- Lead Story, SheAbility

The Blind Ghanaian Woman At The UN Championing Rights Of Persons With Disabilities

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame | Photo Credit: Sightsavers

At age 10, young Grace Oforiwa Fefoame started experiencing challenges with her sight that sent her to various hospitals for help.

She was informed her sight had detoriorated after wearing eye glasses for about 3 years.

She completed her A level by age 17 amidst difficulties and was later enrolled in the school for the blind.

With her new status, one would have thought people would understand her situation and offer her all the assistance she needed but it was quite the opposite.

Words of pittines and discouragement became her bane till she met a friend Grace, who turned her life around.

Her friend Grace who had also been blind since childhood but had managed to become a trained teacher became a mentor and a friend who altered her perception about her situation.

`Since the day we met, our many conversations showed me there was life after blindness. Her words gave me courage to carry on at the School for the Blind, ‘ Gertrude said of her friend Grace in an article on Sightsavers.org.

Today, her work in empowering women with disabilities and fight for inclusion has earned her a place at the United Nations Expert Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and is also the Global Advocacy Advisor at Sightsavers, Ghana since 2006.

The 60 year old is also Vice Chair, Africa International Council For Education of People With Visual Impairment, Member of the Board of Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), and a Member of the Board of the National Council of Persons with Disability

She studied to become a special education teacher and also hold an executive master’s degree in governance and leadership.

In 2007, she earned the title of the first person with a disability to receive Excellence Grand Medal Award by Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

Sources

Epicenabled

Sightsavers.org

Modern Ghana

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