OFFINSO S: Foundation trains disabled in employable skills
The Physically Challenged Action Foundation, a private initiative, has within the past 25 years trained and set up a total of 872 people with physical disability in businesses.
Mr Sylvester Barima-Antwi, the Founder, said the beneficiaries are into dressmaking, woodwork, shoe-making, batik, tie and dye, livestock and vegetable farming.
What is refreshing, he said, is that many of them have become successful and providing financial support to their families.
He was speaking at a ceremony to usher in the 25th anniversary of the Foundation at Maase in the Offinso Municipality of Ashanti Region on the theme: “Creating a user-friendly environment for the physically-challenged.”
Mr Barima-Antwi called for more public support to expand its training facilities at the Offinso and Nkenkansu centres to assist more persons with disabilities to become economically self-dependent.
He said it was important for corporate bodies, institutions and individuals to join in efforts at helping the physically challenged to live in dignity.
The Foundation does not only provide the trainees with skills but freely gives to them relevant working tools, equipment and materials as well as seed money to ply their trade.
It has additionally established a physiotherapy centre to boost the physique of the trainees.
Mr Barima-Antwi said there could be no doubt that the situation of the disabled could tremendously improve through vocational training and formal education.
This was the way to help them to develop self-confidence, engender self-believe and overcome low self-esteem, he added.
Dr Samuel Hayford, Head of the Special Education Department, University of Education, Winneba, urged metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to fulfil their obligation to persons with disabilities by readily releasing to them their two per cent share of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Activities lined up for the anniversary celebration include an exhibition, a float and public lecture to create awareness about the plight of the persons with disabilities.