The Program Manager of the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability SEEPD Program has implored Leaders of Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) from 7 Divisions of the North West Region to be advocates of the right of people with disability Mr Awa Jacques Chirac was speaking at the closed of a 4 day workshop organized by the SEEPD Program on Advocacy and child Safeguarding at the Baptist Center Nkwen Bamenda .
The workshop came against the backdrop of a study conducted by Center for Inclusion Studies (CIS) on the capacity of persons with disability to carry out effective advocacy. The study identified the gaps of persons with disability in carrying out advocacy that can effect change their community.
The objective of the workshop which started on February 19 2018 was to train the DPOs leaders on advocacy strategy so that they will in turn train their association members back in their Divisions.
During the workshop, the two facilitators Director for Inclusive Studies Mr Wango Juluis and the SEEPD Project Community Officer Asheri Ngah drilled participants on the rights of persons with disabilities and how best they can approach stakeholders and police markers to incorporate them in the development process .
On her part, the SEEPD Program Child Protection Officer Nsono Josephine schooled the participants on child protection and child Safe during which she outlined the different forms of abuses that children and especially children with disability face in the community. She noted that the role of the DOPs in preventing child abuse by reporting to appropriate quarters cannot be over emphasized.
With the skills acquired from the workshop, participants developed actions plans on the different areas like churches, delegations, and schools that they will target in order to advocate for the education of children with disability social inclusion such as the construction of ramps to enable accessibility amongst others.
Sharing their take homes messages, the DPOs Leaders appreciated the SEEPD Program for building their capacity on what they consider to be very important. They all promised to be child protection ambassadors and advocates on the rights of people with disabilities
Speaking to the participants, Mr Awa emphasised that SEEPD Program do not have the responsibility of protecting children but they empower organizations and other stakeholders to take lead in protecting children. He called on the participants to create a network in their Division to facilitate advocacy
Given that the persons with disabilities wear the shoes and knows exactly where it pinches, the initiative of the SEEPD Program to train them to be able to speak for themselves have been seen as a mile stone for the persons with disabilities