Africa-Press – Gambia. The day is observed annually on 3 December across the globe to promote greater understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to increase awareness on gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
At the event held at the organisation’s center in Kanifing, Yankuba Amadou Fall Sonko, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of OSDIPD said as an organisation they are faced with numerous challenges.
These challenges, he said, are lack of job opportunities, mobility for their members, school fees, among others.
He therefore appealed to government and philanthropists come to their aid.
Mr. Sonko indicated that they understood there was government covid-19 relief package for differently able people, which he said, could not even cater for a quarter of their population in the country.
“If you ask people to stay at home and observe WHO protocol you should be able to provide something for them to sustain themselves”.
He appealed to government to empower persons with disability to minimize street begging as disability does not mean inability.
Landing Bojang, another member also called on government to include them in decision-making that has to do with their welfare.
“You cannot develop policies for us in our absence because they will not represent our aspirations”.
The Gambia,he added, has never ratified any law that supports the cause of persons with disability but was quick to add that now there is a disability bill in parliament waiting to be ratified to recognise their rights.
Mr. Bojang, an employee of the Ministry of Fisheries said the most important asset of human beings is the mind, saying their minds are perfectly working.
Lamin Edward Jatta, vice president of the organisation said anyone could be disabled as one continues to live.
He added that the day should be marked as an avenue to fight for their rights and not just celebrated. “We have been marginalised for years and want government to consider us because we are part of the nation”, he said.
Meanwhile, Trust Bank Gambia Limited donated five sets of desktop computers to the organisation as part of events making the day.
Presenting the desktops, Alex Alasan Gomez, Head of Marketing at Trust Bank commended them for their hard work and contribution to national development.
He expressed the Bank’s willingness to continue working with them.