Persons With Disability (PWD) are calling for support in the creation of jobs and funding to assist in running of businesses.
“The skills we are acquiring here are very good, but unfortunately, we don’t have all the tools we need. We sometimes work in turns because there aren’t enough tools to work with,’’ Nicholas Asare, a-40-year-old PWD student of the Accra Rehabilitation Centre told JoyBusiness.
Beauty, a-23-year-old, who has been at the Centre for two years shared her aspirations, “Before I lost my sight, I had dreams of being a lawyer. I have not lost hope. I still want to be a lawyer. I’m here at the Rehabilitation Centre to acquire some skills as I wait for funds to further my education to the tertiary level,” she said.
They say finding a job in Ghana is very difficult but have not given up yet. They want the government to do more to address issues with Persons With Disability by creating job opportunities specifically for them.
The Accra Rehabilitation Centre, a government entity meant to advocate and cater for the needs of Persons With Disability, is calling for assistance in the running of its operations and the creation of jobs for its students.
Although government supports the centre occasionally, they lament it is insufficient.
Director at the centre, Churchill Darlington, calls for more support for the students.
“Support has been inadequate, but I know it can be better. We wish we could get more. We manage with funds government give us. As the numbers increase, we hope that the support will also increase,’’ he said.
The centre currently has about sixty children. It runs vocational courses in carpentry, beading, weaving and shoemaking. Students are fed and provided with the necessary materials for vocational training, all at no charge.
Learning sessions are usually tedious for these students as their classrooms are poorly aerated with no ceiling or standing fans.
The government recently released GHc28 million, representing arrears for the last quarter of 2016, the first, second and third quarter of 2017.
The District Assemblies Common Fund, DACF is basically a Development Fund designed to ensure a more equitable distribution of national resources for development in every part of the country.
Mr Darlington said that although the government has released the fund, he has little hope that the centre will benefit from it.
“Those funds are usually accessed by other disabled organisations, who use them as start-up capital. We recently wrote a letter to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to seek support for the rehabilitation centre. This facility is within its jurisdiction and therefore its responsibility,’’ he explained
The issue of unemployment among persons with disability is a growing menace which has pushed some private organisation to join the force to help fight the menace.
However, the story is the same for Non-Governmental Organizations.
Alex Tetteh is the founder of the Centre for Employment for Persons With Disability, a centre created to advocate the employment needs of PWD and equip them with basic vocational skills.
The challenge is getting the PWD to join the workforce.
Alex Tetteh laments that in as much as the government is not doing enough to support them, the private sector should assist by employing qualified PWD.
“It is sad that the private sector is also not doing much to support us. There are so many organisations out there that can assist by providing job opportunities for PWD. Some of them are trained and qualified, but the mere fact they are challenged in one way or the other prevents them from being employed.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Employment and labour Relations said it is in the process of collating the employment statistics on PWD which would be released soon to assist in the creation of jobs for PWD.
Deputy Minister Bright Wereko Brobbey for the Ministry of Employment and labour Relations assured the initiative by the Ministry of Roads and Highways to allocate the manning of toll booths to PWD is underway.