SOME PERSONS with Disability (PWDs) are unhappy with the system in the country that has no proper consideration for them when it comes to the equitable distribution of contracts and employment opportunities.
They complain that the lack of deliberate attempt to have programmes and projects for PWDs is one of the factors that cause them to beg on the streets and seek complete dependency on others, with its attendant social problems.
The PWDs are, therefore, appealing to the government to put in place policies that would motivate, keep them off the streets and give them hope in life.
The President of More Hope for Disabled Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based at Teshie Tsui Bleo in Accra, Mr. Joseph Odey Mensah, is calling on the government to urgently introduce a policy that would automatically devote at least 20% of some contracts to PWDs.
Mr Odey Mensah, a qualified shoe maker, mentioned some of the suitable contract categories as sewing of school uniforms, making of pupils’ shoes and school desks, among other things as areas that would help transform the lives of the PWDs.
“We have many tailors, shoe makers and others among us who can perfectly execute government contracts like school uniforms, shoes and many other areas that we are trained in.
“We want the government to reserve some 20% or even more of such contracts for us and we can assure the nation of perfect execution. We are challenging the government to give it a try and see if we wouldn’t make a mark and change the fortunes of many of our brothers and sisters parading the streets begging,” Mr Mensah stated.
Worry about jobs
He expressed worry that jobs such as toll collection and less-strenuous jobs are given to ‘able-bodied’ persons, making PWDs to struggling for few remain opportunities.
“We have acquired various vocations with the hope that the government would come to our aid by giving us opportunities but unfortunately we are left to struggle for contracts and other openings with those who are better-placed,” he observed, adding that, “If our efforts cannot be complemented by the state, then we are not being treated fairly.”
He reminded President Akufo Addo of his inaugural speech in which he stated that “a state that doesn’t create opportunities for the less-privileged is not worth its status.”
“Our father [President Akufo Addo] must remember his words and do something for us as his legacy. As for the Common Fund, it isn’t enough to really empower us live a more meaningful life,” he said.
The Teshie Tsui Bleo-based NGO has been in existence for some 13 years now, and is made up of persons with varied skills in tailoring, shoe-making, graphic designing, arts and beads-making, among other vocations.
They would be organizing an exhibition in December to showcase some of their handiworks to the public and are appealing for support from well-meaning members of the public.
They are appreciative of the help so far offered by their Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Oko Boye.