating abilities of people before movies.
As a result, the #SeeEveryColour campaign in Georgia has contributed to a reduction of stigma against disability from 41.5 per cent in 2015 to 28.3 per cent in 2017.
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