Empowering Ghanaians living with disabilities0Comments
By Isaac Tuggun, Coordinator, Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled
I live in Ghana, where everyone is at risk of malaria. With support from Malaria No More UK my organisation, the Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled, is also helping support the campaign to provide free mosquito nets to every home in need before the end of 2012. The Society was established in 1980 to advocate for the inclusion of persons living with disability in mainstream society, and the promotion and protection of their rights.
We are proud to be supporting this important health initiative for Ghana through the provision of chalk for the campaign. The chalk is being used by volunteers to mark the houses where they had distributed the nets to help keep track of the campaign’s progress. It was made by people living with disabilities at our factory in Greater Accra. Through buying the chalk from us, the campaign and Malaria No More UK supporters are also helping to provide employment for our 15 staff, all of whom are living with physical disabilities or hearing impairments.
We hope that by sleeping under the insecticide treated mosquito nets provided by the campaign, Ghanaians will suffer less malaria, remain healthier and be able to work to provide for themselves and their families. We know that thanks to our chalk factory initiative our 15 staff are able to provide a regular source of income for themselves and their families.
People living with disabilities in Ghana, and all over the world, face significant difficulties in employment, not just because of physical challenges but also due to discrimination. In Ghana the problem is compounded by the lack of knowledge about the capacities and capabilities of people living with disabilities; false traditional perception of disability as ill-omen and the limited accessibility of education, skills training and employment for people living with disabilities.
The chalk factory is one of the Society’s initiatives to address training and employment issues. We operate as a business and the factory is growing in clients and success and now gets annual contracts from the Ghana Education Service to produce and supply white chalk for schools throughout the country. We would like to build on successes so far by increasing our production capacity, recruiting and training more people living with disability so that we can supply private schools, organisations, and even neighbouring West African countries. We also want to establish branches of the factory in other locations to empower more Ghanaians living with disabilities.
To meet our ambitions for expansion we will need investment, including new machinery and more production space. With this additional capacity we believe we can grow the factory into a self-sustaining business capable of employing 300 people living with disabilities. If you would like a quote for chalk, or are interested in learning more about our future plans please email me at email@example.com.