Zwedru — The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and partners have launched a Livelihood Intervention Project for people living with disabilities in Grand Gedeh County.
The project, which will benefit over 100 persons living with disabilities, including the visually impaired and physically challenged, was launched during the week in Zwedru.
Giving an overview of the project during the launching ceremony, Mr. John Morris, Field and Project Focal Person of UNDP Cross Border Project, disclosed that the Livelihood Intervention Projects is under the National Action Plan (NAP) for people living with disabilities.
The NAP, which was launched in 2006, entails the empowerment and inclusiveness of people living with disabilities in the running of the nation.
Through this plan, the UNDP has taken the responsibility to empower the targeted groups.
According to Morris, the UNDP and partners have chosen to run the Livelihood Intervention Projects in the three counties of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh.
He indicated that the undertaking is a pilot Project with two major components - agriculture and soap-making with three months duration beginning October 2020.
Morris pointed out that extension and further improvement of the project will depend on the commitment of the beneficiaries.
He called on the targeted persons to be dedicated and pay attention to their learning in order to become useful citizens in their respective communities.
In a related development, Mr. Olaska Bah, who is the project focal person with the Grand Gedeh County administration, disclosed that the National Action Plan is a five-year plan.
He pointed out that the plan requires that all laws and sections discriminating against people living with disabilities be abolished.
Bah indicated that the plan also states that sign language be introduced and taught in all schools, including high schools and colleges, across the country, and that the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation provides financial assistance for people living with disabilities in Liberia.
Bah disclosed that the UNDP has outlined plans to address issues facing people living with disabilities.
The plan, according to Bah, has six indicators, including education, empowerment, affordable healthcare and independent living.
Others are access to justice and livelihood project, among others.
Bah also indicated that UNDP will continue providing support for the National Commission On Disabilities (NCD) and other institutions working to support the rights of people living with disabilities in Liberia.
In remarks at the launching ceremony on behalf of the beneficiaries, the president of the group, People Living With Disabilities, Mr. Victor Cole, commended UNDP, partners and local county authorities for addressing their plight.
According to him, the training will provide sustainable living condition for people living with disabilities in the county and by extension the Southeast.
Cole emphasized that people living with disabilities have always been characterized as disgruntled, lawless, beggars and useless people.
"This age-old saying is baseless, untrue and intended to bring our people to public disrepute," Cole said.
He called on colleagues to remain focused and avail themselves during training sessions to make maximum use of the Livelihood Intervention Project.