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16.06.2005 Regional News

NGO donates wheelchairs to physically challenged


Accra, June 16, GNA - The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is to undertake a survey on children who accompany adults on the street to beg for livelihood. The results of the survey would be used to enrich policies and programmes for the protection of children in the country, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare, Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment said on Thursday.

She was speaking when she received 50 wheelchairs valued at 50 million cedis from Mission Africa 2000 INC., a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in California, USA, to the Department of Social Welfare. She said the Ministry was in the process of developing a National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) to assist the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society to live meaningfully.

Mrs Osei Opare said the essence of the NSPS was to support the disadvantaged and less privileged to become more productive rather than depending on social assistance and other forms of charity. She emphasised that wheelchairs should be given to people who would use them for productive activities and not to those who would use them to beg on the streets.

Dr. Kodjoe Sumney, Founder and President of Mission Africa, said the gesture was to sustain and support the needy and the disadvantaged. He said the donation was in response to government's appeal to NGOs to help the handicapped. Each region would receive 10 wheelchairs to be distributed to mothers and children suffering from polio at the various rehabilitation centres of the physically challenged for productive ventures to support themselves.