Friday, 10 October 2014

Welcome to the resource centre!

Hello everybody from the new Resource Centre team!

This week is the first of our placement at the Northern Regional Resource Centre for People with Disabilities here in Tamale. It’s been a busy and exciting week learning about the issues people with disabilities (PWDs) face in Ghana and getting acquainted with the resource centre.

Ghanaian PWDs often find it difficult to stay in education or find employment due to widespread stigmatisation. PWDs are mainly portrayed negatively, as beggars or shut-ins, unable to contribute to society and refused opportunities to do so. Disability, especially in rural areas, is misunderstood and little information is provided to families to explain what disability is, how it is caused and how to live with it. Unfortunately, due to this lack of information, parents often view disability as a curse inflicted on their children to punish the mother. Consequently, disabled children are occasionally kept inside family homes out of misplaced shame.
It is therefore vital for us to dispel the core myths and misunderstandings about disability in Ghana to help spread the word that disability does not mean inability. If PWDs were offered the same opportunities as able-bodied Ghanaians, in education, in work and in sport, then Ghana as a whole, and the one out of every ten Ghanaians that are disabled, would hugely benefit.

This is our team. From the UK the volunteers are Ben, Alice and Becki and here in Ghana we have Elisha, Ben, Abass and Ayishatu making up a great team to break the stigmatization associated with persons with disabilities and also sensitize all to live harmoniously and to encourage persons with disabilities to mingle freely with the society without being looked down upon. It’s a great experience and we are happy as a team of volunteers championing this course.

Hence we are planning to do some sensitization campaigns and programs to enhance and encourage the integration of students with disabilities in schools and also show some documentaries on sensitization and how to do away with stigmatization on persons with disabilities. We plan to do this with our target groups being teachers and also school children and even to Parent – Teacher Associations in schools and possibly in churches. We have had some very positive feedback so far and can't wait to get on with our work.

Ben and Elisa, Volunteers at the Resource Centre.

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