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Opinions of Monday, 10 August 2015

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Turkey shows class in generosity and fellow feeling

If there is a nation that has become very popular for its generosity to people, the world over, and backed by sincere fellow felling, that nation is the Republic of Turkey.

It is no secret that Turkey has through its Embassies and other agencies built many hospitals, schools and mosques around the world including Accra, Ghana which is a beneficiary of one of the largest mosques in the world.

The latest act of kindness from Turkey that merit mention and commendation is the sponsorship of a delegation of four leading members of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf by Turkish Embassy in Ghana to take part in the general assembly and congress of the World Federation of the Deaf.

The delegation was provided with tickets and accommodation by the Turkish Embassy in Ghana for the entire duration of the congress.

The general assembly and congress took place in Istanbul Turkey from 25th July to 1st August and was participated by 1,300 deaf and 200 hearing people from 97 countries.

The Congress was held under the theme; “Strengthening Human Diversity” and dealt with, issues including;

• Respect for human differences and acceptance for persons with disabilities as part of human diversity.

• Language as an instrument of power, freedom of choice, human rights, lack of access to quality education.

• Lack of access to quality healthcare, lack of positive role models and few networking opportunities occasioned by the communication barrier.

• Relationships between international deaf organizations and those in the developing countries and

• Importance of early sign language acquisition were highlighted and discussed.

According to the Ghanaian delegation, the lessons learned from the Congress were so rich that they will be used in empowering and improving the status of deaf people in Ghana and serve as a catalyst to strengthen human diversity.

In addition the delegation also vowed to fish out and empower all other deaf people in Ghana to aim high and contribute positively to the development of the country.

The president of GNAD Mr Emmanuel K Sackey who is also Secretary General of the West and Central Africa secretariat of the World Federation of The Deaf expressed gratitude to the Turkish Embassy for the gesture.

He also expressed the hope that the warm-heartedness shown by the Turkish Embassy would be emulated by other organizations including government agencies who would be expected to support the deaf to take part in all international gatherings.

A happy turn of event at the congress was that a young deaf Ghanaian - Benjamin Bekoe was elected as Board member of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section. In fact Benjamin contested to be President of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section and lost narrowly to a lady from Finland.

While the lady got 37 votes Benjamin got 34 votes a feat that won him a place on the board of the youth WFD.