In a heartwarming gesture of support, the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) presented 48,000 Leones to three disabled organizations on Wednesday, 18 October 2023, in Freetown. The donation aims to enhance the well-being and empower individuals with disabilities in Sierra Leone and is part of the Commission’s direct support portfolio to Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs).
The Sierra Leone Deaf Association, located in Mountain Cut, received 8,000 Leones to celebrate International Awareness Week for the Deaf; this support will enable the association to raise awareness and promote the rights of the deaf community.
Polio Women and Girls Development Association in Kissy were granted 20,000 (twenty thousand Leones) to bolster their training centre. The donation will provide valuable resources and support to enhance the skills and opportunities available to polio-affected women and girls
Polio Challenged Association in Grafton received financial aid 20,000 (twenty thousand Leones) to strengthen their blacksmithy centre; this investment will help them improve their craftsmanship and contribute to their livelihood.
During the presentation at each respective centre, NCPD Executive Secretary Saa Kortequee emphasized that the donation was made possible by the government’s commitment to the welfare of persons with disabilities. Kortequee urged the speech and hearing-impaired community to utilize the funds to advance awareness during the celebration. He said the Commission will continue to support DPOs across the country to ensure that the dream of the President is actualized to see that persons with disabilities are not in the streets of major cities begging.
He maintained that the Minister of Social Welfare, Mrs Melrose Kaminty, is committed to working with the Commission in promoting the disability sector and its issues.
Chairman of the Commission, James T Cullen, expressed the Commission’s dedication to empowering people with disabilities, especially disabled women who are the most vulnerable and ensuring their meaningful contributions to society. He called upon the beneficiaries to use the funds wisely, emphasizing the government’s commitment to disability issues and encouraging collaboration to promote disability rights.
The Chairman said supporting these organizations means that the NCPD and the government hope to create a more inclusive society where the talents and abilities of every individual are recognized and valued.
He said the material produced at the blacksmith centre shows that PWDs have skills that the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, can tap into in actualizing the President’ Feed Salon Agenda’ He added that “agricultural implements can be procured from a disabled organization like these throughout the country” he concluded.
Eva Kargbo, President of the Kissy Polio Women and Girls Development Association, expressed gratitude to the Commission and pledged to utilize the funds for their intended purpose. She requested the Commission’s assistance in developing a market avenue to sell their products, further enhancing their economic independence.
Chairman of the Polio Challenged Association, Ibrahim Isaac Kamara, expressed appreciation for the Commission’s transformative work in the lives of persons with disabilities. He assured the proper utilization of the funds for their intended purpose.
Alhaji Mohamed Raman, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Deaf Association, commended the Commission’s ongoing support for disabled organizations. Raman called on the government to provide further financial and technical assistance to the Commission, recognizing its vital role in uplifting disabled communities.
This significant contribution from the NCPD not only aims to improve the lives of persons with disabilities but also emphasizes the government’s commitment to addressing disability issues. It encourages all to work together in promoting inclusivity and empowering disabled individuals to contribute to nation-building.