By Fru Rita Ngum
Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) program has implored leaders of Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) from 7 Divisions of the North West Region to be advocates of the rights of people with disability. SEEPD program Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac speaking at the close of a 4 day workshop organized by the SEEPD program on Advocacy and Child Safeguarding at the Baptist Center Nkwen, Bamenda, encouraged the leaders to be committed in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.
Mr. Awa emphasized that the SEEPD program empowers organizations and other stakeholders to take lead in them. He called on the participants to create a network in their respective divisions to facilitate advocacy.
The workshop came against the backdrop of a study conducted by Center for Inclusion Studies (CIS) on the capacity of persons with
disability to carry out effective advocacy. The study identifies the gaps of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in carrying out advocacy that can effect change in their communities. It is worth noting that, the objective of the workshop which started on February 19, 2018, was to train the DPOs leaders on advocacy strategies so that they will in turn train their association members back in their divisions.
The two facilitators; Director for Inclusive Studies, Mr. Wango Julius and the SEEPD Project Community Officer, Asheri Ngah drilled
participants on the rights of persons with disabilities and how best they can approach stakeholders and policy makers to incorporate them in the development processes. SEEPD Program Child Protection Officer Nsono Josephine on her part schooled the participants on child protection and child safeguarding. She outlined the different forms of abuses that children and especially those with disability face in communities. Skills acquired by participants from the workshop, developed action plans on different areas such as churches, delegations and schools to target in order to advocate for the education of children with disability as well as social inclusion efforts such as the construction of ramps to enable accessibility amongst others. The DPO leaders appreciated the SEEPD program for building their capacity on what they consider to be very important. They all promised to be child protection ambassadors and advocates on the rights of people with disabilities.