Advocacy is indispensable tool for dev’t – EU Ambassador

Ambassador William Hanna, Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana, on Thursday observed that advocacy and education were indispensable tools for societal development anywhere, including Ghana.

He was interacting with the management of VOICE-Ghana, a Ho-based disability interest advocacy NGO, as well as beneficiaries and implementers of some of its programmes.

Mr Hanna said change and reform would only come when people engaged on issues, sometimes through the media.

That is bringing along others to understand and appreciate the problems that needed to be addressed, the EU Head of Delegation stated.

He lauded VOICE-Ghana for its clear vision and mission, purposeful management structure and transparent operational strategies.

Some of VOICE-Ghana’s projects are funded by Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana) with multi-donor outlays from the EU, DANIDA, DFID and USAID.

Mr Hanna, who took office some five months ago had been visiting EU sponsored programmes in the Volta Region.

He said the EU wished its values of freedom and human rights permeated every country so that all persons, including those with disabilities would have opportunities to attain their optimum.

Activities of VOICE-Ghana, founded in 2002, incorporate gender equality, human rights education and empowerment, advocacy and lobbying, reproductive health education and awareness, inclusive education, research and community-based rehabilitation.

VOICE-Ghana has also been providing training for People with Disabilities to thrust through marginalization to be part of political decision making or input those decisions at the local level especially.

The EU Ambassador visited the Akoefe-Gadza EP Primary School where VOICE-Ghana advocacy had supported 12 children with disabilities to join the main stream school as pupils.

Mr Hanna interacted with parents of the kids and teachers.

With Mr Hanna on the trip was Mr Joseph Bogrebon Allan, Programme Officer, EU Delegation to Ghana.

Mr Nat Tackie, Volta Regional Social Welfare Director, who was with VOICE-Ghana officials observed that enrolment of PWDs into mainstream schools was a big beginning in the fight against stigmatization of people with disabilities.

Mr Paul Fiavi, Board Chairman of VOICE-Ghana said the EU Head of Delegation’s visit was a huge encouragement for his organization to strive on in the defense and support for People with Disabilities.

Source : GNA