The International Day of Persons living with Disabilities
The international Day of Persons living with Disability on the 3rd of December this year was especially significant because of the Covid 19 pandemic that has taken the whole world by storm.
This year’s theme was “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World.”
The work of Peter Bachmann Foundation among the most vulnerable communities resonates very well with this theme as well as the address of Pope Francis whose sermon and reflection on this day dwelt on and highlighted the importance of inclusion and active participation for those with disabilities.
The majority of PBF beneficiaries are people living with disabilities or those facing various forms of frailties and vulnerabilities. These groups experience particular difficulty during such crisis as it is now with the current pandemic. The Covid 19 has has placed us in the same boat in the midst of a turbulent sea but as we struggle to reach the shore or weather the turbulance, some of us are struggling even more; among them us , the persons with serious disabilities.
We take it upon ourselves to deliberately to promote a culture of life that constantly affirms the dignity of every person and works especially to defend men and women with disabilities, of all ages and social conditions in all the communities where we work.
Inclusion and active involvement
Reaching out and giving support to people living with disabilities is important but actively engaging and involving them in formulating policies and hands-on participation is even more important for their social, psychological and even physical wellbeing. These people have always faced rejection, due to a narcissistic and utilitarian mentality, that results to marginalization.
At PBF, we try to put these noble ideas of inclusion, involvement and motivation in practice by giving responsibilities to various persons living with disabilities like our Education representative in Ethiopa, Mohammed Mushaga who lost both his in a fire accident at the age of 8. Our education support for students also emphasises an affirmative action and consideration for people with disability. We currently support 7 students living with various forms of disability and infact our Project Coordinator, Dan Amolo who lost one of his eyes after several operations for tracoma which is a typical cause for blindness among the populations of the tropical Africa.
As Pope Francis observed on his message for this day, inclusion, should be the “rock” on which to build programmes and initiatives of civil and ecclesial institutions to ensure that no one, especially those in greatest difficulty, is left behind.