National Commission on Disabilities Launches Empowerment Project for Disabled Community
Congo Town – The National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) over the weekend launched an initial US$250,000 empowerment project for people living with disabilities.
Report by Jaheim T. Tumu
The empowerment project is a US$500, 000.00 government initiative that is aimed at improving and sustaining the livelihood of persons living with disabilities across Montserrado County.
Its main focus is intended to ensure that persons living with disabilities who are often seen on the streets in search of daily bread are economically empowered and are able to take care of their daily needs without going out on the streets to be given handouts.
Giving the overview, Rev. Fallah Boima said, it takes the institution’s significant advocacy for government to make the money available for the implementation of the project.
According to Rev. Boima, the engagement was also marked by protests at the Legislature to increase budgetary allocation for the NCD.
Launching the project, the head of (NCD), Amb. Daintowon Domah Pay-Bayee, said persons living with disabilities should be joyful as the government made funds available to get them off the streets.
Amb. Pay-Bayee said that she is aware that persons with disabilities are getting impatient due to the condition the rainy season brings and noted that there is a serious consideration for target beneficiaries will urgent needs, especially university students, and people with health needs.
Amb Pay-Bayee, however, noted that the objective of the NCD is to improve the economic independence of people living with disabilities.
According to Madam Pay-Bayee, there are other institutions with employment programs for people living with disabilities but it hardly yearns for results as they end up back on the streets begging.
Said Amb. Pay-Bayee, “We are looking at it from the perspective of persons with disabilities.” This is the passion that we sat with at the commission, and said, we cannot be in office then our colleagues be in the street. We are not happy, I am standing here today with prestige as your Commissioner, I am not better than those who are in the streets.”
Adding, “We want to tell you after today we are going to kick it up rolling. So we said to yourselves, if the person said they want to sell dry goods, what we will do is, we will go the store, you tell us the numbers of bags of rice you want then we get it for you. You know we are plenty so we will not do all for one person.”
Making a brief remark, Madam Rose Teah, the head of the Women with disabilities, acknowledged President George Weah for the initiative to get people living with disabilities on the streets.
“This program we believe whatsoever resources put into it will come to practice, she said.
Also making a remark, the head of persons with disabilities in rural Liberia, Sekou Neah, said that he’s glad for such a project that has never happened within the disabled community.
Mr. Neah praised Madam Pay-Bayee for ensuring that the disabled community received such support.
“We there disabled people in Monrovia and out of Monrovia, there are many constraints but for this gesture Madam Pay-Bayee, you have done something that has never taken place before in this institution.”