|Afford equal opportunities to the disabled: First Lady|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:08|
against people with disabilities, saying they should be afforded equal opportunities like their able bodied counterparts.
She said this at commemorations to mark the Day of the African Child in Harare under the theme, “The Rights of Children with Disabilities, the Duty to Protect, Promote, Respect and Fulfil.”
“However, far from being cases or object of pity, those who live with disabilities have different skills, talents and capacities which we only get to know when we listen to them more carefully and take an active interest in their lives,” she said.
Amai Mugabe said children with disabilities faced a lot of challenges that included exclusion from education, employment, cultural activities, sports, sexual abuse and other social events.
“This alone must surely shake our society from its apathy and encourage a more positive view towards these children,” the First Lady said.
“It is my considered view that this responsibility must be collective and all stakeholders should pool their efforts together in order to formulate actionable strategies to ease the burden of children with disabilities,” she said.
The First Lady, who is also the matron of the Danhiko Project, said she had embarked on the construction of a Children’s Home in Mazowe as a contribution to the challenges facing children.
“The Children’s Home and ancillary facilities at Mazowe are the result of a vision I was blessed with in the late 1990s. Over the years I have faced setbacks, doubt and financial challenges but the vision would not die.
“I am thankful to the Almighty who has sustained me throughout. The work at Mazowe is my modest contribution to the children of this great nation God gave us,” Amai Mugabe said.
She said it was important that the various plans and concepts that have been drawn up to improve the plight of disabled children should be put to practice, adding that as a person she believed in action.
Various activities and displays were on exhibition by children with disabilities from various institutions.
The school children were protesting against the racist policies in the education sector.