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Ford Foundation pushes inclusion, greater support for people with disabilities

The Ford Foundation has urged organisations to allocate a percentage of their budget towards promoting inclusion and catering for the community of people with disabilities.

Chichi Aniagolu Okoye, regional director, Ford Foundation Office for West Africa made the statement at the Lagos screening of the riveting social documentary film, ‘The Other Women’, produced by award-winning Pan Africa creative agency, Arden & Newton Limited, through its social responsibility arm, The Good Partner, and funded by the Ford Foundation.

The documentary film is a product of an 18-month detailed Two-part study and reports the study of the resilience of women with disabilities in resource-producing communities.

In her welcome remarks, The West African Director emphasised the need for collaborations by different organizations and partners in promoting equality, and social inclusion for people with disabilities, who are also victims of marginalisation and stigmatisation.

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She advised organisations to check their biases towards people with disabilities and be the change they want to see. According to her, “It’s important for us to influence ourselves first before changing other people in society.”

She further advocated for the creation of a people-first, and disability-friendly workplace and the employment of people with disabilities in corporate organisations.

According to her, these efforts would further aid understanding of their plight and struggle while fostering social inclusion.

Speaking at the event, Perez Tigidam, creative director of Arden and Newton Limited, stressed the need for more sensitisation and acceptance of those with disabilities, especially in rural areas where people have no access to information.

“They need to know their rights, the opportunities available, and how they can access them. Also, the People Living with disabilities Acts needs to be simplified for easy understanding in order for them to make appropriate demands for them,” he added.

“The Other Women”, documentary which was first premiered at the Silverbird Cinema, Yar’adua Centre, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in June tells captivating stories of the struggles of Women With Disabilities, (WWDs) in Nigeria’s extractive communities. It catalogues the first hand experience of women living with disabilities in resource-producing communities in Nigeria.

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