By Rohey Jadama The Director of Star Now organization Mr. Alieu Jaiteh has said that more than 15 visually impaired Beneficiaries were trained on ICT and now they can contribute their quota in all sectors of development.Mr. Jaiteh made this remark at the one year celebration of the computer training center for the visually impaired at a ceremony held at the  Brikama Area Council on 28th of March 2015. Mr. Jaiteh said his organization is committed to train and assist legally blind adults and youths seeking for higher learning and job placement through providing Computer literacy to them. Mr. Jaiteh, also used the platform to lament their constraints which among others are lack of enough trainers to support at the training centre. There are limited equipment and materials such as computers, furniture, white canes, braillers, braille papers, office stationery; internet connection is also lacking. He thanked the US Embassy, Concern Universal, Gambia Federation of the Disabled and the Brikama Area Council for the support rendered to his association. Lamin Jawla deputizing for the Governor of West Coast Region Aminata Siffai Hydara, stressed the need to wipe out prejudices against differently abled people, adding that this must begin with the strong conviction that these people have a role to play in the society and that they should not be treated as children with unwanted sorrow heaped on them. “There is no place in our society for prejudices, yet people with disabilities are often not given equal rights and equal opportunities. They are looked upon with a feeling of sorrow, and their condition is seen as a suffering and a misfortune”, said Governor Hydara. Madam Hydara added that the disabled need empowerment to equally participate in all sectors of life without limitation. She noted that that as a nation we should raise awareness as the disabled people in our society need empathy not sympathy. For his part Ismaila Jarju the Program Officer of  Concern Universal (CU) launching the new website of Start Now organization said the US Embassy, Banjul has recently awarded CU to implement an ICT project call ‘Better Tech for Civil society organisations and Micro, small and Medium enterprises. Mr. Jarju added that the Civil society organisations and Micro, small and Medium enterprises have a great role to play in reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs in the country. He said ICT can play a great role in improving the effectiveness of their work and mission and also enable them to create awareness and visibility of their work.]]>

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