• Chairperson of NCD admonishes, as Liberia observes International Day of Disabilities  
Audience at the International Day for Disabilities

By: G. Bennie Bravo Johnson

As part of the celebration of the International Day of Persons Living with Disabilities, the National Commission on Disability, with support from UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, Sightsavers, USAID-Liberia, AIFO, and the government of Liberia, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Gompa City, Nimba County, launched a five-year national action plan 2023-2027 targeting persons living with disabilities that aligned with the five-year national strategic disability roadmap of 2021–2026.

The launch of the National Action Plan, which marks the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons, was held under the global theme “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovations in Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World” with its national theme “Liberia!” “Transformative solutions with innovations for accessible and equitable development are needed; not all disabilities are visible.”Delivering the keynote address, Syvester Mombo stated that not all disabilities are visible. claiming that disabilities extend beyond physical immobility to a wide range of health inabilities.He said that some disabilities, like urinary problems, diabetes, and doing things that are against the law, are invisible and can’t be seen.

He urged physically challenged and disabled people to be grateful for their lives rather than seek sympathy for their circumstances.pleading with disabled people to devise strategies to positively contribute to the development of the nation: “When you are physically disabled, it doesn’t mean that you can’t contribute to national development.” “You can contribute by providing ideas or education to build society.”

Mr. Mombo called on parents of physically challenged children not to be discriminatory in the upbringing of their children but rather to empower every child, irreconcilable of their physical condition, to enable them to attain a better future and not to serve as a burden and embarrassment to society.He asserted that one is disabled when he or she cannot provide for their family. 

One becomes disabled when he or she harasses peaceful citizens for their property, an act that he observes threatens the state’s peace and security.As a result, regardless of the physical structure of the children, we urge every parent to take their children’s education seriously.At the same time, he urged every disabled person to be proud of themselves, be grateful for being a person with disabilities, and use what they have to contribute meaningfully to national development. further urging every disabled person to be law-abiding and patriotic and not to use their condition to be disrespectful of the laws.

He concluded by lauding the efforts of the national government and international partners for their continuous support that seeks to have disabled people involved in political, social, and economic development.Meanwhile, presenting the 2023–2027 national action plan, which aligns with the National Strategic Disability Roadmap of 2021–2026, the technical assistant to the deputy director of technical services at NCD, Muhammad Sackor, stated that the launch of the new five-year national action plan 2023–2027 serves as an innovative approach to meet the needs of people living with disabilities in Liberia, while working to enact lasting changes at the policy level, intimating that it is an achievement in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Liberia signing the UN convention on the rights of persons living with disabilities.

The new NAP, according to Director Sackor, identified an ongoing system gap and provided a solution to the system’s problems by outlining a five-year progressive plan for the inclusion of persons living with disabilities to work and have employment in Liberia.Therefore, he lauded the government for the protection of the rights of persons living with disabilities through the signing of international laws and the enactment of legislative policies that protect the fundamental rights of persons living with disabilities.He continued that the new NAP also aligned with the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development 2018–24 and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2020–2024 as it sought to effect changes at the grass-roots and policy levels.According to the new national action plan 2023–2027, all people with disabilities will benefit from improved livelihoods, economic empowerment, education, access to justice, social protection, agriculture and food security, inclusive governance, health and welfare, personal mobility, and independent and accessible technology. 

For his part, the Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia called on the disabled community to be united and determined in achieving their dreams and aspirations, as unity and determination remain the major tools for achievement.He pledged the support of the government of Sweden to ensure that the rights and aspirations of the disabled community are attained through its Embassy and that people with disabilities become positive change-makers. “We are to be a long-term partner in working with people with disabilities to achieve education, economics, political, and social inclusion because we believe that people with disabilities are change makers.”

Amb. Daintowon Domah Pay-Bayee, who is the Chairperson  Commissioner of the National commission on disability, was honored by the disabled community of Nimba County for her role as a leader at the NCD in making the world a better place for all people with disabilities. She praised the government and international development partners for their ongoing work to end discrimination against people with disabilities in all parts of society. 

With the slogan “Disability is not Inability,” the Chairperson challenged everyone living with a disability to stop looking for sympathy for their situation and instead empower themselves to find a job that brings them lasting joy. “Because this disability thing is a life-time thing, if you say I’ll make myself sorrowful, you’d kill yourself early from grief.” “You have to create your personal joy as we all work towards an inclusive society.” Amb. PayBayee cautioned.As you may remember, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 47/3 in 1992 that made December 3rd the International Day for People with Disabilities.The goal of the day is to help people understand disability issues, rally support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of people with disabilities at every level of society and development, and bring attention to the situation of people with disabilities in all areas of political, social, economic, and cultural life.The Liberia National Commission on Disability kicked off the 2022 celebration with two days of sports and dinners. This was followed by the launch of the national action plan on Saturday, December 3, to mark the international day for people with disabilities. The Liberia National Commission on Disability was created by an Act of the national legislature in 2005. This Act called for the rights of people with disabilities to work and have jobs in Liberia. Article 27 of the Act says that for every 100 people with disabilities in Liberia, there must be one job 

Leave a Comment


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *