ARC in association with NGOs working on disability issues, launches a “Child Advocacy Network of Disability Organizations (CAN DO)”


ARC (Advocating the Rights of Children) in association with NGOs working on disability issues has today, launched a “Child Advocacy Network of Disability Organizations (CAN DO)”. Founding members of CAN DO include Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC), Association for Disability and Development (ADD), Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association of Maldives, Blind and Visually Impaired Association of Maldives, Care Society, Maldives Autism Association, Maldives Deaf Association (MDA) and Maldives Association of Physical Disables (MAPD).

“A recent study commissioned by ARC on the child protection system revealed a broad range of gaps and challenges, among which include the need for a special focus on protecting and promoting the rights and wellbeing of children with disabilities”, ARC’s Executive Director Zenysha Shaheed Zaki noted.  With the establishment of this network, ARC aims to bring together organizations that share a common concern and a common objective of improving the lives of children with disabilities in the Maldives.

CAN DO aims to work together to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Maldives Disability Act, so that every child with disabilities in the country can live with full rights and dignity and are provided with opportunities to realize his or her full potential.  Through this network, member organizations will work towards:

  • Positively engaging with relevant authorities on disability related issues
  • Improving access to information, on the available state and other benefits for children with disabilities.
  • Raising awareness on issues and challenges faced by children with disabilities
  • Improving access to education
  • Enhancing early detection and intervention
  • Improving physical accessibility
  • Facilitating disability related trainings

Founder Members of CAN DO view this network as an ideal platform in which organizations can benefit from mutual support, networking, access to information, training, resources, knowledge and expertise, as well as strengthen their institutional capacity through sharing of experiences and best practices.