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Activist urges persons with disability to be partners in development, not beneficiaries

By Simon Deng

People living with disability must be partners in service delivery in the country, and not people who just wait for assistance, Chandiga John, the Coordinator for the Africa Disability Forum said.

Proper plans and programs must be designed by the Union for Persons Living with Disability in South Sudan in a way that incorporates them in both personal and national developments, John said at a consultative meeting in Juba on Thursday.

“Our aim is to make sure that persons with disability not become beneficiaries, they are to be partners in service delivery, to work together with stakeholders,” he said.

“We need to see how they are organized in terms of financial management, capacity building and in terms of planning and programming.”

“We have to make sure they have board members who are elected democratically and to make sure that they can take lead in advocating for right of person with disability in South Sudan and can also work in advocating to make sure South Sudan ratified and enact laws,” he said.

The consultative meeting was organised to guide a forthcoming general assembly of the Union of Persons Living with Disabilities in South Sudan, set for April, Agustino Wudu Elario, the Chairperson for the Union said.

Members in attendance will are expected from across South Sudan but challenges to bring them together remain huge, Elario said.

“There are challenges to go and mobilize members, one of the challenges is logistic issues, financial constraints and also the situation in the country,” he said.

Stephen Dhieu Kuach, who handles issues of Persons Living with Disabilities at the Office of the Vice President for Gender Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng, said the government is ready to build a strong union for persons with disabilities.

“We are here to help them really achieve strong institutions in terms of setting up systems, to make them strong,” Kuach said.

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