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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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NCCE wraps up regional stakeholder orientation for over 400 participants

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By Olimatou Coker

The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) The Gambia with funding from UNICEF, has over the weekend wrapped up its regional stakeholder orientation campaign for participants across the country.

The campaign aims to enhance awareness and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities  across The Gambia. Over 400 representatives participated, including: Gambia Federation Of The Disabled, government officials, professionals, policymakers. national and regional organisations of persons with disabilities, civil society organisations, women, youths and local authorities.

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The discussions centered around inclusive practices, accessibility, protection, disability rights. The campaign is said to empower participants to promote policies and practices that ensure an inclusive Gambia for all.

Speaking in Banjul, Ansuman Ceesay, senior program officer at NCCE, said the  main objective of the activity is to increase understanding of disabilities issues and promote inclusive policies and practices as stated in the PWD Act 2021.

“The PWD Act 2021 is designed to empower people with disabilities to become viable and sovereign citizens within The Gambia. It is also very much in line with the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia, which provides for the protection and rights of persons with disabilities .Persons with disabilities are the biggest minority population in the world and in The Gambia because 15% of our population is Persons with Disabilities. Yet, the most underrepresented when it comes to political participation, economic opportunities and so on .Everyone should enjoy the same rights. Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental values set out in our constitution”.

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“Let us remember that inclusion is not just a goal to be achieved, but a fundamental human right that demands our unwavering dedication and collective action. Through dialogue, collaboration, and tireless advocacy, we have the power to transform perceptions, dismantle barriers, and pave the way for a more equitable and accessible future for all. Although we have come a long way in our journey to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities, we all know we still have a long way to go”.

Ceesay said as the flagship civic education institution in the Gambia, they attach great significance to the participation of PwDs in their  governance processes, saying that they strongly believe that our democracy will be incomplete if persons with disabilities are not given the equal opportunity to participate in decision making.

“Together let us ignite the flame of change and ensure that the voices and aspirations of Persons with Disabilities are not only heard but valued and embraced”.

Cessay also  assured that the  NCCE will continue to raise awareness of this new Act and will continue to promote the respect for the rights of persons with disabilities.

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