US$250,000 empowerment project for people with disabilities
By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in finding and keeping employment, and many are unable to participate fully in society and the economy thus, prompting the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the National Commission on Disability to launch a US$250,000 empowerment project for people living with disabilities in the country.
The chairperson of the National Commission on Disability (NCD) Amb. Daintowon Domah Paybee said the empowerment project is intended to improve the livelihood of members and Liberians living with disabilities generally.
She stressed that the project will also scale up their ventures through access to technical assistance, education and mentorship, something she said, will take several Liberians with disabilities off the streets to sustainable livelihood.
Amb. Pay-bayee said government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting citizens with disabilities, and by this, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has allocated $250,000 to the overall budget of the NCD for empowerment of its members.
Speaking during the project launch on Friday, July 8, 2022, in Congo Town, she urged people living with disabilities not to limit themselves, just begging but to put themselves in the capacity of being productive citizens that can contribute to the group and the nation at large.
She reaffirmed the NDC’s commitment to improving livelihood of persons living with disabilities, explaining that the implementation of policy programs will move the government to improving and empowering persons with disabilities.
She said the empowerment project, which kickstarted in Montserrado County, looks to expand to other counties, something that will help improve the livelihood of the disabled.
For his part, Fallah Boima- Symboanoh, deputy chairperson for administration, applauds government’s efforts to provide additional resources to help people living with disabilities.
He noted that most persons with disabilities in Liberia tend to be unseen, unheard, uncounted and unrepresented and that they faced discrimination and barriers in many spheres and stages of life, adding that in their day-to-day lives, persons with disabilities were often excluded from access to the physical environment, information and social networks.
Symboanoh urged people living with disabilities to make every use of the opportunities giving them to empower themselves and do away with depending on others to help them.
The program brought together over 500 persons living with disabilities, officials from the Ministry of Labor, foreign dignitaries and partners working with people living with disabilities in the country. Editing by Jonathan Browne
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