JUBA – South Sudan’s persons with disability joined the rest of the world to mark the start of the International Deaf Awareness Week to promote the positive aspects of disability and encourage social inclusion.
The awareness week will focus on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the organizations that support those with disabilities.
The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Celebrating Thriving Deaf Community”.
It is aimed at ensuring that persons with disability are not mistreated as well as educating the public to leave no one behind and work together for social inclusion.
Yar Telar Deng, a lawmaker representing Yirol West in the National Parliament stressed the need to establish enterprise development funds for persons with disabilities to create employment opportunities for them.
“The Revitalized Peace Agreement gives women enterprise funds and gives youth enterprise development funds but it does not give enterprise funds for people with disabilities. Let’s have something like that for them so that they will be able to access loans and be empowered financially,” Yar said during the International Deaf Awareness Week in Juba on Tuesday.
Modi Bage Mabaraza, Executive Director of Youth Women Christians Association (YWCA) acknowledged the sponsors for the great work done in mobilizing people to respect and support the persons with disability.
“We came to realize on many occasions that persons with disability are paid less attention to and they are not given opportunities in many areas because of the fact that they are disabled,” Mabaraza said.
Mabaraze urged the government to create programs that will support people living with disability.
“We would urge our government to join us to support these kinds of initiatives and these kind people so that we can be able to achieve our goal of leaving no one behind,” she said.
Josephine Kida, Executive Director for South Sudan National Deaf Children and Youth (SSNDCY) said Persons with Disability undergo challenges such as stigma, inadequate opportunities in the mainstream life and rampant discrimination, which has pushed them into the jaws of poverty.
“We persons with disabilities are not respected. People have not been focusing on us,” Kida said.