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Joint Disability celebration, National Epilepsy weekends

May 30, 2013, 10:45 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

The Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD) recently concluded a week-long celebration of the achievements of the disability community in The Gambia.

The highlights of the celebration included an exhibition of talents to break the stigma and discrimination against persons living with disability. National Epilepsy week was also observed at the same period.

According to Isatou Sanyang, the Chairperson of GFD, they have decided to set aside 20 - 26 May each year to celebrate the achievements made by the disability community in The Gambia, exhibit their talents and break the stigma associated with disability.

She said people with epilepsy are also facing stigma and discrimination with some children dropping out of school and places of employment.

Madam Sanyang further explained that the importance of such a commemoration is to reflect on the difficulties such children and their families experience, and for society to recognise their experiences.

According to Isatou, the stigma associated with such children makes their parents or guardians hide them from the rest of society, which, she said, is unacceptable.

Edrisa Korita, the Project Coordinator for Disability Employment Service underscored the importance of the event, noting that it is the first time in the history of GFD.

The Disability Employment Service Project is an innovative project, funded by Sight Savers UK and the main aim of the project is to bridge the gap between training and employment for skilled persons with disability in The Gambia, he said.

He said they implement this project, focusing on 3 key strategic areas, all of which, he added, are for direct service delivery for person with disability.

“We have set up a disability employment service centre, off Unique Solutions Junction for persons with disabilities and employers to provide them with the necessary support service like registering participants into the project database, linking registered participants to potential employers, and also offering advice on workplace adjustment for employers,” he concluded.