Twenty (20) Disabled Persons Organizations across the country have over the weekend benefited Le 198,807,000 (One Hundred and Ninety Eight Million Eight Hundred and Seven Thousand Leones) given by the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) as Covid- 19 Capacity Building program and direct support to people living with disabilities (PWD).
According to NCPD programme Manager Prince T. S. Mondeh, the program is part of the Commission’s 2020 deliverables and it is tailored to build the capacity of PWDs as well as to mitigate some of the challenges persons with disabilities are facing during the Corona virus outbreak in the country. He said the support will further cushion the adverse economic effect of PWDs especially women with disabilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenting Cheques of Le 9,194,000.00 (Nine Million One hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Leones) each to Seven (7) disabled Organizations in Freetown, NCPD Chairman James T. Cullen said the proposal was well scrutinized and that the selection process was done without any favoritism.
He said staff in the Commission are working as a team to ensure that the lives of disables are changed.
Whilst in Makeni, he appealed to DPOs to work hard and refrain from Political patronage, adding that the government of President Maada Bio is willing to work with all and sundry.
He said out of the Seven (7) beneficiaries in the North and Northwest, this is the first time the Commission is supporting an Organization in Falaba District.
He advised beneficiaries in all the Regions to use the monies judiciously and for its intended purpose.
Chairman Cullen however cautioned that if they fail to use the grant for its intended purpose the Commission will be left with no option but ask DPOs to return the monies for onward payments into the consolidated fund.
He pleaded with the grantees to serve as Ambassadors to promote disability issues in the country.
Chairman Cullen urged PWDs in Kenema to fight against sympathy and strive for inclusion as it is the wish of President Bio to see an inclusive society.
Addressing beneficiaries in Kenema NCPD Executive Secretary Saa Kortequee thanked the government and by extension the people of Sierra Leone for providing funds for the operations of NCPD “without funding from the government the Commission will not have provided support to DPOs” he observed.
Saa Kortequee said the Commission plans to do more and ensure that the lives of persons with disabilities are changed for the better if only DPOs are ready to cooperate by using the grant wisely.
He said the government of H.E the President Julius Maada Bio is fully committed to change the narrative for Persons with disabilities and one classic example is the SSN program that is being implemented by NaCSA.
He pleaded with grantees in Bo Southern Sierra Leone to step up and effect the change that the Commission and Government of president Bio want to see in the lives of Persons with disabilities.
The Commission’s scribe encouraged persons with disabilities to move from the charitable approach to that of the right base approach as stated in the 2011 persons with Disability Act.
Saa Kortequee acknowledged the fact that begging is a big social issue and that will only be surmounted if PWDs in the country are ready to think about creative initiative that will attract not only NCPD but potential funders.
He said one (1) DPO each in the Three Districts in the Eastern Region benefited from the program whilst Three (3) DPOs in the Southern Region also benefited, disclosing that 80% of the beneficiaries are women Organizations in that they are the most vulnerable groups.
In their statements, Sierra Leone Union on Disability issues representatives in the Commission’s board congratulated the grantees and pleaded with them to use the fund strictly to their project proposal.
They maintained that the Commission is moving in the right direction and advised the beneficiaries to follow all the procedures in the contract.
Grantees thanked the Commission for the largesse and pleaded with the government to capacitate NCPD to be in place to implement the 2011 persons with Disability Act and transform the lives of PWD.
©️NCPD OUTREACH AND ADVOCACY UNIT