Don’t hide visually impaired children - EP Church Presbyter to parents
A Presbyter of the Good Shepherd Congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, Ho, Bettina Hewlett-Bogart, has appealed for the allocation of more funds towards providing quality life and education to most children, especially those living with disability.
Mrs Hewlett-Bogart who made the appeal during a presentation by the church to the New Horizon E.P. Educational Centre for the Blind in Ho, stated that visually impaired persons were not liabilities, and must be treated better.
She, therefore, called on parents hiding their children that are visually impaired to put a stop to it and enroll their children in the New Horizon educational centre for quality life.
"Good Shepherd Lashibi has adopted the centre so we will go all out to support. Parents should bring their children out. Come to the right place and seek help and get it. If you hide them, no one will see and help them. But with the goodwill of people, the children will have a bright future", she added.
The centre is a boarding facility where children and young persons with visual impairment undergo rehabilitation in order to be equipped with relevant skills to enable them join mainstream education to study with other children, depending on their levels and abilities.
The children receive training in mobility skills training, braille literacy skills, accessible computing skills, daily living skills and social skills among others.
The presentation was made to the school as part of the yearlong activities of the church towards its 25 years’ anniversary celebrations.
The items presented included food items, toiletries and stationeries made up of 20 pieces of school bags, five bags of 25kg rice, three bags of 5kg rice, a box of noodles, 25L gallon of oil, two crates of milk, 12 canned fishes, six boxes of biscuits, a box of beverages, packs of drinks, two boxes of sanitary pads, packs of tissue papers, and detergents.
Catechist Gershon Breni said the donation was a corporate social responsibility which sought to improve on the learning environment and living conditions of the children. He said that the church would not relent in its efforts to ensure that children living with disabilities had a home and proper training to enhance their knowledge, skills and talents.
In an address, the School Prefect, Mary Deh, said their right to education as children living with disabilities, most importantly, the visually impaired, would have been curtailed but for the intervention of the Evangelical Presbyterian Educational Centre for the Blind.
"It is worthy to note that despite our impairment, we are making remarkable progress in our academics. Last year for instance, one of us in primary six had grade one in mathematics. Another who also came to learn accessible computing completed and gained admission into Presbyterian College of Education to pursue a degree in basic education. These successes show clearly that indeed disability is not inability; and truly there is vision beyond sight, as our motto suggests," she added.
She appealed for support of a new braille embosser machine in order to provide access to adequate braille books for studies.
In an interview, Speaker of the Advisory Board of the Deutsches Blindenhilfswerk (DBHW), a German-based organisation, Regine Hauch, who pledged the organisation's continuous support to the school said it was the organisation's worldwide goal to close the disability gap and ensure that visually impaired children were privileged and positioned to have access to mainstream school and be competitive with their peers.