Dr Henry Seidu Daana, Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, has advised people with disability to lead lives that will leave a positive impression in the minds of younger persons with disabilities.
He said: “Encourage and motivate the younger ones to do even greater,” at a ceremony to launch the maiden edition of an Excellence Awards for Persons with Disability.
Dr Daana, who is the first visually impaired person to be called to the Bar in Ghana, asked “Can humanity stand without humanitarianism? And answered that humanitarianism is what makes humanity.
The launch of the Excellence Awards, which coincides with World Humanitarian Day celebrated on August 19 every year, has been named after the Minister.
The Awards will therefore be called Daana Excellence Awards.
The Awards ceremony to be held on December 7 is aimed at celebrating the achievements of truly remarkable people who have overcome their disabilities would be held annually.
Ms Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre, noted that people with disabilities are full citizens and entitled to equal rights just as people without disability.
She said: “People living with Disability continuously have to battle exclusion and restrictions which hinder their full participation in the society.”
Ms Prah advised the youth to advance opportunities for all people irrespective of who they are, to enable them rise up to their highest potential.
She said the understanding of the youth regarding disability must be redirected to the fact that disability is not inability.
Touching on the celebration of World Humanitarian Day, Ms Prah said the day is set aside by the United Nations in honour of aid workers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
She advised Ghanaians to help provide opportunities for the less privileged.
Mr Prince Sakeyfio, Founder of Emperor Gaza International Foundation, organisers of the Daana Excellence Awards, said the attention of his organisation was drawn to people with disabilities because they receive less attention in the society and continue to encounter various types of barriers.
The Daana Excellence Awards being organised on the theme: “Development and Empowerment for All: Removing Barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society,” would have two main categories that is Awards for people Living with Disabilities Achievers and the Stakeholder Awards.
Mr Sakeyfio explained that under the Stakeholder awards, categories would include Awards for people who have advanced the rights of people with disabilities; Young Disability Challenge Awards for younger people have advanced the rights of people with disabilities; Business Awards for large and small businesses; Accessible Housing Award for property developers; and Government and Local Government award for Councils, who have implemented sustainable changes to improve the situation of people with disabilities.
The Achievers category, he explained would be in the area of Sports, Music, Politics, Academia, Entrepreneurship and Life Time Achievers awards.
Mr Sakeyfio said the criteria for selection in the various categories would be provided by the particular sector involved, for instance the Musician Union of Ghana would provide the category in the area of Music.
Mr Joseph Yammin, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, said government is working with international organisations to eliminate issues of discrimination in international disabled sports competitions.
He advised the youth to see people living with disabilities as an essential part of the society.
Students of the Dzorwulu special school treated guest to some performances.