The Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM), on Saturday, organised a fund-raising dinner toward the project to provide social infrastructure for Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
Dubbed “The CEM Ability Village” estimated at about $390million, the project would be constructed on a 500-acre land at Agortor in the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region.
The project, expected to commence in October, would provide a model support to PWDs in health and social care, education and training and other activities to enhance their economic activities.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the CEM Ability Village Project, Rev. Grace Akrofi (Mrs), the health facility would have an ultra-modern hospital to provide mental health, social care services, advocacy, counselling services, information and outreach services nationwide as well as social development facilities.
On education she said a Vocational Education and Training (VET) facility would provide training courses in ICT, fashion and designing, electrical and electronic, web development, cosmetology and hair styling, carpentry, food and beverage management, automotive servicing, photography and apprenticeship to equip the residents with employable skills.
Mrs Akrofi explained that the third model involved business grants, financial support and a technology centre for software development and other creative opportunities.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who was the special guest commended the church for the bold step that would put smiles on the faces of the PWDs.
“The CEM Ability Village Support would empower the PWDs to fully participate in all facets of society across the country and confidently I can say that this ability village is the culmination of all the good works. Rev. Steve Mensah has been doing these for so long that is why we are all gathered here to support this laudable initiative.”
According to him the support would eliminate that communication barrier and other negative consequences that suppressed PWDs such as social exclusion, physical and mental challenges, discrimination, stigmatisation lack of self-esteem and financial difficulties.
Alhaji Dr Bawumia said disabilities were more likely to face heightened economic hardship and challenges if government had not intervened with the disability fund which had contributed to reducing the barriers that hinder full participation of PWDs.
“Government would partner other stakeholders to address the various challenges head on because we all need to work more to remove all obstacles facing our brothers and sisters,” he added.
He promised to adopt measures to create more inclusive communities to support persons with disability.
The Chair of the Board of Trustees of CEM village, Rev. Dr Steve Mensah, said it was very difficult for people to understand and appreciate the plight of PWDs and the enormity of making poor persons happy.
According to him most of them slept on card boards, lived in unhygienic conditions in their dwellings without detergents due to ardent poverty, while those with special needs had talents that could be unearthed for national development.
“Persons with disabilities do not crave for pity, they want to be treated as human beings with equal opportunities to be able to integrate into society, because they are talented as such should not be denied the right to health, education, livelihood, participation and inclusion,” he said.