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.
The lack of deliberate programmes and projects for PWDs is considered a factor leading to begging on the street and complete dependency on others, with its attendant social problems.
PWDs are, therefore, appealing to government to put in place policies that would motivate, keep them off the streets and give them hope in life.
Mr. Joseph Odey Mensah, President of More Hope for Disabled Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based at Teshie Tsui Bleo in Accra, is calling on government to urgently introduce a policy that would automatically devote at least twenty percent (20%) of some contracts to PWDs.
Mr. Odey Mensah, a qualified cobbler or shoe maker as it is widely known, mentioned some of the suitable contract categories as sewing of school uniforms, manufacturing of pupils’ shoes, school desks, among others as the ones that would help transform lives for PWDs.
“We have many tailors, shoe makers and others among us, who can perfectly execute government contracts like school uniforms, shoes and many others that we are trained in”.
We want government to reserve some 20% or even more of such contracts to us and we can assure the nation of perfect execution. We are challenging 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,” he challenged government.
He lamented how jobs such as toll collection and less-strenuous works are given to ‘able-bodied’ ones, relegating PWDs to struggling for few remain opportunities.
“We have acquired various vocations with the hope that 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 where 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 appealed.
The Teshie Tsui Bleo-based NGO, Hope for Disabled Foundation has been in existence for some thirteen (13) years now, is made up of persons with varied skills in tailoring, shoe-making, graphic designing, arts and beads-making, among others.
They would be organizing an exhibition in December to showcase some of their handworks 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.