Gbarpolu Disabled Community Decries Marginalization

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Mama Korpo, Gbarpolu County’s Coordinator of the National Union of the Disabled, has frowned on the marginalization of people living with disabilities in the county.

She said disabled people cannot easily have access to public facilities such as hospitals, schools and other youth empowerment activities, in the county.

She made the statement Saturday, May 3, when she attended the World Press Freedom Day in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County.

“These facilities are built in a way that people who are disabled cannot easily go in or out of them,” she said. She further stated that when they visit the hospital, they are hardly cared for or attended to.

According to her, nurses ignore them and “they feel like talking to us is a waste of time,” she added, sadly.

She further stated that because of their physical disabilities, most of them find it difficult to enter hospital buildings, “because the stairs are high and some of us don’t have people to take us around.”

“For the younger children,” she narrated, “particularly those who are blind, they face problems going to school; so many of these children grow up without entering a classroom.”

“We have been marginalized by our community members and some of them feel that nothing good can come from us,” she noted, “People find it funny teasing us in different forms just to make us feel bad about our condition.”

  The National Union of the Disabled comprises over 200 disabled persons in Bopolu, and she said some are capable of making shoes, sewing, and doing other crafts, including carpentry.

“As an organization, we will want to get involved with agriculture. And as our own effort towards achieving that, we have bought one lot of land so that we will start cleaning the place and start our project. With that little start, we will be able to raise money for other projects or activities the members will agree upon,” Madam Korpo stated.
She, however, added that they won’t be able to achieve their goal if the larger society doesn’t come to their aid.

She called the government through the county authorities, to render them assistance.

Mama Korpo said their only support comes from the their parent body— the National Commission on Disability (NCD) but it was not much because disable people are also in other counties.

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