"Tezaawanuba" drama promotes disability rights and inclusion in Wa East District

By Aminu Ibrahim II Contributor
Regional News Tezaawanuba drama promotes disability rights and inclusion in Wa East District

The “Tezaawaanuba” drama orchestrated by the Necessary Aid Alliance, a youth-led not-for-profit organization, has conscientize community members towards promoting disability rights and social inclusion in the Wa East District.

The drama, which formed the core of the "Tezaawanuba" project which translates to “We Are All Human,” shed light on the struggles and triumphs of People with Disabilities (PWDs) and called community folks to a sense of duty in supporting PWDs.

The "Tezaawanuba" project is being implemented by the Necessary Aid Alliance under the grant support of Plan International Ghana Youth Challenge Fund with the goal of fostering social inclusion and promoting and protecting disability rights.

Staged at Tuasah and Bulenga communities in the Wa East District on Friday, May 10, 2024, the drama performance engaged the community members in crucial conversations about inclusion and respect for PWDs.

Speaking at the communities, the Project Lead, Ms. Shazia-Ahmed Ismail said the project, of which the drama is central, sought to challenge negative stereotypes against the differently-abled members of our societies and promote a culture of respect and dignity for them.

She indicated that the condition of disability of an individual does not make them any less of a human being and for that matter, does not deserve to be treated unlike a human being.

“We want to say that these people who are identified with some disability conditions like loss of sight, hearing, speech disorders, or loss of a limb, and any other condition, are still members of our communities who have certain capacities that can help develop our communities if they are supported and given the opportunity,” she said.

Ms. Ismail, therefore, urged the community members to always endeavour to meaningfully include PWDs in all aspects of their community life and activities such as naming and outdooring ceremonies, communal events, and meetings.

She further admonished school children to also refrain from teasing and mocking their colleagues with disabilities but to become supportive and friendly towards them.

The drama performance was met with enthusiasm and appreciation from the community members as it brought to the fore the challenges faced by PWDs and highlighted the importance of empathy and compassion towards them.

By sharing the stories and experiences of PWDs, the dramaturgical performance helped to break down barriers and foster a sense of community and belonging, and the impact became palpable as community members expressed gratitude for the initiative.

Mallam Abdul Nasir Yahaya, a member of the Bulenga community, said the initiative was historic and maiden in the community as he recalled it was first time in three decades that a community durbar had focused on promoting inclusion for PWDs.

“We have never witnessed a gathering like this in this community. Since I have been here from 1992, this sort of durbar has never happened and I think it is enlightening and a clarion call to each one of us to become compassionate towards them [PWDs],” he said.

He urged his fellow community members to give their children born or afflicted with disability the opportunity to enroll in school and also accept them as members of the community.

He expressed worry over what he described as “poisoning children born with disabilities to death” which he said was a commonplace in the area and urged the community members to turn away from it saying it was “the doing of God” and “sinful” kill them.

The Assembly Member of the Bulenga Electoral Area, Mr. Halitu Eliyasu expressed gratitude to the Necessary Aid Alliance for choosing his area to stage the drama to drum home the need for respect, dignity, and compassion towards PWDs.

Mr. Kuri David, a Unit Committee member, on behalf of the Assembly Member of the Tuasah Electoral Area, thanked the Necesaary Aid Alliance and also called on the members of the Tuasah community to embrace PWDs in the community and support them in everything they do.

The “Tezaawaanuba” drama is intended to be staged in eight communities across three districts in the Upper West Region with the project adopting various educative and impactful strategies towards achieving its goal.