Five districts and Municipal Assemblies in the Volta Region have expressed interest in integrating issues of disability and implementing measures to encourage active participation of persons with disabilities in decision-making and community development processes.
They include; the Akatsi North, Central Tongu and Nkwanta North District Assemblies as well as Krachi East and Nkwanta South Municipal Assemblies.
Mr Francis Asong, the Executive Director of VOICE GHANA in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said VOICE GHANA had supported 15 disability Self-help Groups in these districts to select a total of 30 influential community members as their respective Inclusion Ambassadors.
It said the Inclusion Ambassadors were working voluntarily as liaisons to communicate issues concerning persons with disabilities at the grassroots to their respective District Assemblies for redress.
It said they were also supporting persons with disabilities to demand their rights and fight for social inclusion.
“This initiative is being facilitated by STAR-Ghana with funding from UKaid, DANIDA and EUROPEAN UNION,” Mr Asong said.
He was full of praise to the five beneficiary District Assemblies for the interest shown in the project, and their readiness to support the Inclusion Ambassadors in ensuring that issues affecting persons with disabilities were given the necessary attention at their various Assemblies.
“For the first time in the history of Ashiabre and Katanga, a community elder and a traditional ruler, Elder Tinor Simon and Nana Kwaku Denteh – Akwamuhene had respectively opted to voluntarily become the Inclusion Ambassadors for their PWDs community members”, said Mr Charles Nyante, the Programmes Manager of VOICE GHANA.
The statement said Mr Patrick Kwame Ahiabu, the Presiding Member of the Akatsi North District Assembly was also supporting persons with disabilities at Ave-Dapka, voluntarily, as their Inclusion Ambassador.
“We see this positive changes as a shining example and a sustainable intervention, which we are extoling to others to emulate,” said Mr Nyante.
He further noted that the project was also facilitating the process for the formation of Disability Caucus in the five target districts, to act as social groups to promote the interest of persons with disabilities at assembly meetings and local policy decision making processes.
The statement said Mr John Nanka, the Chairman of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations in Nkwanta North District scored the Nkwanta North District Assembly 80 per cent.
He explained the Assembly had now identified the need to make public facilities accessible to persons with disabilities, and had also incorporated development priorities collated from persons with disabilities into the Assembly’s Medium Term Development Plan for 2018-2021.
The Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) Volta Regional Council is the key partner of the project.