By Chima Azubuike
Gombe State Government says the welfare of Persons With Disabilities remains top of its priorities.
The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, who made this known when he received Cedar Seed Foundation and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), on an advocacy visit to the state Inclusive Education Framework also assured government’s commitment to their educational needs.
Njodi maintained that the innate abilities of persons with special needs to be fully harnessed for good of the state and country.
He also directed relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to budget lines for programmes related to gender and social inclusion across the State.
While appreciating the United States Agency for International Development USAID for its impactful intervention in critical areas of development in the state, Professor Njodi assured that the government is willing to continue providing the enabling environment for further collaborations.
Mercy Filli also said their organization has embarked on an advocacy drive to sensitize all stakeholders on Gombe state Inclusive Education Framework which focuses on persons with special needs.
She, therefore, appealed to the government for support and provision for budget lines for social inclusion-related programmes.
Also speaking, Programme Officer of Cedar Seed Foundation, John Jessy, informed the SSG that the foundation has gotten grant from USAID to provide interventions in the educational needs of persons living with physical challenges in five local government areas of the state including Shongom, Kaltungo, Akko, Yamaltu- Deba and Kwami.
Jessy further explained that the major thrust of the intervention is creating the required environment for children with disabilities to pursue education side by side with their peers without disabilities, so as give them a sense of belonging in society.