The Administrator of the Challenged Foundation, a disability advocacy organisation, is urging the Ghanaian public to patronise goods and services provided by persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Madam Betty Gharbin says the days when disability was associated with curses and bad luck, and with the notion that getting close to PWDs would make one disabled or give birth to disabled children are far gone.
She urges the public to be accommodating to persons with disabilities and support them to thrive.
Madam Betty Gharbin attributes the phenomenon of disabled people begging on the streets largely to a lack of support from the public, which includes not being willing to patronise the goods of PWDs.
According to her, one of the surest ways to get disabled beggars off the streets is to patronise their goods and services.
She opines that no sane person who is economically engaged and doing well would choose to leave such a life of dignity and go begging.
Madam Betty Gharbin was speaking in an interview with DisabilityNewsGH after a 3-day training workshop organised by the Challenged Foundation for persons with disabilities.
The foundation brought together some 39 persons with disabilities and a special mother from the Volta and Greater Accra regions for intensive training in crocheting.
The training which was held in Accra from July 12 to 14, 2023, was aimed at equipping persons with disabilities with skills to empower them economically and to make them independent.
The participants were taught how to produce various items such as dresses, hats, bags, purses, neck warmers, necklaces, baby socks etc, using crotcheting.
They were also taught how to package and market their products.
They are expected to go and teach their colleagues persons with disabilities.
The facilitator of the workshop, Mrs. Genevieve Buck who was impressed with the fast-learning ability of the participants, challenged them to go and work hard to perfect their newly-acquired skills.
She urged them to strive for excellence and come up with outstanding products that would be difficult for the public to resist.
Mrs. Buck called on corporate entities, individuals, and churches to support such initiatives aimed at empowering persons with disabilities.
The participants were full of appreciation for the organisers. And requested more of such.
They also appealed for a longer training duration in the future, observing that the three days were not enough for them to learn everything they needed to know about the work.
They also appealed to the general public to assist them to acquire the yarn material for the work, since it is not easy to come by.
The Challenged Foundation is into creating jobs and other activities aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
Over the past 8 years, the foundation has organised many skills training workshops, mentorship programmes, sought scholarships for students with disabilities and provided assistive devices for PWDs, among others.