Namibia: Workshop On Disability a Success

The three-day workshop on people with disabilities that was conducted by Side by Side Early Intervention Centre ended on Wednesday, with a visit to several homes of people with disabilities.

It was described by some participants as an eye-opener and more home visits are lined-up for Thursday morning.

The workshop was sponsored by the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). This is a partnership of six UN agencies that includes the United Nations Children's Fund.

It was attended by parents, carers, teachers, social workers and other professionals who either work with or have children with disabilities.

Unemployed Eradius Moses travelled 300 kilometres with his wife Cecilia, and their two children, from Noordower to the event. He said they wanted to acquire information on how to assist his four-year old daughter who has a disability, with her early childhood development.

"There is no one in our area who can help us with this," he said.

According to Unicef, there is evidence that investment in quality early childhood development can reduce poverty and sustain future investments.

"While people enjoyed and benefitted from the workshop, there was need for more practical demonstrations so that we can share that information on our own," the regional coordinator of the Namibia Association for Children with Disabilities, Saretta Sophia Sonn, told the Side by Side team at her home on Wednesday afternoon.

The team had come to see her daughter who has a disability, but she was at school at the time.

"This was only an introduction to issues to do with disabilities. It gives us a foundation to build on by acquiring more information on different types of disabilities and how to alleviate them," said Huipie van Wyk, the director of Side by Side Centre.

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