Last summer, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) attended the Global Independent Living Summit in Washington DC. Organised by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on 23 July, the Summit brought together Independent Living activists from 50 States and from countries around the world, who were there to exchange information and support one another. ENIL was represented by our Board member Nadia Hadad and by the ENIL Youth Network member Agnes Fazekas.
One of the outcomes of the Summit was the creation of a global network on independent living – the World Independent Living Network (WIN).
The reasons for establishing WIN include: the opportunity to connect Independent Living leaders from around the world; the importance of a shared purpose and of learning from one another; the need to strengthen Centers for Independent Living (CILs) globally, so they can take a lead in empowering disabled people and advance disabled people’s human rights, using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the importance of working together as Independent Living organisations to tackle global challenges.
WIN aims to facilitate information exchange, carry out training and other capacity building events, provide opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and good practices, and assist CILs and their leaders from developing countries.
NCIL and the Japanese national Independent Living organisation (JIL) will provide a Secretariat for WIN in the initial phase, until the headquarters are established. ENIL will serve as the European focal point, together with NCIL for the North America, JIL for Japan, Pakistan (or Nepal) for Asia, South Africa for Africa, Bolivia (or Costa Rica) for the South America. Additional focal points will be allocated at the national level.
WIN’s Executive Committee is in the process of being established, and ENIL has nominated Nadia Hadad to serve as a member.
In the upcoming years, ENIL plans to work together with colleagues from around the world to build WIN into a strong global network on Independent Living. We look forward to having closer links to colleagues around the world, and to promoting Independent Living globally.
To join WIN’s Facebook page, please click here.