Vodafone Ghana Foundation, the charity arm of Vodafone Ghana, has trained eighty (80) Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on coding and robotics to commemorate the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The event formed part of the Foundation’s monthly ‘Birthday Stars’ initiative which seeks to execute monthly projects with birthday celebrants to mark selected international days, in line with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, who graced the occasion as a December birthday celebrant, highlighted Vodafone’s contribution in empowering individuals with disabilities.
“A few years ago as an organisation, we chose to employ people who can sign to assist a percentage of our customers who don’t have access to our call centre. I’m very happy with the training session and what I have seen today. This is the first time I have witnessed the goal ball game and we will do everything we can to support you”, she said.
Participants were taken through several activities covered with coding, robotic studies and website development. Additionally, December birthday celebrants; Ghanaian comic actors, Clemento Suarez and OB Amponsah engaged them in an indoor game, the Paralympic goal ball.
In an interview, the Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation, Reverend Amaris Nana Perbi said, “We had over 80 different physically challenged people that we had to mentor groom and teach them to be conversant with the PC and technology. We were also able to have a recreational time with them as they represent the national sports activities”.
“This is very significant for us to observe the international month of disability with our monthly birthday stars activities that we do. This doesn’t end here, for instance, in the month of January, we are going back again for the International Day of Education and following with February, March, April. In May; Day for Girls Studies and Girls in Science, and then further on International Health Day. So this is something that has come to stay and no wonder that we’ve got the best initiative and innovative award at the Excellence Sustainability Award”, he said.
On her part, the Director in charge of Legal and External Affairs at Vodafone Ghana, Geta Striggner-Quartey, called for a collective effort to assist Persons with Disabilities.
“We were happy to hear that, for instance, the Goal ball is something that we’ve been doing very well at and we just need more support. They need more support so that they can compete more effectively on international competitions. So we were really encouraged by this. We’ll be supporting them and we really want to reach out to the whole of Ghana to continue to support them so that they can actually partake in these international events and feel like they’re all part of us.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities at every level of society and development. Additionally, it also aims to raise awareness of the situations of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.