Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe (LCDZ) (formerly known as Leonard Cheshire Homes Zimbabwe) is a non-profit organization registered in Zimbabwe working for and with children and youths with disabilities. LCDZ started operating in Zimbabwe in 1981 as Leonard Cheshire Homes Zimbabwe and is a member of the Leonard Cheshire Disability Global Alliance which operates in 54 countries. Leonard Cheshire services were started in 1948 by a British World War II veteran Group Captain Lord Leonard Cheshire of Woodhall-UK. Realising that the needs of disabled people were not being met he started establishing homes for disabled people in the UK. His idea later on saw the establishment of homes for disabled people across the globe which became known as Cheshire Homes.
In Zimbabwe Leonard Cheshire was started by an Irish Catholic Priest who got the idea from his experience in the UK. At the inception two residential homes, one for adults and the other for children with disabilities were established where they were housed on a temporary basis pending their rehabilitation. Following the global change in approach to disability from institutionalization to a rights based approach, in 2008 LCDZ made a decision to wind up all residential facilities and to apply its resources to non-residential and outreach programmes focusing on children and youths.
LCDZ aims to1) promote Inclusive Education through facilitating enrolment of children and youths with disabilities into mainstream schools, 2) facilitate children and youths with disabilities to access health and rehabilitation services, victim friendly justice system and sexual reproductive health and HIV services, 3) facilitate people with disabilities to earn their own living through skills training and job placements, 4) establish transitory homes for people with disabilities and 5) collaborate and work with any other organisations which share the same objectives.
VISION/GOAL: ‘A society in which every person with a disability can enjoy their rights and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential’.
MISSION: ‘To enable persons with disabilities to improve their quality of life and to campaign for the removal of the barriers which hinder them’.
MANDATE: ‘To facilitate equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities’.
AWARDS: ZERO project award Austria, 2015: Exemplary in the areas of innovation, impact, chances of long-term growth and success, and scalability, Inclusive school systems rolled-out in Zimbabwe is outstanding in providing a practical solution to improve
accessibility for persons with disabilities.