By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

The Gambia Organisation of the Visually Impaired (GOVI), had concluded a two-day training workshop on soap making for thirty visually impaired women from all over the country at its head office in Kanifing on 15 December 2015.

The objective of the training, according to GOVI, is to enable participants to acquire skills which they can rely on to earn income for their survival.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, Mr. Mamout Mboom Touray, the Executive Director of GOVI, underscored the importance of the training which is funded by GAMWORKS through their CILIP project. He said soap making is a work that can be done by visually impaired persons. He said GOVI is committed to working to ensure that visually impaired persons are engaged meaningfully to earn income and live decently. This type of support, he added, will help to minimize the rate to street beggars.

The GOVI Executive Director explained some of challenges being faced by their members and key among which are the high rate of unemployment and segregation. He appealed for more support so that they can organise more programs of this nature to reach and capacitise more visually impaired persons throughout the country.

Mr. Touray disclosed that they will be giving the trainees some materials to start their business with and that after three months they will be going to them to monitor their progress.

He concluded by calling on the larger society to change their perception of the disable person and to regard him/her as a normal human being who is only differently able.

The Course Facilitator, Mrs. Awa Jallow, applaueded GOVI for its tremendous contributions toward the welfare of visually impaired people, particularly the women, in the country.

As a former trainee of GOVI’s soap making initiatives, Mrs. Jallow noted the success stories that have been created, adding that she is fully independent now thanks to GOVI.

She challenged the participants take the knowledge gained seriously and to make good use of it.

Mrs. Jallow wished them success in their new business undertakings following the training.

As for Ndela Mboob, a beneficiary who is residing in Tabokoto, she expressed delight, on behalf of her fellow trainees, for having been selected and capacitised to become economically independent.

She thanked GOVI and assured that as visually impaired women, they would ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired will be applied to enable them live dignified and decent lives.

Mr. Musa Mbye, PRO of GOVI, also expressed similar sentiments and urged the participants to make good use of the knowledge gained.