On Wednesday 24 May 2023, among others Ingrid Bakker, local representative of the Helmond Accessibility Working Group, has presented alongside colleague Susan SuykerBuyk on the establishment of the Local Inclusion Agenda (LIA) in Helmond. Since 2020, Helmond has been actively working with the second version of the LIA. In their presentation, Ingrid and Susan will delve into how the agendas came about, who initiated them, who was involved in drafting them, and what the collaboration looked like. They also share insighted on what worked well and the lessons they learned along the way. Alderman Harrie van Dijk and Local Inclusion officer Daniela Niderost haved joined the conversation, sharing their experiences with collaboration and their roles and responsibilities in the process. 

On Thursday, the Delegation Uganda had the pleasure of meeting Ali Kösedag, a Project Officer at The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), who supports municipalities with the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) through the Local Inclusion Agenda. Recently, we discussed how the "Everyone participates" program helps municipalities develop their own agendas, with a national guideline serving as one of the key instruments. We also explored the possibility of creating an international version of the guide, drawing on the insights and experiences of participants in the "We are Able!" project. 

Our visit also included an exhibit titled "(On) beperkt leven met een beperking" and a trip from Openluchtmuseum Arnhem to the Gemeentehuis Eindhoven, where we were welcomed by Marcel Oosterveer, mayor of the municipality of Waalre, and Marieke van Gastel, member of the city council of Eindhoven. Marcel has a visual impairment, and Marieke uses an electric wheelchair. They shared with us how they navigate their roles in politics and the daily management of the municipality, discussing the different responsibilities and approaches needed to work on inclusion and the Local Inclusion Agenda.

Today, as our study visit to the Netherlands for the Local Inclusion Agenda comes to an end, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who made this journey a success. We had the privilege of meeting and learning from passionate and dedicated individuals who are working towards creating more inclusive communities. 

It has been an inspiring and informative study visit to the Netherlands, learning about the Local Inclusion Agenda and how municipalities are implementing the Local Inclusion Agenda. Thank you to all our hosts and participants for sharing their knowledge and experiences. Let's continue working together to promote inclusion and improve the lives of people with disabilities.

#localinclusionagenda #globallearning #VNGInternational #WeAreAble! #iedereendoetmee #gemeentehelmond @VNGInternational @Gemeentehelmond

WaA Helmond