“We want an inclusive society, especially for persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone,” said the Executive Secretary, Saa Lamin Kortequee, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD).
The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Saa Lamin Kortequee, has on Thursday, 8th September 2022 called for an inclusive society for persons with disabilities in the country.
He made the aforementioned statement at a one-day consultative meeting held by the Ministry of Social Welfare, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for the proposed training of persons with disabilities on advocacy, gender mainstreaming and monitoring of CRPD implementation through accountability frameworks at the Sierra Leone Peace Museum Conference Hall, Jomokenyatta Road, Freetown.
Saa Kortequee urged the participants to take active part in the process of ensuring that vital information is captured and included in the document, considering the fact that the proposed document is geared towards changing the disability landscape in the country.
He revealed that the model which will be agreed upon is going to serve as a road map, signpost and a working document for the implementation phase. It was, therefore, emphasised that all hands must be put on deck to actualize the desired goals
The Commission’s Executive Secretary, in furtherance, admonished participants not to lose sight of the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD), as both documents are geared towards promoting inclusivity for PWDs.
Also, the Director of Social Welfare, Francis Kabia, Ministry of Social Welfare, said the programme is part of the ministry’s untiring obligation to building the capacity of PWDs, with a view of advancing disability inclusion at all levels of national development.
He further stated that the responsibility of developing the training materials rests on our shoulders. In his words, “We are expected to undertake desk reviews or research on the aforementioned themes ahead of the meeting, in order to facilitate the development of topics that would be used to build the capacity of our persons with disabilities,” he concluded.In her keynote address, the Minister of Social Welfare, Mrs. Bendu Dassama-Kamara, said that the training is key in achieving the desired goal, and urged participants to make use of the opportunity her ministry and partners have bestowed on them.
She maintained that gender mainstreaming must be top of the agenda, taking into consideration that disabled women suffer double discrimination.
The minister called on more Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come join the fight in gender mainstreaming and promoting disability issue in the country.
“The more the merrier and it will help to change the narrative of disability in my beloved country,” she emphasised.
She cautioned participants not to build castles in the air. In her words, “It is good to dream big things, but let’s limit ourselves within the Sierra Leonean context,” she concluded.
The consultative meeting concluded with participants developing proposed training guides on advocacy, gender mainstreaming and monitoring of CRPD implementation through accountability frameworks.