Let’s create safe environment, marketing & self-employment opportunities for PWDs- Otiko Djaba at Ability Fair 2021
Former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba has called on Civil Society Groups, philanthropists, policy makers, Ministries, Department and Agencies to immediately create safe environment, marketing and self-employment opportunities for persons with disability to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and potentials.
According to her, there is urgent need to promote and showcase the visibility of the fact that disability is not inability, whilst creating an enabling environment, empowering them economically, ensuring access to quality education, quality healthcare, gainful employment, creative opportunities for persons with disabilities, special needs to optimise their potentials, invent and innovate available resources for the benefits of citizenry and contribute to national economy.
Speaking to African Editors after Ability Fair 2021 on Friday July, 30 in Accra, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation Executive Director Otiko Djaba said “For me, disability doesn’t mean inability. God has blessed them with potentials and we must help them to optimise their talents. That is why we’ve assembled disability-friendly organisations such Fidelity and others to come and witness the display of their talents”
Established years ago, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation seeks to contribute to equal and equitable society that respect the rights and interests of all and sundry irrespective of their gender, creed, social class, religious affiliations, persuasions or ethic origins.
Madam Otiko Djaba noted that the “totality of all of these is my desire that these firms will hit the streets and help persons with disability, special needs and assist them to discover their potentials for the benefits of citizens. In that case, they will have work to do and not be a burden in society. Honestly, just a regular patronage of their goods, products and services will go a long way to support them”.
With many challenges facing persons with disability in Ghana, leaving them helpless in the streets at mercy of donors, alms-givers and benevolence of the passer-by, the Henry Djaba Foundation is determined to whip up the interests of all towards socio-economic transformation of the vulnerable, disabled, needy whilst empowering women and children.
Contributing to the debate, Country Director of UNFPA Mr. Niyi Ojuolape says persons with disability should be given equal access and opportunities to showcase their talents.
According Mr. Ojuolape, the role of persons with disability if they are given an enabling environment, is central and pivotal to economic development a nation.
For Mr. Ojuolape, disability should not be an obstacle to the full development of their potentials.
In a speech read on his behalf by UNFPA Programme Analyst Dela Bright, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape noted that “For us at UNFPA, we believe that disability is not an obstacle to success. It’s in this vein that the organization has over the years, placed distinct needs of PWDs including their sexual and reproductive health needs at the core of work. UNFPA believes that every individual irrespective of their disability status have unique potentials that should be fulfilled”.
The Ability Fair 2021 was characterised by walk through exhibition stalls, health screening, sales, musical performances, cutting of sword, fun and games.
Meanwhile, President of Centre for Employment for Persons with Disability Alexander Kojo Tetteh has expressed confidence that the Ability Fair 2021 is important for persons with disability to showcase their work, products and services.
In an exclusive interview with African Editors, Mr. Kojo Tetteh said “Some are producing household items, drinks, others are musicians and this fair is a market for them”.
According to Mr. Kojo Tetteh, “Unemployment rate is high, and even the able-bodied persons are struggling for survival. This fair is better than those begging on the streets. I’m certain that the fair will be extended to other regions”.
It must be noted that although Ghana has passed the Disability Act that compels the state to ensure public buildings are disability-friendly after ten years, successive governments have been dragging their feet when it comes to total compliance with the law.
In view of this, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation is working to transform and change lives of persons with disability, special needs whilst fixing existing gaps and roadblocks.
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Source : africaneditors.com
Below are exclusive pictures from the Ability Fair 2021:
Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, Executive Director, Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation & former Gender, Children & Social Protection Minister at Ability Fair 2021, Accra-Ghana