Blessing Iruoma, Port Harcourt
A non-governmental organization, D-Ability Initiative has concluded six months free entrepreneurial skill acquisition training for 30 deaf women in Rivers.
The initiative which provides support and empowerment for persons with special needs organized the capacity building with supported from the European Union through the British Council and Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT).
This training was aimed at improving the livelihood of persons with disabilities, with emphasis on the deaf women in Rivers State.
The Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu at the graduation ceremony yesterday in Port Harcourt, said the reason for building the capacity of deaf women is to build them to effectively participate in their various families and society at large.
“When it comes to the persons with disabilities, the deaf are the most marginalized. If they are unskilled or uneducated, how can they measure up to the demands of the society”.
Nwanyanwu who outlined the various positive impacts the skill acquisition programme would have on the society, said “When a woman with disabilities renders services and you patronise her, she will feel accepted and gain a sense of belonging. This will in turn make her a better person who creates value and receives value.
Earning money through their skills will stop them from begging which could expose them up to rape and other vulnerabilities. Also when a woman has a source of income to support her partner, it reduces the incidences of domestic violence.”
Nwanyanwu called for support from the Federal and state government, as well as kind-hearted individuals and organizations to partner with Initiative in setting up a skills hub where the newly trained women would be useful to themselves, society and where more persons with disabilities would be trained.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Tochi Ibe, who spoke with The Nigerian Xpress through an interpreter, expressed appreciation for the opportunity given to them to have a meaningful life.
“We are grateful to D-Ability Initiative and the European Union for helping us to gain skills in the fashion industry. We will use this knowledge to benefit ourselves. I say thank you”
One of the trainers Mrs. Chi Oduagu expressed satisfaction with the effort put by the trainees in the course of the training, stating that they progressed so rapidly beyond her expectations. She called on the general public to patronize them.