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Federation of Disabled Organisations Mark World Disability Day

Dec 11, 2008, 5:41 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The Gambia Federation of Disabled organisations recently marked World Disability Day at the KMC headquarters. Speaking at the occasion, the lord mayor of KMC, Yankuba Colley, said disability does not mean inability and that many disabled people are playing a central role in global development. He added that many are involved in professions in The Gambia that are vital to our national development and urged all people not to discriminate against disabled people.

Speaking on behalf of the VSO country director, Ndela Faye said the observance of this day on the 3rd of December each year was initiated by the United Nations in 1982 to promote understanding of issues around disability. Mrs. Faye said that dignity and justice are the foundations for all human rights and must be established as a universal principal. She said that this year's celebration is very special because it marks the entry into force of the convention of the rights of people with disabilities.

She said, "we at VSO believe that the empowerment of people with disabilities is fundamental to their participation in the development process. Many efforts are being made to build the capacities of people with disabilities and also the organisations who work closely with them so that those organisations can deliver improved services."

Mrs. Faye extended special thanks and praise to The Gambia Federation of Disabled people and its members -the various disabled peoples organisations - for their hard work which helped make the day such a success.

The permanent secretary at the Department of State for Education, Mr. Abdou Boye also delivered a speech at the occasion. He said the observance of the day provides and opportunity and a platform to discuss issues of import to people with disabilities in The Gambia. He said that people should start from home where people with disabilities should be encouraged and motivated to do things for themselves. He said this support and encouragement should then be extended by the entire community.

He stated that education has a fundamental role to play in equity and the attainment of dignity and justice for all. He finally said that for disabled people to take their rightful place among the other members of our society they must be given the opportunity to access quality training and education.