As part of the National Commission for Persons with Disability’s (NCPD) tour across the regions to support Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs); NCPD’s Chairman James T. Cullen has presented cheques amounting to Twenty Three Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones (23,250,000) to three disabled persons organizations (Vision for the Blind, Polio Persons Development Association (POPDA) and Disability Initiative for Dignity and Development Association (DIDDA) On Friday 25th, October 2019 at POPDA compound in Makeni.
Presenting the Cheques to the DOPs, James T. Cullen said this is part of the Commission’s commitments to help persons with disabilities (PWDs) across the country in consonance with the Government’s New Direction agenda or PWDs.
The Chairman said he has been fighting for disables to kick against sympathy and work to achieve enviable status in society, adding to that the support will help to capacitate PWDs.
He said the government of President Maada Bio is working hard to ensure that the lives of disables are changed more especially women with disabilities.
He further stated that the Commission is thinking of introducing a program to help women with disabilities as they suffer from double discrimination “we want to procure power scooters to help the physically challenged women to move around freely and independently”, he opined.
He said the Commission’s Northern Regional office will be furnished in the shortest possible time to enable the Coordinator to work effectively and efficiently.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the monies wisely for the intended purpose.
He concluded by admonishing DPOs to embrace each other which according to him will attract development.
Introducing the team from Freetown NCPD Regional Coordinator Beatrice Koroma said she’s happy for the visit of the Chairman in her region. Madam Koroma stated that the visits clearly indicate the Chairman’s willingness to work in the interest of PWDs.
The Commission’s Executive Secretary Saa Kortequee said they are thrilled and pleased with the welcome accorded to them in Makeni.
He said the Commission is constrained with funds and man power which create difficulties for NCPD to implement its activities.
The Commission’s scribe revealed that the supports were given based on merit with recommendations for the Regional Coordinator.
He said the Commission is giving Le 8,000,000 to Vision for the Blind for livelihood program, Le 7,250,000 to POPDA and they have sent a Business Plan for skills training but the Commission is funding the carpentry aspects of the plan and Le 8,000,000 to DIDDA to undertake weaving project for women.
Saa Kortequee encouraged the DPOs to design projects that seek to cater for women with disabilities.
He said even though there are challenges but he’s hopeful that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
NCPD’s Programs Manager Tamba Mundeh said he was happy with the level of unity displayed by the DPOs in the North.
He said the Commission’s Chairman is working tooth and nail to ensure that the president’s Vision for persons with disabilities is actualized, adding” this is beginning of new beginnings for Persons with disabilities under the new direction”.
Monitoring and Evaluation Manager Patrick U. Koroma pleaded with the beneficiaries to use the monies judiciously.
He said his wish is for the program to benefit PWDs in the region.
Receiving the Cheque on behalf of Vision for the Blind Dadimus Thaimu Bangura said he’s pleased with the activities of the Commission and urged the leadership to do more in ensuring that lives of PWDs are changed permanently.
He said the Chairman and his team are exhibiting great willingness to work for PWDs, stressing that it is worth emulating.
Chairlady of POPDA Mariama Jalloh thanked the Chairman and his team for seeking the interest of the disabled adding that the monies will be used for its intended purpose.
Receiving the Cheque on behalf of DIDDA John Serry said the intervention of the Commission is timely and the weaving project seeks to improve the standard of women with disabilities in tonkolili.