-as it commissions a rehab center for PWDs
The AngloGold Ashanti – Obuasi Mine working in partnership with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, has built and commissioned a rehabilitation and training center for Persons with Disability (PWDs), at a cost of GH₵664,000, in Obuasi.
The fully furnished facility is expected to help build the capacity of persons with disability to enhance their social and economic participation, in society and community building.
The Obuasi Training and Rehabilitation Center consist of three components, being a workshop, administrative block and a conference hall block.
It is also envisaged that the gesture would enhance the employability of PWDs through quality and demand driven skills.
Also, it will create a production unit to generate income to run the center; reduce post disability trauma and discrimination through counselling, functional literacy and rehabilitation among others.
The development is in line with the company’s vision to create and maintain an aligned and integrated workplace with an underlying all-inclusive culture based on shared values, that allows leveraging the diversity of employees and communities to achieve business outcomes.
The Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine, Dr. Eric Asubonteng, reckoned that the moral test of a society is how it treats those who may be vulnerable, including children, the elderly and persons with disability.
He said “as a people, we have a responsibility to promoting diversity and inclusion in our development process.”
Dr. Asubonteng, therefore, reiterated that AngloGold Ashanti’s value of leaving communities with a sustainable future, through the promotion of fundamental human rights and contributing to building productive, respectful and mutually beneficial partnerships.
This, he said, is in sync with their vision as well as highlights the commitment to promote diversity and inclusion not only at their workplace but also in the host communities.
He also recognized that, in 2008 the UNs Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commenced operation, creating a dynamic new disability rights paradigms that empowers PWDs than any time in history.
Among other principles, the Convention has focused on fostering participation and inclusion of persons with disability in development process.
Ghana also signed up to the UNs Convention on the Rights of PWDs, signaling the country’s commitment to protecting the rights of disabled people and empowering them for full social and economic participation.
The National President of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD), Rev. John Mettle, while expressing their appreciation to AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine for the gesture, noted that the project has come at the right time to support efforts to promote technical and vocational education, especially among PWDs.
He said the provision of such a facility is one of the many things that PWDs expect from society, given that there is high unemployment rate among PWDs due to hitherto societal neglect.
Rev. Mettle noted that ‘right from infancy, many PWDs are cut off from the educational system because several school premises are not accessible by PWDs.’
“Our mode of education is not accessible to Persons with Disability. So, as a person is born with disability, sadly, the person is excluded from key services, especially education.”
This, he mentioned, is a contributory factor to many PWDs becoming dependent others in the community and the nation as a whole.
It is against this background that he said if some of these interventions are put in place across the country, including making the educational set up such that a child born with disability can access education, PWDs will become empowered and independent.
The National President of GSPD called on all stakeholders to contribute to ensure the sustainability of the project, and also making sure that it fulfils the objectives for which it was established.
The GSPD also appealed for the setting up of a scholarship scheme to fund the education of PWDs who excel in Senior High School Certificate Exams, and those at the tertiary levels.
He was hopeful that when PWDs are assisted to reach a high height in education, it would among others be an encourage to others to commit to education and becoming empowered and independent.
The front view of the Obuasi Training and Rehabilitation Center. Inset: MD of AngloGlod Ashanti Obuasi Mine, Dr. Eric Asubonteng, addressing the gathering at the handing over ceremony.