The Department of Social welfare and community Development has presented cheques to 46 persons with disability in the Bolgatanga Municipality to undertake various income generating activities.
The grant is to help new beneficiaries of the group to start ventures that ranged from petty trading, sale of charcoal, bicycle and motor bike spare parts sales among others.
Prior to the presentation, the first time beneficiaries were taken through business management skills to equip them to manage their businesses well.
Ms Mercy Pwavra, the Municipal Director of Social Welfare, speaking to the beneficiaries, reiterated the Department’s unrelenting role in monitoring beneficiaries to ensure they managed the grant received and said the continuous effort by the screening committee before approval and disbursement was done to ensure beneficiaries put the resources into ventures they had planned for.
Ms Pwavra urged the beneficiaries not to divert the funds and said though it was a grant, if not well managed it could affect the returns of their businesses.
The Social Welfare Officer said the financial requests some PWDs applied for were far above what the Municipal Assembly received for them and urged them to put in requests that will support simple and marketable ventures.
She explained that the varied amounts beneficiaries were given was according to the business plans they presented and therefore urged them to avoid comparisons that could divide the group and rather ensure they used the grant well.
Ms Pwavra wondered why some PWDs took interest in remaining on the streets to beg for alms and reiterated that government provided opportunities for them and called on them to appreciate the effort government was making for them to improve their lives.
She urged those who were still on the streets to refrain from doing so and rather join any of the groups to advance their wellbeing, “Begging is a crime “, She stressed.
The Municipal Director said 130 PWDs applied in 2019 for the grant and 59 members received support to undertake various activities.
She said 26 of them were supported in animal rearing, 15 in weaving of local cloths, nine beneficiaries in petty trading and six in fuel wood business, constituting 38 per cent males and 62 per cent females.
Ms Pwavra said out of the number that received support last year, 27 were physically challenged persons and that constituted 48 per cent, 15 intellectually challenged, constituting 26 per cent and eight visually impaired, 14 per cent.
The others, she said were two hearing impaired persons, two persons with albinism and two with multiple disabilities.
Mr Yussif Fuseini, the Assemblyman for Gumbiisi Zongo, and Convener of the Social Services Committee, who presented the cheques to the beneficiaries on behalf of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) urged the beneficiaries to work with the funds and expand their businesses and also create room for others who had not received the grant to do so.
Ms Joy Apambila, a physically challenged hairdresser and a beneficiary, urged her colleagues to leave the streets and find trade that would improve their lives.
She said she applied for the support in 2017 to enable her get a shop to relocate her work from under a tree, where she had worked over the years and added that for the first time she got support to help her achieve her dream.