The credit scheme is designed to make financial services accessible to women with disabilities engaged in small business to improve their livelihood and income level. According to both officials at the signing ceremony, financial service can be made accessible to individual or group of individuals who would desire a loan for use in come generating activities.
Speaking at the ceremony, the executive director of Gambia Federation of Disabled Mr Ebrima Dibbasey, said: “The Gambia federation of disabled is an umbrella body strengthening and representing the Gambian disability sector in protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities. It is the first time that NACCUG is giving out loans to the people with disability to start up a small business and the women should use the loan appropriately to help them live in a dignified and meaningful life.
“Disability is not inability and disabled people should be tax contributors rather than tax user. It is not a gift but a loan which will be given to 16 women with disability for a start both in the rural and urban area with a set criterion such as a bit of knowledge of managing a small business and developing a business plan which will channel them to improve in life more than engaging in streets begging.”
Mr Baboucarr Jeng, general manager of NACCUG enunciated: “We want to see disabled people contribute effectively towards nation building which can only be done if they take part in the active productive base of the country which the small business can provide income to their family and alleviate a lot of the conditions of persons with disability”.
He expressed hope that the project will “significantly help GFD members in meaningful businesses” stressing that 69 credit union coalesced to form NACCUG with more than 52,000 members across the country with savings of D532 million while D436 million dalasi has been given as a loan invested on education financing and improvement of agriculture and small businesses.
He further disclosed that an amount of 500,000 dalasis will be given to the Gambia Federation of Disabled for a start in their business development for women.
Mr Sainey Camara, an official of the department of social welfare said the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disability to which The Gambia is a signatory recognises the rights of people with disabilities.
“The government has obligations towards citizens with disabilities. The full participation and empowerment of people with disabilities especially women will result in their enhanced sense of belonging in society.
“The government will strengthen collaboration and work with GFD and all stakeholders towards achieving the aspirations and dictates of the Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities for the benefit of all.”
By Sise Sawaneh]]>