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Regional News of Tuesday, 29 June 2021


Otiko Djaba launches first ever Ability Fair to showcase talents and artifacts of PWDs

Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba and her ambassadors Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba and her ambassadors

The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation (HDMF) has taken the initiative to organize the first-ever 'Ability Fair' in Ghana for Persons with Disability (PWDs), vulnerable girls, and children with special needs to showcase their unique talents, artifacts, products, goods, and services.

According to the Executive Director of the Foundation, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba, the need for the Ability Fair has become necessary to facilitate the display of talents and provide marketing and self-employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

It is also to give them access to business opportunities, access to training and job opportunities, assistive devices, technology, ICT, and other services.

Speaking at the media launch of the 2021 Ability Fair held in Accra, Dr. Otiko Djaba hinted that the Ability Fair would be organized every year in order to collectively plan for a secure, independent, and sustainable future for the persons with disability; “with good support systems and networking opportunities locally and internationally”.

She said that the Fair would seek to reduce the huge barriers, challenges, and misconceptions about the ability of individuals with disabilities, energize them, increase awareness and knowledge about their capabilities and promote disability inclusions among others.

The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation who is noted for her consistent efforts in promoting the wellbeing of PWDs, vulnerable women, and children said “PWDs are in a minority, they are marginalized, isolated, ignored by society, living in poverty, are dependent on charity, handouts, begging and pity. The COVID-19 pandemic has collapsed their businesses and made it more difficult for them to engage in small-scale enterprises and petty trading. On a daily basis, they face discrimination, stigmatization, and even their goods and services are not purchased because of their disability.”

Dr. Otiko Djaba indicated that PWDs were just differently-abled human beings with human rights, just like non-disabled persons and therefore, they required amongst other things; education, healthcare, employment, and building of their capacity and financial independence.

The first Ability Fair which is being organized by the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation in partnership with UNFPA is scheduled for 30th and 31st July 2021 and will be held at the forecourt of the Mikaddo Pharmacy, formerly Kama Conference Centre, Osu, Accra between 9 am and 4 pm each day.

The theme for the Fair is: 'Creating Opportunities for Persons With Disability. Dr. Otiko Djaba, therefore, implored the media to support the identified champions, partners, and ambassadors to whip up the public interest and participation.

The popular Kumawood movie superstar and TV personality, Nana Ama McBrown, top Hip-Life Musician, Okyeame Kwame, and the immediate past President of MUSIGA, Bice Osei Kuffour were appointed as the official Ambassadors of the first Ability Fair.

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