A concept of designating influential individuals in society to advance the interests of People with Disabilities, (PWDs), has been conceived to raise the levels of PWDs participation in the decision making processes at the local governing areas.
The influential individuals, dubbed “Inclusion Ambassadors” who are knowledgeable about tenets of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, consistently speak for and push issues of PWDs at all governance forums.
Three districts, Akatsi-North, Central-Tongu, Nkwanta North as well as Nkwanta-South and Krachi-East Municipal Areas are pioneering this concept under the Stronger Voice Project, designed by VOICE-Ghana, a Ho-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), and supported by STAR-Ghana, with funding from UKaid, EU and DANIDA.
Planning Officers, Presiding Members, Inclusion Ambassadors, representatives of beneficiary communities and project organizers, at an evaluation meeting in Ho, were unanimous that the project has presented the assemblies with an active segment of society that can no longer be wished away.
Under the project, linkages are developed between PWD self-help groups, and their assemblies for the selection of development-projects that are of priority and also meet the mutual needs of all segments of the communities.
All the projects selected, including water systems, school blocks and a child weighing shed, are within the Medium Term Development Plans of the various local government areas.
The consensus opinion after group discussions, among other things was that PWDs should be trained in local governance processes.
Mr Francis Asong Executive Director of VOICE-Ghana was upbeat about the growing rapport between PWDs and Duty-Bearers at the Assemblies.
He said besides the Inclusion Ambassadors, beneficiary districts and municipalities have set up Disability Caucuses to promote issues concerning PWDs.
By: Sepenyo Dzokoto/voltaonlinegh.com