The New Dawn (Monrovia)

27 November 2012

Liberia: Urgent Need for GOL Intervention in Helping People With Disabilities

Recently, a group of women and children with disabilities met with some members of the Liberian legislature in an effort to champion their socio-economic well-being. At that meeting, the group under the banner of the Association of Disabled Females International or ADFI urgently appealed to the Liberian Government to pay reparation, considering the injuries and disabilities they suffered as a result of the civil conflicts in the country.

As the disabled women and children appealed for reparation from the Liberian government, the issue of establishing a trust fund for the disabled was also emphasized. Pursuant to the foregoing, it underscores the urgent need for the intervention of Lawyers and media practitioners, in terms of engaging the Liberian Government, through the Legislative Committees on Claims and Petitions for the establishment of such trust fund.

According to the association, when established, the trust fund would cater to the socio-economic needs of more than 2000 people with disabilities throughout the country, including shelter, education, as well as Medicare, among others. While many well-meaning Liberians may be in sympathy with hundreds of their disabled brothers and sisters, their call to the Liberian Government, through the Liberian legislature is something that must be handled with the highest degree of care.

Addressing such issue as our brothers and sisters of the Association of Disabled Females and Children would also trigger demands from other groups and communities that may have one way or the other been hard-hit as a result of the civil conflicts.

What would be of immense benefit to the hundreds of our disabled brothers and sisters across the country could be the establishment of a trust fund for the entire community of people with disabilities. To a greater extent this is an initiative, we believe, that would help to erase the notion from the minds of these Liberians about being isolated or abandoned by the Liberian Government.

It is no secret fact that such trust fund, when established, would open windows of opportunity for these Liberians with disabilities to acquire formal and vocational education, as well as other skills that would not only keep many of them off the streets and other places, but also assist the process of national healing and reconstruction.

It is hope that members of the House of Representatives and Liberian Senate, upon their return in January of 2013, will consider the appeal by the Association of Disabled Females International or ADFI for a bill to establish a trust fund for people with disabilities across Liberia. With God above, there is also hope that the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will consider this urgent humanitarian appeal to help our brothers and sisters with disabilities.

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