As the entire world makes effort to observe the 2020 International Day of Families amid the deadly Coronavirus, the Henry Djaba Foundation is calling on Government to make special allocation in the National COVID-19 Trust Fund to support Persons with Disability (PWDs) who have lost their income as a result of the pandemic.
The Foundation is also requesting the Government to consider the PWDs in the disbursement of the Six Hundred Million (GH¢600 million) stimulus package to enable them start-up or expand their Small and Medium Enterprises.
According to the Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba in a statement issued in Accra, the COVID-19 pandemic had sharply revealed the need for Ghana to invest heavily in social policies to protect the most vulnerable groups and families.
The Former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection hinted of the devastating effects of COVID-19 on most PWDs- majority of whom are jobless, parents with children and are without any sources of income. She urged the Government to pay special attention to, and support parents of children with disabilities who experience a whole set of added challenges in ensuring their children’s welfare.
She said that most of the PWDs who are parents could not help but to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis by feeding, sheltering and caring for their children/families, yet there is no clear-cut sustainable support from the Government to those vulnerable groups.
Dr. Otiko Djaba specially acknowledged one Baba Imoro, a PWD at Santa Maria, who in spite of his disability had assumed the responsibility of caring for his four (4) children after his wife abandoned the marriage.
The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, on the other hand, raised serious concern about how most families had neglected the responsibility of caring and supporting their own members who have physical disabilities. She observed that families are supposed to be the main backbone or support system for people not excluding the PWDs. She consequently charged all families with persons with disability to show love, care and support at all times.
Dr. Otiko Djaba also paid special tribute to all families that give protection, love and care to persons with disability despite the stigmatisation.
Meanwhile, this year’s International Day of Families is under the theme: “Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing+25”.
The Day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994, to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social and economic issues that affect families worldwide.
Dr. Otiko Djaba said, “Families in Ghana and across the world are the foundation of society. Most of the formative years of our lives are spent growing up with our families. Family is not always blood relations alone. It is also about people who have impacted your life, or the ones who accept you for who you are. Family is about the one you love and the one who loves you no matter what. Family indeed is considered as bedrock of all social life and when it comes to old age, sickness and any form of disability, family serves as social security both financially and emotionally”.