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Her Majesty, Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso has appealed to the public to love and support people with disability so that they feel appreciated and part of the societal development.

Her Majesty, who is the Patron for Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD), was speaking at commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held at Hlotse in Leribe on Monday under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all’.

She said the support is demonstrated by including people with disabilities in community developmental activities and to avoid criticism and discrimination against them.

She expressed concern over the hiring process of the people with disabilities which she said is not fare as it is similar to those without disabilities, saying it is not easy for a person with disabilities to get employed due to leaky policies.

Her Majesty therefore appealed to the Minister of Social Development to seek advice from neighboring countries on how to go about employment policy for the persons with disabilities.

'Employing people with disabilities will lower unemployment rate in the country,' she said. 

She commented that people with disabilities do not lack patience as said by many people, saying they are compelled by bad treatment given to them by service providers and other community members.

Meanwhile, Her Majesty commended the Ministry of Education and Training for the initiative to ensure that all children have access to education, citing the ministry’s announcement in 2015 whereby the Leribe district was ranked highest among districts with schools catering for pupils with disabilities and singled out schools such as Mount Royal Primary and High schools as well as St. Paul School for the Deaf. 

In addition, she said the ministry has also made a remarkable change to people with disabilities by engaging sign language interpreters under Special Education to help the persons with deaf disability.

In conclusion. Her Majesty promised to keep in touch with the Minister of Social Development so to ensure that all challenges listed are tackled and done with so that next year’s celebration comes with different ones.

Also speaking, the Minister of Social Development, Mrs. 'Matebatso Doti said her Ministry is mandated to ensure welfare of the people with disabilities hence ready to listen and note the complaints and challenges they face so to work against them and to ensure that every one of them attains a better living.

Talking about Equity Bill, Mrs. Doti appealed for people with disabilities’ patience as the bill will soon be presented in Parliament, saying the Bill is of great importance as it addresses all the issues affecting them.

She also mentioned that Ithuseng Vocational Rehabilitation Centre is currently capacitating ex-trainees with skills to start the projects in their respective villages.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Niyonzima Salraton said people with disabilities are members of the society and they have ability to contribute towards societal developments.

He said it is high time people avoid criticism and discrimination against people with disabilities and remove cultural barriers to create conducive environment for them.

Echoing same sentiments, the Chairperson of LNFOD, Mrs. 'Mabataung Khetsi said people with disabilities have the ability to take part in politics and cultural practices like other normal people hence should be included in public forums. 

She said according to the study made in 2015, two percent of Basotho have disability thus most of them are visually impaired and those with mentally disability.

Present at the occasion included Members of Parliament for Matlakeng, Peka, Likhetlane, Kolonyama, Leribe and Maputsoe.

Last year the event was held in Mafeteng.

The International Day of Persons with Disability is commemorated annually on December 3. 

Source: LENA 04/12/2017


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