Thursday, August 3, 2023

We need a number of physically challenged MPs in Parliament – Speaker


Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin has said that parliament as an institution is committed to the cause of disability and inclusion in Ghana.

“We need to have a number of physically challenged persons as Members of Parliament, it is one of the benchmarks for assessing parliaments in the world,” he said.

Mr Bagbin made the remark when selected members of the disability movement and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) paid a courtesy call on him.

The Speaker of Parliament said: “we are working on all these things to make our parliament inclusive; we will do our best to inaugurate the disability caucus by the end of the year.”

The GFD is pushing for Parliament to have a formalized disability caucus that will support the disability movement in its advocacy and to help effectively monitor and contribute to the disability discussions on the floor of parliament.

Ms Rita Kyeremaa Kusi, Executive Director of the GFD who led the delegation said there was the need for an enriched and enhanced conversation on disability issues at the parliamentary level.

She called on the Speaker to help facilitate the re-enactment of the disability law to enable persons with disabilities enjoy their rights in Ghana.

Ms Kusi also mentioned that Ghana is yet to ratify the African Disability Protocol (ADP), a protocol that considers African practices and concerns in dealing with disability issues.

She said the process to sign and ratify the ADP started many years ago but there has been challenges and called on the speaker for support in the process.

Interim leaders of the disability caucus of parliament were at the meeting to lend their support.

Dr Emmanuel Marfo, Member of Parliament for Oforikrom Constituency, Mr Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament for Builsa South and Ms Darkoa Newman, Member of Parliament for Okaikwei South, all pledged their unflinching support to the disability movement in Ghana.

They also added their voice to the call for the formalization and inauguration of the disability caucus in parliament to enable them to do more.

The Special Mothers Project was part of the delegation that paid a courtesy call on the speaker

Friday, June 30, 2023

Special Mothers Project donates reusable diapers, sanitary pads to parents and students


The Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation organisation on cerebral palsy issues has distributed reusable diapers to selected members.

The organisation also donated reusable sanitary pads to students of the Madina Demonstration school.

The reusable diapers and sanitary pads were donated from Noah Mapalo help centre, a non-profit voluntary organisation, a UK based organisation that supports deprived families with reusable sanitary products.

The beneficiary families 16 in all, are all parents of children with cerebral palsy whose children depend on diapers every day.

One of the families told the Special Mothers Project that the reusable diapers came at the right time, “I was contemplating on where to get money to buy diapers for the next week, then this came in”

The parents expressed gratitude to the donors for the gesture.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

DATSS engages special needs parents on teacher support services


Disability Awareness Teachers Support Service (DATSS), a non-governmental organisation that provides support to teachers and teachers aid  working with students with disabilities has trained parents of children with cerebral palsy to equip them to handle their children’s education better.

The training focused on the strategies, tactics and tools used to educate children with special educational needs and parents’ preparedness to educate their children.

Dr Comfort Walker, Chief Executive Officer of DATSS, said her organisation aimed at training educated persons to become teachers aid in various schools and even at the household level to support children with cerebral palsy and other disability to be educated.

“We hope to train National Service persons to work as Teacher aids in the various schools to support government’s inclusive education agenda or at home to educate children who need special education,”

Dr Walker who specializes in low incidence disability and has worked as a special education teacher in the United States for 17 years said having teachers aid in schools was a good start, “your child with special needs going to school will not be limited.

Sharing her own experience, she said “I was educated in Ghana, and I struggled a bit in school because the way I learn was not how I was taught.”

Dr Walker urged parents to equip themselves with information and data about their children to enable them to educate them.

The parents, members of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation organisation on cerebral palsy issues,  asked practical questions and shared their lived experiences.


Friday, June 2, 2023

Adenta Municipal Assembly trains caregivers of children with disabilities


The Adenta Municipal Assembly on Friday organised a training session for caregivers of children with disabilities, calling on especially parents to exude positivity about their children.

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, a not-for-profit advocacy organisation and resource person for the training, urged the parents to speak positively and work hard to train their children with disabilities to become useful members of society.

“Let’s join hands to start a positive thread about our children with disabilities, let’s affirm them, let’s encourage them and let’s love them so that society can emulate our positive behaviors.

The training programme brought together about 50 parents of children with diverse forms of disability.

Mrs Awadzi advised the parents to accept their children, love them and show them kindness and also become their number one advocate in society.

“We need to speak up for our children, we need to teach society about the positives, and we have to join hands to advocate for good implementable policies for our children.

She said parents could also come together to support one another, especially with the backing of the Assembly.

Many of the participants and caregivers who shared their experiences expressed concerns about the lack of educational facilities for their children.

Mr Divine Arnold Kodjo Exorgbe, Municipal Head at the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Adenta Municipal, told the parents and caregivers about the services and programs that the Department offers.

“At the Adenta Municipal, we support primary caregivers with education, Trade and investment using the Disability Funds for persons with disabilities at the Assembly.”

Mr Exorgbe urged parents to put in a yearly application for funds for their children’s educational support.

He encouraged the parents to join hands with the Special Mothers Project to start a support group within the municipality where they could support one another and join hands to advocate for favourable policies.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Disability Inclusion is a cross-cutting theme in the activities of the World Bank


Ms Eunice Yaa Brimfah Ackwerh, a Senior Educational Specialist at the World Bank Ghana Office, has said disability inclusion was a cross-cutting theme in the activities of the world Bank.

She said the World Bank as an institution was conscious of disability inclusion and therefore ensure that all their projects and programmes factored disability inclusion.

“We would like to see a time when in all our projects we engage persons with disabilities to guide as in how we include them,” Ms. Ackwerh said when the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) organised a conference to engage with development partners.

Ms. Ackwerh said: “We are making some progress when it comes to disability inclusion, yet there is so much more to be done.

The GFD partners conference brought together NGOs working in the disability sector, corporate organisations and developed partners to dialogue about disability inclusion and how all the organisations can work together to ensure disability inclusive development in Ghana.

Mr Joseph Atsu Homadzi, President of the GFD who courted continuous support from the partners said persons with disabilities suffer some forms of human rights abuse in Ghana.

“What we need is equal opportunities, once we are given the opportunity, we will excel. We have the capacity, we have the potential, and we can excel,” Mr Homadzi said.

Mr Yaw Ofori Debrah, a former President of the GFD said what persons with disability needed is understanding, opportunity and equity, “we do not need charity.”

Mr Moses Fordjour, Monitoring, Evaluation and knowledge Management Manager at the GFD, said government’s slow response to issues of disability results in the waning interest in the activities of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (OPDs)

“A Ghana without OPDs will be disastrously unimaginable,” he said.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Every activity of the GFD will touch the life of a person with disability positively – Mr Homadzi


Mr Joseph Atsu Homadzi, President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Orgnisations (GFD) has tasked member organisations to ensure that every activity they undertake will impact the life of a person with disability positively 

He said: “we want to bring everybody on board and widen the scope of issues. Disability issues should not be just about the traditional disabilities.” 

Mr Homadzi was addressing Executive Directors of member organisations at a meeting. 

The meeting discussed the expectations and responsibilities of member organisations as well as the coordinating role of the GFD towards member organisations. 

Mr Homadzi said there was the need to strengthen member organisations to make the GFD stronger 

Mrs Rita Kyeremaa Kusi, Executive Director of the GFD said the GFD as a body cannot do it alone without the support of member organisations. 

She pledged the GFD’s continuous support for member organisations, saying, “we will continue to provide support.” 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

OAfrica wants support to continue rehabilitative services

 OAfrica, a not for profit, child welfare organisation is calling on philanthropists to support them access therapy for people in their care.

The organisation currently has 10 adults with various disabilities in an assisted living facility who need various therapies and rehabilitation services to keep them going.

Ms Jacinta Attakorah, a social worker with the organisation told the Special Mothers Project that sourcing funding has been very difficult after the COVID -19 pandemic.

She explained that the people in their care were between the ages of 19 and 26 and lived with various kinds of disability including autism, cerebral palsy psychosis and other disabilities.

OAfrica currently employers foster parents who lives with the persons in their care and take them through various daily living skills as well as enrolling them in various vocations to make them productive citizens and enable them to earn an income by themselves.

Ms Attakorah said: “we need physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, special educationists and counsellors to support the work we do.”

OAfrica has established the Foster Family Care (FFC) programme where children abandoned by their families due to poverty or disability are provided with a safe, stable, and loving environment essential to their well-being as steps are taken to find more permanent care.

Ms Attakorah said the children are placed in foster care with a specially trained foster mother who provides for their daily physical needs and, most importantly, offers love and encouragement that is essential for children who have often experienced instability, neglect or even abuse when they arrived.

OAfrica is working hard to ensure that each foster family care placement will provide the essential love and support that these children need to thrive, she added.