Jakiri council to document disability mainstreaming in it development plan: Outcome of Jakiri/SEEPD Program partnership
Counselors of the Jakiri council have taken the commitment to mainstream disability in the revision of their council development plan due to take place this year. They took the commitment at the end of a one day workshop organized by the council in collaboration with the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program recently at the Jakiri council hall.
According to the Mayor of Jakiri council and the council Disability Focal Person Mr Fonyuy Elais the objective of the workshop was to assist the council in the revision of the council development plan given that it has expired and there is a need to revise so that no one of the community including persons with disability are left out of the development process
The Divisional President of Associations for Persons with Disability(APWDs) in KIMAR village in Jakiri Sub Division and a person with mobility impairment noted that persons with disability face challenges like lack of education , employment and discrimination of their right amongst others. Mr Kunti Humphrey advocated that persons with disability should be given the right to be parliamentarians, senators, mayors and other top positions in the society Being in such positions, they will better defend the rights of persons with disabilities given that it is he who wears the shoes knows where it pinches he concluded.
The workshop which was facilitated by the SEEPD Program Manager Mr Awa Jacques Chirac and the Community Based Supervisor Mr Kenchi Joseph was therefore an opportunity to share the challenges faced by person with disability and develop strategies to intentionally include them in the development plan.
With the participatory nature of the workshop, participants also highlighted some of the things that the council has been doing to promote inclusive development like carrying outreach screening programs to prevent disability, recruitment of council volunteers to identify ,refer and rehabilitate persons with disability in the community, appointment of council disability focal persons to champion issues of disability in the council , financial assistance to some persons with disability amongst others.
Given that these actions are not factored in the council development plan, it may not always continue if administration changes hands. It is was necessary for the SEEPD Program to bring in it technical knowledge in educating the participants on how they can holistically include persons with disability in the areas of health, education, livelihood and social components in the revision plan .Thus this implies that even though the council is doing something on inclusion, there is need to improve and document it so that it will be a reference document for every administrator that comes in to implement
Speaking to a consultant Mr Sani Hansanica hired by the council to update the council development plan from 2018 to 2022 he noted with excitement that the workshop was timely as knowledge acquired will helped him to know the percentage of persons with disability in the Jakiri municipality and their challenges which will inform him on how to incorporate them in any direction he is taking in the council
The close to 60 participants of the workshop which were made up of council staff , counselors, some parents of children with disability, persons with disability, leaders of Associations of Persons with Disability in Jakiri municipality said that they have acquired knowledge on the twin track approach which will enable them build the capacity of persons with disability as well as advocate for development stakeholders to include them in all walks of life. They were also going back home with enhanced knowledge on inclusive development which will help them mainstream disability developmental actions.
With this knowledge the participants say they are empowered to provide contributions during their council sessions that will enhance the inclusion of persons with disability in the development plan given their important role in the revision of the document
It should be noted that the workshop was an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the SEEPD Program and the Jakiri council in 2015 with the objective to mainstream development in it developmental actions. . By going to build the capacity of council staff and provide technical assistance the SEEPD Program is implementing article 4.1.1 of the MoU .On the other hand organizing the workshop, Jakiri council is acting in according with article 4.2.7 of the MoU which states that the council will mainstream disability in the council policy document