By Ndey Sowe
The Gambia College’s Differently Abled Association, on the 6th of November 2018, commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities, at the Gambia College main hall. The commemoration which was organized in partnership with Kaddy’s Foundation for the Differently Abled Persons, was to bring together persons with disabilities, to discuss challenges and find possible solutions for them. This year’s theme for the commemoration was: ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.’
Speaking at the event, Kebba Suso, president of the association said the plight of persons with disability, should be considered; that for 53 years, their plight has never been considered. He said the association was formed to deal with problems face by persons with disability.
“We are on the way of expanding efforts to embark on community outreach and to sensitize and create the awareness of people on persons with disability,” he said. He urged Government to consider them as part and parcel of society and citizens of the country, and as well encourage society to embrace and make them inclusive in whatever they do.
Hon. Ndey Secka, a nominated member of the National Assembly, said empowerment and inclusiveness is the most important development, as far as persons with disabilities are concerned. She emphasised that in the Gambia, unless the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is domesticated and disability day is enacted as a national day in the country, persons with disabilities will not be satisfied with whatever is done regarding their plight.
We have been commemorating world disability day for decades, and we still organize march passes and holding symposia. But we still live the same situation and condition,” she said.
‘‘We are the only ones coming together, to talk about our problems without any Government intervention,” she asserted. She called for the Disability Act to be enacted just like all other Acts. She urged her colleagues to pursue the enactment of the Act for disabled persons to realise their desired goals. “Disability is a package and you cannot cater for one type of disability and forget the rest,” she said.
Ndey said they do not see themselves in the ‘new Gambia’ that everyone is talking about. “We need inclusion where we will have equal rights to education, health, markets, mosques, and other socio-economic needs,” she emphasized.
Secka concluded by saying that persons with disabilities are talented, and urges her colleagues to continue pushing ahead together with diplomacy, in order to achieve their goals.
Other speakers included the Principal of the Gambia College Aubacarr Jallow and the nominated Councillor representing persons with disabilities at the Brikama Area Council.