Monrovia – The Christian Association of the Blind has appealed to the United Nations Development Program to assist with the institutional capacity building of the organization to operate on a wider scale in addressing the needs of its member across the country. The association’s President, Beyan Kota, said the CAB anticipates the continuation of UNDP’s funded program to enable it to revamp the poultry project and concentrate on its operation of marketing chicken and poultry eggs as income generation for organizational sustainability.
Mr. Kota made the appeal when the Country Representative of the UNDP, Stephen Rodriquez, paid an official visit to the Christian Association of the Blind Resource Center in R-Two located on the Monrovia-Roberts field highway. Mr. Kota added that the organization solicits the UNDP’s funding support to enable them to continue the construction of a concrete fence around the parameter of the Association to ensure the protection of the facility.
He also appealed for the provision of technological materials and equipment to improve skills of empowerment and development opportunities for the blind at the CAB Center. According to Mr. Kota, the visit of the UNDP’s Country Representative is historic because the CAB, which has over 4,500 members with chapters in ten of the 15 sub-political divisions in Liberia, is the biggest organization of people of the blind community.
“We hope and trust that what we begin here today will extend to include other activities especially to make a meaningful impact with respect to education and building the capacity of the blind people in Liberia, the UNDP initially provided funding for the establishment of the law which eventually established the National Commission on Disability. With your support, that law provides in one of its sessions that make it mandatory for three seats for people with disabilities but since then it has been ignored.”
Meanwhile, the UNDP Country Representative accredited to Liberia, Stephen Rodriquez, assured his institution’s commitment to supporting major programs of the Christian Association of the Blind. Stephen Rodriquez, however, vowed to serve as ambassador to attract partners to get involved with activities of the organization, encouraging members to be more focused on achieving their desired goals.
“Our interest is not just to support agricultural activities for the blind, we are also interested in making sure that people with disabilities benefit, participate and cover all aspects of life in Liberia.”
Regarding the elections, he stated that the largest component of the UNDP program is to assist those who have impairments in making sure they participate and cast ballots. He claimed that in order to ensure that services are more widely accessible to persons with disabilities, the UNDP is also collaborating with the government, the National Commission on Disability, and other organizations.
The group, which was founded a little over 35 years ago, was created to increase the capability of blind people. It also has affiliations with a number of other international organizations for the blind, including the International Blind Union and the African Union of the Blind. Because it signaled the renewal of the relationship between the CAB and UNDP, Mr. Kota referred to the visit of the UNDP Country Representative as a historic day.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius
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