Stigmatization hampering LEAP implementation in Cape Coast

Ms. Felicia Naa Ankrah, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Social Welfare Officer, has bemoaned the level of stigmatization against people with disabilities in the area.

He said the situation was stifling the smooth implementation of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme in the Metropolis.

She said out of the 1,603 beneficiaries and 776 households under the programme, only 52 disabled persons are benefiting and described the figure as “small” considering the number of disabled persons, particularly children, who are mostly hidden in rooms to escape stigmatization.

Ms. Ankrah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday.

She said her outfit, in order to deal with the situation, would be undertaking community sensitization programmes to help identify more of such children and encourage their parents to bring them out.

Ms. Ankrah said the LEAP was a very laudable programme, which had been of immense benefit to children with intellectual disabilities, in particular, because it was through it that majority of them have been identified and enrolled.

This he said would enable them to realize their full potentials in a school established by the Australian High Commission in the Metropolis.

She said the Department had also trained 48 disabled persons in customer care, book keeping, managing business, group work and group dynamics, with the aim of equipping them with entrepreneurial skills.

Ms. Ankrah explained that the evidence of lack of entrepreneurial skills during the Voluntary Service Oversees’ (VSO) bi-annual monitoring of their businesses necessitated the organization of the training programme, to equip them with the needed skills for running successful business.

She said an amount of GHC42, 000 was expected from the Assembly’s Common Fund to provide financial assistance to the disabled to undertake business ventures.

Ms. Ankrah said each household, depending on the number of eligible beneficiaries, gets an amount, ranging from GH¢8.00 to GH¢15.00, in addition to other complimentary services, including registration with the National Health Insurance Scheme, as well as being enrolled in schools.

Source: GNA

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