ENCISS and Handicap International on Wednesday 7th July, 2010 brought together over 60 participants in the Bonthe District for a one day dialogue session at the Community Centre in Mattru Jong to popularize and sensitize the people on persons with disabilities.
Giving an overview of the session the Social Inclusion Coordinator for ENCISS Madam Kadie B. Jackson said since the release of the convention only few people know it. According to her it is the basic rights of persons with disabilities to know about the convention as it is for them.
She said the sensitization will serve as a guide to strengthen persons with disabilities in decision making so that their voices could be heard.
Delivering a statement the District Manager for ENCISS Bonthe, Mr. Abu Bakarr Turay disclosed that ENCISS as an organization have operated in Bonthe District for 3 years noting that ENCISS have completed the first phase of its project implementation and that the second phase is also getting to an end.
Mr. Turay also revealed that ENCISS will soon be extended to other operational areas countrywide with the responsibility of linking the people with the state officials hence improving their lives. “People with disability despite their disabilities, are equally important in nation building” Mr. Turay maintained.
MR Patrick Amara of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) underscored the issue of disability explaining that his Ministry’s dream is to stop the culture of marginalizing persons with disabilities thereby involving them in decision making. Presentation on the convention on the people with disabilities was done by Mr. Sahr Foday Ngongou of Handicap International reiterating that persons with disabilities should not be marginalized because of their physical inabilities but should be encouraged and be treated equally. Explaining the purpose of the C R P D. Mr. Ngongou maintained that the convention on the rights with persons with disabilities is to “promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all Human Rights and fundamental freedom by all persons with disability and promote respect for their inherent dignity”.
Mr. Ngongou who facilitated the session said “disability is not a sickness but a condition wherein some parts of the body cannot be fully functional which are sometimes caused by accidents or sickness like Polio, Measles as well as wars.
According to Mr. Ngongou, the convention is divided into five (5) parts with Fifty (50) articles. Among the articles discussed in the sessions were article I, II, III IV and VIII which talk about the purpose general principles, general obligation, equality and non discrimination and awareness raising respectively.
The dialogue session resolved in making of action points that will charge the different disable groups with the responsibility of popularizing the convention through sensitization using the two Local Radio Stations; Radio Voice of Women in Mattru Jong, and Radio Bontico in Bonthe Town, organize dialogue session around the period of international day (3rd December), to include stakeholders as well as opinion leaders in such forum next time amongst others.
Similar meetings have already been conducted in all ENCISS operational areas like the Western Area, Grafton, Kabala and Makeni.