The Municipal Head of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development of the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), Ms Christine Osei-Bonsu, has challenged Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) not to see their conditions as limitations to living meaningful and respected lives but rather engage in productive ventures that will enhance their socio-economic status.
Ms Christine gave this advice during a brief ceremony to disburse funds to the PWDs within the Municipality.
The fund, which constituted the 2% allocation of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for PWDs for the first quarter of 2015, is part of the social intervention programme aimed at enhancing the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged persons in society.
26 PWDs were processed and given cheques amounting in total to GH¢15,698.00. The package is meant for educational support, income generating activities, training in employable skills and strengthening of the organization of the PWDs.
It is sad truth that PWDs are often looked down upon and sometimes rejected by families while they themselves do very little to transform their lives.
Addressing this concern, Ms Christine Osei-Bonsu advised the beneficiaries to invest in petty businesses to in order to draw some income in support of government’s efforts towards alleviating their plights.
“The purpose for this support is to bring improvement in your condition of life. The government understands your situation that is why it is supporting you with this package”, Ms. Christine intimated.
She noted that often people claim that they do not see any change in the lives of the beneficiaries and wondered why it should be so. To this effect, she encouraged them to “let it reflect in your living conditions so that people will also appreciate the efforts government is making towards improving your living conditions”.
The Municipal Finance Officer (MFO), Mr Seidu Kollan, on his part told the beneficiaries to put the funds to proper use and invest it to earn something to support what government is giving them.
He dispelled any notion of mismanagement of the funds by the Assembly and advised those who are into businesses to attach receipts of their transactions to their documents to justify their claim and usage of the funds and assist with auditing.
A representative of the National Council on Persons with Disability, Ms Amanorbea Dodoo, explained that though the monies given them were not much, it was intended to cushion and provide capital for them to set up their own small business ventures to enable them take of themselves and their families.
She indicated that auditors would be sent around to check whether or not they were using the money judiciously.
Ms. Amanorbea identified the non-existence of representatives of the Council at the various Assembles as a challenge to the administration of the fund and indicated that efforts were being made to address that situation to enhance accountability and transparency.
She again pleaded with the beneficiaries to allow their fellows to also apply for the funds and not make it their preserve.
The Vice President of the GEMA branch of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU) and Board Member of the local Federation of PWDs, Mr. Boaten-Kodua Akyempong, said his outfit has acquired two plots of land to construct an office complex and training centres to help fellow PWDs in the Municipality.
He noted on personal level that the fund has helped him to improve upon his musical career and invested in mushroom marketing where he produces and sells mushroom tonic drink.
He advised his members to “see the current economic situation of the country and make good use of the money”.
Mr. Boaten-Kodua appealed to the government to try as much as it can to release the fund on time and also pay the arrears due them to help them in their development ventures.
A beneficiary and Executive Member of the local GBU, Eric Kissi, expressed gratitude, on behalf of his members, to the government and the Assembly and appealed to the government to consider building recreational and sport centres for the members to unearth the sporting talents in them for the benefit of the entire nation.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman