Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD)

Expression of Heritage & Culture through inclusive arts and crafts design


Arts and Crafts Abilities is a shortened name for a project which is being implemented by the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), the Loughborough University and the Aston University.
The full name of the project is “Expression of heritage and culture through inclusive arts and crafts design: empowering people with disability to contribute to their community in South Africa”.
Officially launched on 1st November 2017, the objectives of this one year (pilot) project are:
  • ENABLE discussion and dialogue about heritage and culture between local communities and disability support groups in Southern Africa and their UK counterparts;
  • SUPPORT the persons with disabilities within local communities in Southern Africa to voice their needs and aspirations;
  • HIGHLIGHT and raise awareness of cultural identity, heritage and sense of place as an asset and resource for sustainable economic growth; and,
  • DEVELOP a pathway to social inclusion and sustainable economic development, based around inclusive arts and crafts.
The outcomes of this Research Network will provide insights for individuals living with disability and their wider community members highlighting a pathway to sustainable economic development utilising their cultural and heritage as part of an inclusive approach to artefact production.
Expression of heritage and culture through inclusive arts and crafts design: empowering people living with disability to contribute to their community in Southern Africa.
To collaborate on knowledge exchange and gaining more insights into the needs of people with impairment and disability to enable them to contribute to their community through the production of art and craft artefacts.
This first network phase is about building connections between those involved in inclusive crafts development within SAFOD and their counterparts in the UK in relation to best practice for inclusive crafts.
The Global Disability Innovation Hub will assist in the dissemination of knowledge about the culture and heritage of communities in Southern Africa (SA) and begin a dialogue with disability groups and crafts people in the UK and SA about pathways to enable inclusive crafts to flourish in SA communities.
Furthermore, the aim of this project is to raise awareness within the communities of Southern Africa of the value of their cultural heritage and provide insights into how these may be expressed through inclusive crafts, leading to sustainable economic development.
Tourism supports one in every 12 jobs in South Africa. It has been recognised that diversification is required in the tourist industry. The rich and varied culture of the Southern African region has been identified as a social resource that is both sustainable and brings a different experience to the tourists visiting the Region. Researchers, commentators and Government offices from Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa have all expressed similar aspirations for the development of cultural and heritage tourism.
However, many countries in Southern Africa are still supported by overseas economic aid to offset need in the poorest communities. Within these poorest of communities, those living with a physical or cognitive impairment are often the most vulnerable.
The will lay the foundations of a bridge between communities and people with disability within those communities; and, enable dialogue and exchange of knowledge, through culture and heritage, expressed as artefacts. Initially, this exchange will be between five Countries in Southern Africa and the UK.
For more detailed information about the project, including new updates and events related to the project, please access the official project website here