Disabled actors to challenge perceptions in Lesotho

Media caption, 'We want to give disabled people in Lesotho more chances'

Actors with Down's syndrome are travelling to southern Africa to help encourage more opportunities for people with disabilities.

The four performers will leave their training base in Cardiff on Saturday and fly to Lesotho for two weeks.

Organisers will work with communities in the country of two million people, encircled by South Africa.

They said that disability was often viewed as a curse, with babies abandoned at orphanages.

The actors will perform with young people from a college in Maseru, western Lesotho.

"We want to work with the local rural communities in Lesotho to help them recognise the value of giving aspiration to people with disabilities," said Jon Dafydd-Kidd, of the Hijinx Theatre.

It trains actors with learning disabilities to perform at professional level.

Image source, Hijinx
Image caption, Children with disabilities are too often excluded in Lesotho, say organisers

The production in Lesotho will also involve young people from an orphanage in Phelisanong, in the north of the country.

It will be partly-funded by the Welsh Government's Wales for Africa programme Hub Cymru Africa.

Grants manager Hannah Sheppard said: "People with disability are often the most excluded and discriminated against in any society, and I hope that this project can begin to change the way that people see disability and how learning disabled young people view themselves and their own capabilities."

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