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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 31 May 2019 : 12:16:04
By Amadou Jadama May 31, 2019
The Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in The Gambia, Baba Trawally, called on Muslims, especially the rich, to assist people with physical disabilities and beggars. He said the vulnerable members of our society should not be discriminated against and that their rights should be protected.
Amir made this remark on Tuesday while presenting food items and cash to 27 disaster victim families and the Organisation for Social Development and Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities (OSDIVI) at a ceremony at the Jama’at’s head office in Tallinding.
He stated: “Islam is the religion of peace. Assisting poor and the needy is not a privilege but it is the right of those people especially in this holy month of Ramadan. The poor and needy should be assisted throughout the year, most especially during this period when we know that the eid is coming.
“We should pay our attention to the disabled and the beggars in the streets and in our homes. When we see beggars in the streets and at our homes, let us pay attention and assist them. The poor and the needy people are our brothers and therefore, we should always be ready to assist anybody as far as Islam is concerned.
” Islam means peace and justice. So let us try and establish that between us and our neighbours, other Muslims, Christians… Let us try to help and say good words to each other.”
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He reminded that all the days of Ramadan are important, but the last ten days are of special significance as it was within the period that the Holy Qur’an started to be revealed to the founder of Islam, Holy Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).
Karamo Ceesay, councillor of Tallinding ward, thanked the Jama’at for the gesture reminding that it was not the first time the Jama’at extended help to the poor and the needy. “This is an ongoing thing and we pray that God continues to protect the Jama’at.”, he exhorted.
Ebrima Colley, the nominated council member representing persons with physical disability applauded the Jama’at for coming to their aid.
The items donated included 40 bags of rice, 10 bags of onion, 20 five-litre drums of oil, 5 bags of sugar and D5,000 cash.
|11 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 14 Jul 2023 : 20:51:29
WAVE engages women victims of torture
Jul 13, 2023, 11:49 AM | Article By: Jankey Ceesay
The Women’s Association for Victims’ Empowerment (WAVE) recently engaged women victims of torture for them to dialogue and to promote their participation in the country's transitional justice process.
The event, held at the Alliance Francaise along Kairaba Avenue, was part of activities marking International Human Rights Week.
At the event, Priscilla Vagu Ciesay, Co-founder of WAVE, applauded all the victims of torture for their bravery.
Haddy Drammeh, a representative from the Ministry of Justice at the department of African Centre for Legal Research and Training, thanked WAVE for the initiative.
She also highlighted that the country has been through many types of tortures and is still going through.
"Therefore, these initiative are laudable in the enforcement and implementation of the torture bill so that torture can be completely eradicated in the country."
She expressed her Ministry's resolve to collaborate with partners to bring justice to all victims of torture and perpetrators getting what they deserve.
Anna Njie, a representative from Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG) assured her association’s support to victims of torture in the country.
Adama Sarr, from The Gambia Federation of the Disabled, suggested the inclusion of Persons Living with Disabilities in the reparations processes.
Sainabou Drammeh, Peace of Mind, Gambia, encouraged victims to communicate about their feelings to people and seek psychosocial support to improve their healing process.
She equally advised society to be more welcoming and do away with stereotype to create room for victims to communicate.
The occasion was graced by women victims of torture including different types of persons living with disability.
||Posted - 30 May 2023 : 17:37:30
Njie Charakh supports OSDIVI
May 30, 2023, 12:22 PM | Article By: Alieu Bobb
Njie Charakh World Market, dealers in all kinds of men and women wears last Saturday donated a sum of ten thousand dalasis (D10,000) to the Organization for Social Development and Inclusion for Visually Impaired (OSDIVI) at a presentation ceremony held at OSDIVI office in Kanifing.
The gesture followed the organisation’s appeal for support to the owner of Njie Charakh World Market.
In handing over the cash, Njie Charakh expressed his readiness to support them in whatever way he could as well as approach other philanthropists on their behalf.
The organisation in the recent past has been supporting education, sports, the less privileged and other sectors.
“The organisation was established with a view to promoting, empowering and working for the welfare for persons with disabilities in The Gambia.”
The institution, which is about to roll out business management classes for entrepreneurs, has extended invitation to OSDIVI so send in their members to be trained.
“I have opened a shop for Jabang Football Team where we use our profit for the sustainability of the team. I intend to also open one for you where your trained members will be in charge of running the business and bring back any profit they make to you at the end of every month.”
The institution thus appealed to Government, philanthropists and anyone who can, to support the organisation with a view to alleviating poverty and provide equal opportunities for disabled persons in communities.
Receiving the items, Yankuba Faal Sonko, founder of OSDIVI, thanked the organisation for the swift response.
Sonko pointed out that his organisation’s vision is to see a country in which disabled persons are empowered and fully integrated in the mainstream development of the society.
He spoke about the intervention and projects he initiated to empower, train, give skills and small scale micro-finance support to persons with disabilities to be able to setup small enterprise, and engage in income generating activities to reduce poverty and unemployment.
Momodou Saidykhan, a member of the organization, also hailed the organisation for the assistance and his intentions to ensure Persons With Disabilities live dignified lives and feel part of humanity.
||Posted - 06 Apr 2023 : 17:22:44
Hagie Gai Drammeh Foundation for Physically Challenged established
Apr 6, 2023, 11:52 AM | Article By: Makutu Manneh
The Hagie Gai Drammeh Foundation for The Physically Challenged has been established by renowned Gambian journalist Hagie Drammeh.
Mr Drammeh who is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tales of Hagie Drammeh (THD) established the foundation on his birthday (5th April 2023.)
The Foundation is conscious of the need to collectively contribute to improving the quality of life for differently abled people as well as promote the prevention of physical disabilities, violations and disability discrimination and positively advocate for equal opportunities to increase the education, social, political and economic opportunities for Persons With Disabilities.
“Today is my birthday, so to celebrate I decided to start a non-profit foundation - the Hagie Gai Drammeh Foundation for the Physically Challenged,” said Mr Drammeh who added that:“My love for the cause is obvious to anyone who knows me.”
He added: “My mission is simply advocating for the Physically Challenged and to give back in a way that makes a difference. All donations will go to my needy colleagues in the disability. I want to find a way to honor my late dad Alh Gai Drammeh who sacrificed everything for my education and wellbeing. Hopefully this will make him proud in Jannah!”
||Posted - 15 Feb 2023 : 18:12:34
Feb 15, 2023, 12:45 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham
Trust Bank Gambia Ltd yesterday extended humanitarian support to the management of the National Organisation for Disabled and Orphans (NODO) to make a difference in the lives of the differently abled individuals in the society.
The Trust Bank management handed over 16 new wheelchairs to the organisation for onward distribution to their members across the country, as the bank has been extending humanitarian gestures to organizations for differently abled individuals and vowed to continue supporting them.
Speaking during the presentation held at the Fayda 1 Radio in Wellingara, the Bank’s managing director, Njilan Senghore, explained the importance of mobility as part of their daily activities, saying people spend a significant portion of their day “moving around from places to take care of the myriad of activities required in everyday life”.
“Let us remember that people with mobility impairments are particularly vulnerable in societies like ours that do not normally cater for the adequate supply of assistive devices like wheelchairs, access to transportation and access to buildings,” she stated.
Without access to wheelchairs, she noted, the differently abled individuals will experience great limitations and may lose opportunities of going to schools, work and participating in social activities.
MD Senghore reiterated that her bank acknowledges the incredible role that the organisation is playing by promoting the welfare of people with disabilities across the country. She extended gratitude for the organisation’s efforts in providing encouragement and hope to parents who are dedicating their lives to raising children with disabilities.
“We understand that children are among the beneficiaries and the wheelchairs will be sent across the country,” she assured, saying: “We applaud you for that and we are excited about this because it resonates with our desire as a proudly Gambian Bank to positively touch the lives of people across the country.”
Mamat Gaye, founder of Fayda 1 FM Radio, expressed delight in receiving such an important gesture on behalf of differently abled individuals. He said there are many people across the country that are in need of wheelchairs to carry out their daily functions.
“That’s why we are reaching out to institutions we believe can support us to help our people. Wheelchairs shouldn’t be a barrier for us to contribute to the country’s economy. If we are supported with materials, we will be able to contribute a lot to the country’s development,” he said.
Lamin Manneh, secretary general of NODO, described the presentation as a “great achievement” for them, recalling that in 2022, he received a call and was informed that some differently-abled persons were sharing one wheelchair.
“This is why we started knocking at the doors of some institutions and thank God that Trust Bank is able to support us. This is great support for us and I am appealing to Gambians to emulate the Bank in extending humanitarian support to us,” Manneh said gleefully.
||Posted - 08 Sep 2022 : 21:19:28
July 22, 2022 Feature
Krishendath Roopnarine, or simply Krish, is from Trinidad and Tobago, a small dual-island Caribbean nation known for its distinctive Creole traditions and cuisines.
He moved to Canada in 2010 and, with the challenges he left behind still fresh in his mind, Krish found a way to help the underprivileged.
“I came from a family who have a strong passion for helping less fortunate people. I grew up among very poor people and when I came to Canada, I realised people dispose wheelchairs with just small breakage. I knew these wheelchairs mean a lot and they would be helpful for those who cannot afford it,” he said.
Krish, 57, then devised a way to repair these wheelchairs and give them to societies that need it. This is how it all started for him. Now, not only does he ship wheelchairs worldwide for the physically challenged, many other essential equipment; beds, mattresses, clothing, computers, are also donated.
“I started with one wheelchair, then two and more. I collected them but I didn’t have any money to repair them. So, I would scrap one or two to get a new one. Shipping also became a problem because even when people donate these wheelchairs, it’s expensive to ship them to their intended destinations,” he added.
Krish didn’t however stop. He decided to write letters to ministries of health about the availability of wheelchairs. The health ministries then got in touch with their various ambassadors in Canada to facilitate the shipping. That worked. And Krish’s philanthropism was born.
“But I always maintain that these items are not for sale. They are free and must be given to those in need of them. That is why I also insist on video and picture documentary to prove delivery”
The first lucky destination was Saint Vincent, which received 20 wheelchairs.
The adage ‘the more you give the more you receive’ could not be truer for Krish. More people started giving him the items because they trust him.
From Saint Vincent, Sierra Leone to Liberia, hundreds of people receive the items with a smile, appreciative of the gesture.
Krish doesn’t just pick the beneficiary countries at random. “I do my own research on countries based on poverty and health care delivery, accessibility and affordability. That is how I picked The Gambia as well.”
Krish said he first contacted the Ministry of Health about the wheelchairs and other materials. However, nothing was forthcoming.
“I then found the Gambian association in Canada and spoke to one Mr Lamin Conteh about these materials. He told me he would speak to members of the association about it and he did. He visited my home and he was excited about the materials.”
With the help of the Gambian Youth Development Association in Canada, in January, Krish was able to ship at least 50 wheelchairs, mattresses and other equipment to various institutions in The Gambia worth D1.6 million. The materials were then redistributed to Tanka Tanka Psychiatric facility and to children with Down Syndrome.
The joy on the faces of the beneficiaries is indescribable. Accessing wheelchairs in The Gambia is a nightmare. This has affected mobility for the physically challenged and, in some instances, condemned others to their homes without moving about like everyone else.
Link to the video of the first donation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3yr_8H6gO0
But, according to Krish, he is happier than the beneficiaries.
“There is no word that can capture the feeling. It is a divine feeling. It is a godly feeling.”
Krish already plans to ship another 70 wheelchairs, mattresses, and other needed equipment to The Gambia.
If everything goes to plan, the former salesman intends on continuing his philanthropic work across the world together with his family.
||Posted - 25 Aug 2022 : 14:34:01
As I understand how matters stand at the moment the facility that did exist in Banjul where wheelchairs and much other assistive equipment could be repaired and constructed by skilled employees has been closed for many months due to the previous sponsor being unable to continue, the skilled staff were let go.
THe world has changed a great deal from those days in the past to a place where EVERY country is suffering and this trend shows no signs of changing in the near future.MAYBE if THE GOVERNMENT were to highlight the problem that exist in this area of health care a NEW SPONSOR could be found.
By Amadou Jadama on August 25, 2022
Lamin Manneh, the secretary general of the Gambia Federation for the Disabled, has made a clarion call for support to the Gambia’s physically challenged community who are suffering from neglect compounding their everyday struggle for a living.
Speaking to The Standard, Mr Manneh said a lot of physically challenged people are without wheelchairs or other indispensable materials to aid their movement and quality of life.
“The situation is so bad that there are cases where two people share a wheel chair while a lot of people with vision issues are without white canes,” Mr Manneh lamented.
He said visually impaired students too are without learning kits. He called on President Barrow to personally look into the plight of the community, arguing that the government has done very little for this section of the society.
Mr Manneh lamented the absence of people with disabilities in the National Assembly or cabinet. He said the last thing the government needs is to face a protest by people with disabilities over neglect of their plight.
||Posted - 02 Jul 2022 : 00:28:20
By Amadou Jadama on July 1st 2022.
The chairperson of the Gambia Federation of Disabled, Muhammed Krubally, has called on the government, civil society and non-governmental organisations to ensure that the country ratifies the Africa Disability Protocol.
The African Disability Protocol is the legal framework based on which AU member states are expected to formulate disability laws and policies to promote disability rights in their countries.
Krubally who doubles as the principal magistrate at the Brusubi Magistrates Court made this call at the official opening of the Ratification and Implementation of African Disability Protocol held at Metzy Hotel Monday.
According to Krubally, the protocol was conceptualised in The Gambia when the African Union took the decision to adopt the protocol.
He said his federation, which currently consists of 19 organisations, is dedicated to promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.
“In light of these circumstances I called on the government, NGOs and civil society to continue standing in solidarity with persons with disabilities and ensure a very quick and successful ratification and depositions of African Disability Protocol. Persons with disabilities alone cannot do it, even though we will continue to raise our voices until we are able to achieve our target. We will come up with concrete and candid facts and good recommendations that will pave a way for us to successfully ratify the African Disability Protocol.”
Mr Krubally said his feederation remains optimistic that the Gambian authorities will expedite the process to ensure that The Gambia becomes the fourth country to sign, ratify and deposit the African Disability Protocol.
Bafou Jeng, a senior state counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers pointed out that the government has recognised the need of the physically challenged persons to be in compliance with international legal obligations.
“I can say that we now have a law that is purposely for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities,” Jeng said.
Banjul North parliamentarian, Modou Lamin Bah, who is also the vice chairperson of Select Committee on Health, Refugees and Disaster and Humanitarian Affairs disclosed that the National Assembly is ready to be part of any initiative to help persons with disabilities.
Sainey Camara, an official from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, expressed similar remarks.
||Posted - 30 Jun 2022 : 01:08:54
Have public attitudes changed since 2019 ?
Voice Of The Voiceless Column on June 29, 2022
With Biran Gaye
Welcome to another edition of the voice of the voiceless, a column resolved in bringing to light the plights of underprivileged and vulnerable workers or groups, as well as trigger discussions with relevant authorities and stakeholders on how best to address concerns and issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of these Gambians.
In this week’s edition, we bring you a just concluded persons with disability consultative sessions.
In the face of increased under representation, participation and standard of living of persons with disability, curtailing their efforts and opportunities, which expose and relegate a huge chunk of the differently abled, to dependency, begging, humiliation, as well as discrimination and stigmatisation, the Gambia Federation Of the Disabled, in partnership with the Special Education Needs Unit under the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) and other relevant stakeholders, held a three-day consultative seminar, themed ”Building Back Better: Ensure Full and Effective Inclusion and Participation of Persons with Disability in all Sectors”, premised to reflect on the plights of persons with disability, design new measures to ensure participation as well as renew the call to usher in a more progressive, inclusive and balance society for all.
The seminar, which was held at the GOVI Conference Hall in Kanifing, brought together participants from different disability associations and other relevant stakeholders.
Funded and supported by UNICEF, the sessions aspire to trigger discussions on the way to synergise and ensure that differently abled persons live a dignified life.
While deliberating on participation and inclusiveness at the convergence, Muhammed Krubally, the chairperson of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, told participants that persons with disabilities face a worrying trend of continued under representation, less participation, and inclusiveness in all sectors of the Gambian society.
Without meaningful participation and inclusion, Krubally stressed, it will be almost impossible to comprehensively advance lives and livelihoods of persons with disabilities, adding that the Gambia needs to intensify efforts and interventions in a bid to fulfill the aspirations and rights of persons with disability as enshrined in the constitution and relevant international conventions.
”When persons with disability are not employed, it always has huge ramifications, which may lead to street begging, segregation, and dire condition of living,” he pointed out.
”And worse of all, it impacts the lives of their siblings over a long period of time.”
“Accessibility of work places by persons with disability should be ensured, so that they will benefit from working in institutions.
Krubally, a seasoned attorney and principal magistrate, reiterated that persons with disability remain grossly under represented within the arms of the government, challenging partners and Government to ensure increased participation of persons with disability in running the affairs of the country.
”In all the works of life, we hardly get represented,” he noted.
Speaking in a telephone interview with this reporter after the completion of the sessions, Mr Krubally told Foroyaa that the event sought to provide engagement and consultations among stakeholders and partners, so as to identify continued challenges confronting persons with disability as well as come up possible remedies to address their concerns.
”The Government has an obligation to fulfill the rights of persons with disability and ensure their full inclusion in all public spheres. It is important to have regular convergence as partners to continue reflect on the concerns and issues affecting the disabled.
”We want the State to put in more efforts in realising full participation of persons with disability in the legislature, judiciary and executive. This is dictated by both domestic and international conventions, to which Gambia is a signatory,” he disclosed.
On the provision of disability friendly facilities, Principal Magistrate Krubally said public and private employers should prioritise a conducive working environment for persons with disability, with a view to improve their accessibility to these opportunities.
”We, as a federation, observes that disability friendly facilities around work places are lacking, and that this exposes the employed disabled to some intermittent sufferings and pain,” he lamented.
“Job providers both public and private should provide elevators, computer screen reading software such as zoom text, dolphin guide, etc. This, coupled with other friendly facilities, will enhance more inclusion and participation of persons with disability.
”We call on all job providers to give access and provide facilities that aid persons with disability.”
Dilating further, Krubally defiantly calls on Government, partners and stakeholders to mobilise collective efforts and interventions so that persons with disability will enjoy full participation and inclusion as provided by the constitution and other conventions.
”We should not relent in this just cause, and that it is crucial for everyone to be on board, in order to ensure that we all enjoy our rights,” he passionately appeals to Gambians
||Posted - 13 Aug 2021 : 14:17:08
Disability Advocate Demands Inclusive Implementation of Disability Rights Act
By Omar Faye On Aug 12, 2021
Muhammed Krubally, a rights advocate for persons living with disabilities, who doubles as Chairman of the Federation of the Disabled in The Gambia, is calling for more inclusion and implementation of the disability bill 2020, which gained momentum after been assented by the president to become a law.
The disability bill 2020, which the Justice Minister tabled in the 2020 legislative year, seeks to complement section 31 of the 1997 constitution in protecting persons with disabilities against all forms of discrimination. It was passed on July 6th and later awaits to be assented by the President.
Persons living the disabilities have long been advocating for the passage of the bill. They hope the coming of the bill would guarantee equal access and respect for their fundamental rights in the bill.
“The bill has been unanimously passed by the national assembly members and assented too by the president of the republic, said Krubally. So now, the Gambia Federation of the disabled is working on the popularization and implementation of the said bill because we feel now there exist the most guarantee legislation apart from the constitution of The Gambia that ensures respect, promotion, and protection of all fundamental rights and freedom.”
Krubally stresses that his federation would ensure that the bill is fully respected and popularize but worried about its implementation, “and we expect the government, non-governmental organizations, parastatals, individuals and other authorities to respect and uphold all the fundamental rights that are outlined in this particular bill.”
The Gambia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol on July 7, 2015.
By article 35 of the CRPD, states must initially report within two years of accepting the Convention and thereafter every four years. The Gambia, having ratified the convention in 2015, was supposed to submit its initial report in 2017. Still, up to date, no report has been submitted to the committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“Our call to action for persons with disability is, first of all, to ensure a human rights-based approached to disability in The Gambia. Secondly, to facilitate the participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities, especially those that are under-represented, women and children, and to make sure that participation and inclusion extend not only to urban areas but in the rural areas where we know in The Gambia the majority of the population is” said Yvonne Masarakufa UN Human Rights Officer.
The Gambia has not conducted any recent national disability survey. The last survey was in 1998, revealing that the overall disability prevalence rate was 1,6 percent of the population. This gives the national prevalence rate by gender of 17,4 and 13,9 percent 1000 of the population for males and females. Thus, the overall prevalence of disability in the Gambia, according to the 2013 population and housing census results, is 1,2 percent compared to 2,4 percent in 2003.
“There are always difficulties with persons with disabilities to access health care services in this country because most of the facilities are not disabled user friendly especially those in wheelchairs,” Yahya Bajo, President, National Union for the Disabled Youths, said.
||Posted - 17 Feb 2021 : 12:05:55
Related Topic: https://www.gambia.dk/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17416
||Posted - 16 Feb 2021 : 17:35:00
Feb 12, 2021, 10:56 AM | Article By: Sheriff Saidykhan
Amid the outbreak of the Novel coronavirus in the country, many people are compelled to stay at home for their safety, but the vulnerable physically challenged and mentally imbalanced persons are left in marginalised situations in the street corners.
This reporter was out and about to look into the plight of persons with disabilities at Kaddy's Foundation for Differently Able in Brikama, West Coast Region.
The rights activist and founder of Kaddy's Foundation for Differently Abled, Kaddy Jadama, said many persons living with disabilities are reeling with mental disorders and totally left abandoned without proper care by their families, and even the society.
She indicated that the disability issue is one of the main problems facing the country.
“Society needs to view disability issue with realistic lenses, and increase its tentacles in order to tackle the marginalisation trend of persons living with disability. Many disable people are living under vulnerable conditions in the streets without decent living. We help the mentally imbalanced who are abandoned by their families or the ones without family. We also pick them in the streets and take them to Tanka Tanka because every human needs a home and a right to life and good living." she posited.
Jadama recounted her encounter with a homeless, mentally imbalanced disabled person eating rotten food in the street, describing that deplorable condition as intolerable.
This, among other issues forced her to render humanitarian support. "I was coming from the village, and I saw the man eating from the dustbin. Every day, he slept in the Brikama car park. I was able to get him to the mentally imbalanced hysterical hospital where he is currently living now." she said.
The welfare of disabled homeless persons, she said, has for the past decades, been ignored and abandoned by the society and the authorities.
She thus argued that the question on plight of persons with disability and mentally challenged persons still remains unanswered.
“I observed that, person living with disabilities contribute significantly to the socio-economic drive of the country. I therefore challenged the government and relevant stakeholders to corporate their responsibility, imbued with collective action from society geared towards addressing the plight of mentally imbalanced, and persons living with disability in the country. Mental health deserves attention from the government, and society to collectively make it a priority." she said.
The government through the National Assembly, she said, should approve the disability bill into Act, to ensure the prevalence of their safety conditions.
"The government has a bigger role to play to alleviate the lives of people living with disability. The government should concentrate on the Differently Abled bill and approve it. The government should make health a right and not a privilege. Because every human being deserves a decent living" she concluded.
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