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Disabled International Sierra Leone report says 600,000 disabled are homeless

Disabled International Sierra Leone report says 600,000 disabled are homeless

A non-governmental organization, Disabled International Sierra Leone (DIF-SL), yesterday launched its report on the state of homeless persons with disability in the country.

The report, revealing 600,000 disabled homeless people, was launched at the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs conference room, New England Ville, Freetown.

Addressing pressmen, the chairman of the programme who doubles as Director at the Ministry, Francis Kabia, said his ministry is tasked with the job of seeking the welfare of the disabled and thanked DIFSL Director, Imbambay Kamara for her persistent effort in addressing the perils of persons with disability.

Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Person with Disability, Janet Robinson disclosed that the commission was establishment in 2012 but started its operations in 2013.

She cited peoples’ perception and beliefs as barriers and impediments towards disabled persons of which the commission is fighting to improve.

A representative of the ministry, Sheik, said with the spirit to address the agonies of disabled persons, the Ministry has established the Disability Act; the Commission and a technical committee to look at issues concerning the disabled persons.

Giving her findings of the report, DIF-SL Director, Mrs. Kamara outlined reasons for which the Disability Act was adopted as a direct response to challenges such as the early demise of parents, rape, and other issues that cause homelessness of many disabled persons.

She said discrimination in public transport, education, and other sectors, deserves public engagement, especially through the media, to change peoples’ views and perception about the disabled.

She further disclosed that DIF-SL has bought two acres of land at Lungi where they intend to build structures to house disabled persons.

Launching the report, the Deputy Minister in the ministry, Mustapha Bai Attila admonished all disabled persons that inasmuch as they deserve fair treatment like their counterparts, they are equally not above the law and he admonished them to refrain from illegal activities as reports seem to indicate that some members of the disabled community are engaged in nefarious practices.

By Mohamed Kabbah Turay

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