Mr Kofi Adade Debrah, Eastern Regional Program Unit Manager, Plan Ghana, has called on Ghanaians to change their perception about people with disability and to consider them as part of society.
“Let us eliminate social discrimination against them, first in our minds and then take action to enhance their accessibility to social benefits.”
Mr Debrah was speaking at a durbar at Asesewa in the Upper Manya Krobo District, to mark this year’s celebration of the African Union Day of the African Child, on Saturday.
The day was declared in solidarity with children of Soweto, South Africa, who were gunned down by the apartheid Government in 1976, when they embarked on a peaceful march advocating for their rights and indicating their displeasure about discrimination and apartheid.
This year’s celebration is on the theme: “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill.”
Mr Debrah appealed to the Government to institute affirmative action on the welfare of children with disability.
He also advocated the provision of minimum quota in the enrolment of children with disabilities into second cycle schools, and the modification of public structures to enable them to have access to them.
Mr Debrah appealed to parents of disabled children not to hide them in the homes, but to encourage them to be part of society.
Mr Joseph Tetteh Angmor, District Chief Executive for Upper Manya Krobo, noted that the African child does not have an easy and lofty life.
He said it was significant for a day to be dedicated to them so that their plight and development could be evaluated and improved upon.
Mr Angmor said: “Children with disability have equal rights as all other children, and we must accord them those rights.”
“We need to love, encourage and respect them since they have equal capability of doing anything that any other child can do.”
He said there was the need to protect and offer a hand of friendship to children with disability and accommodate them.
Mr Angmor reminded children with disability that “disability is not incapability” and asked them to work hard and attain excellence in all their activities.
He said Government was committed to ensuring that people with disability were not discriminated against.
“Government is keen to see to it that monies meant for people with disability, logged in the District Assemblies Common Fund are duly made available to them.”
Mr Angmor cited that in the Upper Manya Krobo District, GHC 76,441 . 07 was paid from their share of the Common Fund for four quarters into the bank account of persons with disability to enable them to undertake various income generating activities. GNA