Joy, a disability justice activist, reflects on Mtiririko.

ADD’s engagement with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to review Mtiririko.

Recently, ADD engaged disability justice activists and organizations of persons with disabilities in the review of its new strategic framework, Mtiririko. The strategy highlights ADD’s journey so far and who we are now with a focus of shifting the flow of power and resources to disability justice activists.  

ADD is on a journey away from the traditional model of international development and towards a solidarity that heals injustice. This means we will step back from the traditional role of ‘capacity builder’ and ‘programme implementer’ and instead, act in solidarity with the indigenous disability justice movements in Africa and Asia. We will support their agenda and priorities. We will work together to achieve disability justice. 

Group of OPD (organizations of persons with disabilities) members from Uganda after the strategy review meeting.

As part of the process to develop Mtiririko we wanted to hear from activists about the proposed strategy and incorporate their feedback. This has been really helpful in the development of the final strategy. 

ADD is now a participatory grant-maker for disability justice. This means we use our position and networks to facilitate the reparative flow of resources and opportunities to disability justice movements in Africa and Asia. We are giving power to persons with disabilities to decide how to use the resources allocated to them for development work.  

About Joy

Joy is a disability justice activist from Kamuli district in the Eastern part of Uganda. She is 51 years old and lives with a physical disability. She is passionate about disability justice and has worked for persons with disabilities for over 20 years. She is the chairperson of Kamuli District Association of Women with Disabilities, a community based organization established in 2000 by women with different disabilities together with parents of children with disabilities of Kamuli District. 

Joy shares her review and feedback about Mtiririko.

“Previously, we worked with ADD on training girls and women with disabilities on gender-based violence and disability awareness. During this time, ADD worked in a participatory way and this gave us the opportunity to make decisions on projects to be implemented. I’m glad that ADD is going back to this model of working because this gives organisations of people with disabilities the power to make decisions on what’s right and appropriate rather than projects being imposed on them.” 

“This is a good strategy. I believe it will empower people with disabilities to decide on which projects they want to implement and how to implement them. It will give them ownership hence proper budgeting, reporting, and accounting. This will also help in identifying gaps in implementation and how these gaps can be bridged.” 

Joy, Disability Justice Activist

“This will be beneficial to persons with disabilities since it will bring many organizations of people with disabilities on board, giving them power as decision makers.” 

“It is very important for disability justice movements to be led by persons with disabilities themselves because “There’s nothing for us without us.” A person without a disability may not know the issues or challenges people with disabilities face. It makes more sense for a person with disability to lead and advocate for disability justice because they have lived experience.” 

“International non-governmental organsations (INGOs) may not understand or be in alignment with issues people with disabilities face. For example, when an INGO wants to support people with disabilities access education, they may enroll them to a school that is not accessible hence creating another problem instead of a solution which they may not be aware of. Most of them don’t understand the different types of disabilities, they focus on the physical disabilities yet there are other types of disabilities as well hence leaving out some people who are vulnerable too.”  

“Most INGOs have the perception that they are providing charity to organizations of people with disabilities, yet this is not the case.” 

Joy believes that with the new transformation, there’s a bright future for the disability justice movement and for persons with disabilities finding the right solutions to their challenges.  


Zakia (personal assistant), PhatCat, Jamila, and Yumna, disability justice activists, Tanzania.


In the face of discrimination, lack of access, and exclusion, they come up with innovative and effective ideas to unlock real and lasting change in their communities. No one understands the challenges faced by disabled people better than those who live them.


We are excited to launch our new strategy! This is an overview of our approach for the next 10 years.

We’ve named our strategy Mtiririko, which is a Swahili word meaning ‘flow’, because at the centre of it is the desire to see resources flow directly to disability justice activists and movements.