Saturday, December 14, 2013

International Disability Day 3rd December 2013

This day was to celebrate disability; support disability rights and promote the integration of people with disabilities in society. It was celebrated with HUGE community event at the Sandema ‘Grand Durbar’ grounds in the town centre with many dignitaries and Disabled People’s Organisation in attendance
The theme of the day was: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all” What a fitting and welcoming theme it was indeed; one that was hoped by all attendee’s, people will carry forward and put into practice throughout the rest of their lives!
The event started with an incredibly diverse and vibrant of 200+ people through Sandema Town holding up many meaningful posters and banners like:
Disability is not Inability
International Disability Day 2013
Jobs for Disabled
Justice for all

The march concluded in the durbar grounds which led to a smooth transition onto the beginning of the day’s events. The M.C. for the day, Timothy, took the microphone and introduced the Suwansa drumming group. They put on a wonderful performance for the large crowd; many of whom got up to dance!
The program began with a short opening prayer by local pastor Michael Gumah. Following this, many dignitaries in attendance took to the stage to give their meaningful speeches. Dignitaries in attendance included;
  • ·         Keynote speaker, the Deputy Regional Minister for the Upper East Region, Daniels Syme
  • ·         The Assembly woman for Kobdema (the area where CBR is based in Sandema), Grace Abayiak
  • ·         Chief of Siniesi and Chairman of the day, Afulang Apaikgiak
  • ·         Coordinator of the Sandema PCBR project, Maxwell Akandem
  • ·         Upper Presbytry Chairman of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Esmond Nagba
  • ·         Head of the Sandema DPO and local schoolteacher, Gilbert
  • ·         The National Director for Development and Social Services
  • ·         The District Chief Executive
After these incredibly inspiring and heartwarming speeches from the dignitaries, a disabled student from Sandema Techical Senior High School, David, performed an amazing break dance routine for the pleasure of the crowd. It was a phenomenal performance which was warmly received by all present. Following this the Sandema DPO put on a short singing and dancing performance for the crowd. After this a drama skit was performed by children from the ‘St. John’s Integrated School’ in Navrongo. The performance was about communication barriers between the deaf and others in society. The narrator explains that sign language is a language which can be used to communicate and even learn in, just like regular speech. It was short but a very meaningful, educative performance.

Keynote speaker, the Deputy Regional Minister for the Upper East Region, Daniels Syme officially launched the ‘New Era’ soap. New Era soap is handcrafted by women from the Sandema Disabled People’s Organization using locally sourced products. Mr Syme launched the soap with an incredibly generous purchase of 30 cedi’s worth! Encouraging the assembly to do the same, this is the best way to promote something. Our bishop then gave a wonderful oratory and prayer over the soap, giving it a blessing from God. The ‘New Era’ had officially started and the stall was busy for the next 30 minutes!

Chairman of the day, Aflulang Apaikgiak concluded the day with one final repeat of the theme, asking everyone to “remember our dear brothers and sisters!” He was joined by Maxwell who gave one final thank you to all the honorable guests and a special thank you to all the staff and International Service volunteers who made the day a huge success. :) 

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