Freky Andrew-Essien Care Foundation (FAECARE Foundation) in collaboration with Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace holds a One-Day Seminar on “Disability Inclusive Peace Building” for Persons with Disability in Rivers State.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of FAECARE Foundation, Ndifreke Andrew-Essien said, “this seminar was a move to introduce peace building and it’s tenets to persons with disabilities, highlight the role of persons with disabilities in peace building processes and educate on peaceful elections for Persons with Disabilities.”
In her sessions she bemoaned how unfortunately, more time than not, persons with disabilities are largely excluded from peace building efforts – often through direct prejudice, a lack of recognizing PWDs as a distinct stakeholder group, and the general invisibility of Persons with disabilities.
She stated, that harmful attitudes among state, national and international leaders have kept persons with disabilities out of peace processes because of the misconception that it is too serious for a person with disability to be involved.
She highlighted how sadly, Persons with Disabilities themselves do not even think or know, that they are key stakeholders in formal and informal peace building processes, at all levels of society.
In her words “There is a lot of potential for disability rights to catalyze peace building, and the opportunity to make progress in disability rights during peace building processes.”
Different Sessions on Peace building, Disability Inclusive Peace Building, the power of dialogue and voter education for peaceful elections held from speakers from Uganda, Botswana and Nigeria.
A key highpoint was the interaction session with the Deputy Director of National Orientation Agency, on Peaceful and Inclusive Elections and a personal angle goodwill message from Rev Dr. James Wuye of the Interfaith Mediation Center.
At the end of the seminar with further interactions between the Executive Director of FAECARE, Ndifreke Andrew-Essien and Participants, it was established that indeed the participants had been exposed and sensitized on peace building and it’s processes, and more aware of prevention and protection from electoral violence.