Disabled sidelined in NC

2016-11-02 06:03
At the Ikageng Project are from the left Mac Mia, (chairperson: National Council for Persons with Disabilities - NCPD), Andries Bitterbos (driver: Association for Persons with Disabilities - APD), Lydia Maarman (Ikageng workshop), Gert Klopper (Petra Diamonds) and Dorothy-Anne Howitson (vice-chairperson of the NCPD).  Photo: Boipelo Mere

At the Ikageng Project are from the left Mac Mia, (chairperson: National Council for Persons with Disabilities - NCPD), Andries Bitterbos (driver: Association for Persons with Disabilities - APD), Lydia Maarman (Ikageng workshop), Gert Klopper (Petra Diamonds) and Dorothy-Anne Howitson (vice-chairperson of the NCPD). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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The vice-chairperson of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) expressed her dismay over the ongoing margina-lisation of persons with disabilities in the Northern Cape, especially as it affects children.

Kimberley-based Dorothy-Anne Howitson was recently re-elected as vice-chairperson.

She says persons with disabilities complain of being sidelined in terms of access to justice, education and assistive devices.

Howitson, together with the newly-elected chairperson, Mac Mia, and the national director, Therina Wentzel, have been visiting various projects and non-governmental organisations in the field of disability.

This was done as part of a consultation process, and to ensure that national actions are in line with local challenges and priorities.

Although Howitson and Mia both held leadership positions within the sector for over four decades on local, national and international level, they felt a need to touch ground and use the platform for introduction purposes in the province.

Amongst the projects visited by the leadership is the Kimberley-based Ikageng Project of the Association for Persons with Disabilities (APD), that works in partnership with Petra Diamonds, for economic participation opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Mia and Howitson met the Petra Diamonds leadership, after which Mia headed to Upington to facilitate a governance workshop where, according to the Rotary Club, leaders in the field of disability from all regions around the province were in attendance.

Wentzel was struck by the humility and courage of persons with disabilities in the province.

She expressed her satisfaction with excellent work done by the APD and their partners within the province.

Acknowledgement was also given to the successful development work undertaken in the Springbok area.

The national team further expressed special thanks to members of the community in the Northern Cape for their excellent participation in the flagship project of Casual Day.

Support for people with disabilties in the Northern Cape is growing by the year.

This is despite tough economic conditions, Howitson said in conclusion.

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