The offices of the National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD) in Sinkor was the scene of merry-making yesterday when the entity and members of the disabled community observed this year’s Independence Day for Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD) in grand style.
The celebration was held under the theme, “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.”
Though this year’s celebration was intended to be low key, PLWD turned out en masse and were seen in high spirits enjoying the occasion.
The theme, according to the keynote speaker, Madam Inez Hayes, is timely as it marks the conclusion of the period of the millennium development goals (MDGs) by the coming year, and the launching of the new development framework of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The theme is also based on the goal of equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with disabilities, as established by the World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons and adopted by the General Assembly in 1982.
“As of December 18, 2007, the UN changed the name from International Day of Disabled Persons to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Earlier, NUOD National President, Rev. Fallah S. Boima, said the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 47/3.
According to him, it aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
As for the NUOD, Rev. Boima said, the Union joins all organizations, unions, federations of PLWD, governments and United Nations agencies the world over in the celebration of December 3, in a solemn and quiet manner “as we join the government, international community, the people of Liberia and our neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).”
“We the persons with disabilities, being fully aware of the danger Ebola poses to the nation, and the great people of Liberia, consider this year’s celebration as low key as we remember those of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives as the result of the EDV.”
Meanwhile, the NUOD says it remains grateful to the government and her international partners for leading the fight against Ebola.
They then promised to stand by the government and its partners as they celebrated the day with the slogan: “Nothing For Us Without Us.”