Dear Al Jazeera English,

My name is Faridah Nabaggala, and I am the founder and director of a NGO in Norway called Abloom. I am an activist for people living with disabilities, social entrepreneur, senior advisor, filmmaker and producer. But I am also a singer and children’s book author. Recently I released my first two children’s songs on Spotify, YouTube and all other streaming services.  Here are the two first singles as YouTube-links.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqQRZpQJgpA and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHZz1fPmARE . These songs are meant to accompany my upcoming book “The adventures of Coronavirus”. I want to help minorities to understand and respect the current pandemic and help them to protect themselves and others from being infected. 

And you can read my first children’s book about the Coronavirus here: https://online.anyflip.com/iszbv/wyef/mobile/index.html 

I am originally from Uganda, where I grew up with a disabled brother. I survived a school massacre as a child and decided as a child that I would be a changeleader – no matter where I would be living as an adult. In 1992 I moved to Norway and immediately got involved in local social development. A few years later I also became a mother to a child with disabilities. And then it became very clear that I was to devote my life to making sure all children and youngsters living with disabilities would be seen, heard and valued in Norway. Therefore I founded my own NGO and film festival to get people involved. 

Abloom is a Norwegian advocacy NGO raising awareness about and creating meaningful and empowering activities for people living with disabilities in Norway – especially children and youngsters. We break harmful taboos that are associated with having a disability in minority communities. You can visit the NGO’s website and read more about us. https://www.abloom.no/the-organization 

I would like to welcome the Al Jazeera English to the 10th Abloom Film Festival (NOV 21 – NOV 27 – 2021). You are especially welcome to cover the festival’s International reception November 23rd in Oslo city. Several countries’  ambassadors to Norway will attend, along with the European Children’s Film Association’s board members, Norwegian politicians and top academics. We promise you a very interesting and uplifting event! This year our festival’s theme is Disabilities – a blessing, not a divine punishment.” 

This theme is a result of a project we have had since 2018,  breaking taboos about disabilities being a divine punishment. So far four Norwegian government ministers have signed our declaration clearly stating that god(s) do(es) not punish people with disabilities. The declaration has been translated and is available in 22 languages. 

We believe the Al Jazeera English, as the world’s leading news organization, could help spread this message around the world. You have fantastic TV, radio and online content that truly show your devotion to shining a light on the world’s most disadvantaged people. And maybe you could combine reporting from other parts of the world with our event in Oslo. No other news organization is better equipped to cover this topic than Al Jazeera English. I would like to personally appear on your international broadcast and speak about Abloom’s mission to combat harmful taboos regarding disabilities. The declaration that disabilities are not divine punishments is my focus now and it would be an honour to discuss this with your hosts/journalists. 

People living with disabilities are still fighting for basic things such as access to education, work, sports and culture in Norway. Being a refugee or asylum seeker living with a disability is even more challenging. Abloom has fought tirelessly the past ten years to get these people out of the shadows. Openness, equality and equal rights must also become a reality for people who today are rejected and neglected. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit disadvantaged people living with disabilities very hard. And the situation has gone from poor to worse. Abloom works tirelessly to help these people with information, social networking and activities that make everything a bit better. 

I hope you would consider coming to Oslo november 21 – 27, and as previously mentioned – you are especially welcome to our International reception November 23rd in Oslo city. Please do not hesitate to call me (+4746341945) or reply to this email address (faridah@abloom.no) to set up an interview or organize your visit. 

Kindest regards

Faridah Nabaggala
Festival found and director
Abloom Film festival 
www.abloom.no