YOCEL, Hosts Training Among CSOs on The Legal Instruments That Protect The Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Monrovia – In continuation of the Partnership Against Inequalities and Discrimination PAID Project implementation,  YOCEL rolled out capacity building trainings in two out of three counties, (Margibi and Montserrado) to understand the attitude of communities towards children with special needs and document their experiences, through that the training will strengthen the capacity of local organizations and key stakeholders to have basis knowledge on key legal instruments and policies that protect and empower youth and children with special needs and enhance the knowledge of local organizations to create diversity and allow persons with disabilities to be integrate as part of the  advocacy in changing the attitude and perception of communities dwellers.

The trainings were held on February 12, 2019 and Feb 14, 2019 respectively, with over 75 participants from more than 15 organizations both in Kakata and Montserrado which includes the Civil Society Movement, United Youth for Peace, Education Transparency and Development in Liberia (UYPETDL), National Commission on Disabilities NAYMOTE-Liberia, Inclusive Development Initiative IDI, UFDON, Paramount Young Women Initiative PAYOWE, Pan Africa Volunteers Network, Liberia National Children’s Forum amongst, others.

During the training Mr. Buitendyke Greene one of the lead facilitator and the County Coordinator for the National Commission on Persons with Disabilities, in Kakata, begin his presentation by expressing his gratitude on behalf of his boss to the organizers for seeing the need to make some intervention through advocacy for persons with disabilities, he said though the commission is challenge in staff capacity building and inadequate funding their heart is full of happiness and joy to see a local NGO wanting to elevate their conversation which is a good and laudable venture. 

The facilitator reminded participants that in order for them to end discrimination against people with disabilities, the citizenry must change their attitude and perception toward persons with disabilities; they should stop seeing and stereotyping persons with disabilities and considered them as beggars, insignificant and worthless to incorporate them into the society as they too have valuable contributions to make in spite of their disabilities.  Mr. Greene a facilitator attending the training used himself as a case study on quote “when I was born as a child I contracted polio still in an embryonic aged which led to him being disable few month after his birth his mother died and because of the condition his father abandoned him and left him with his poor Grandmother saying that this child Greene was a waste of time and he was not willing to spent a cent on a cripple person, he also mentioned that the child was a result of a witchcraft that beheaded his late wife. Narrating the story Mr. Greene who is now a grow up man and an instructor at the Booker Washington Institute BWI was seeing crying in the midst of the participants.   After all of these distressed, neglect and discrimination his grandmother broke the stomp and fought hard to ensured that her grandson acquired education and given a peace of happiness, in closing he said his narration those not in any means for people to feels for him or have empathy with him. But it is important to share some of his live changing experience.   

Also speaking during the training Jutomue Doetein Jr, Speaking of the Liberian National Children’s Representative forum extolled the organizer for the training and Said it was a privilege and an eye opener for the children’s forum to form to strengthen their capacity on identify issues and key advocacy engagement opportunity, he indicated that the training also provided him the opportunity to understand the legal instruments and policies that protect children and youth with special needs which will enable the children forum to adequately join advocacy from an informed perspective through evidence base advocacy. 

The participants applauded YOCEL and its partner the Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA for providing the support.  

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