The SWEB Foundation has constituted a team to investigate the critical needs parents of children with disabilities have, and recommend mitigation measures to overcome emotions, stress and stigma associated with those children.

PWDs
PWDs

A group of researchers, journalists and data analysts have therefore been formed to carry out the project in Accra and the Amansie West in the Grater-Accra and Ashanti Regions respectively, where 12 parents each have been chosen for the study.

The Foundation which is coined from the name Samuel Wellington Botwey (SWEB), is implementing the 31,000-Euro research project, funded by the Liliane Foundation, with technical support from the Enablement, both from the Netherlands .

Mr David Norden Botwey, Executive Director of SWEB Foundation, told the Ghana News Agency at a two-day workshop for the team that the research would last for six months, during which the parents would use photo and voice to track their interaction with the disabled children.

?Parents are going to be supported to be actively involved in the rehabilitation of their disabled children, via photo-voice and storytelling,? he said.

?We aim at getting a comprehensive picture of the current situation under which the disabled children and their parents live in,? the Director added.

He explained that the outcome of the research project would serve as a crucial starting point for the formation of parent support groups in which parents would jointly work towards the improvement of their children?s life.

Mr Botwey noted that parents had a major role in the education and rehabilitation of their disabled children, however, they were often confronted with myriads of social, emotional and economic challenges.

? The research is therefore expected to provide a comprehensive data that will form the basis for aggressive awareness-raising, and help the parents to support each other, to address the emotional trauma they faced in their social setting?, he said.

During the research period, Mr Botwey said, parents would share their concerns and needs, using photo-voice of their children, to tell stories that would stimulate discussions and come together to support each other to make demand for their children?s needs,?

Ms Joyce den Besten, Research Coordinator of Enablement, a Training, Research and Development Institute based in The Netherlands, said there had been too much focus on disabled children, but the parents equally played fundamental role in the rehabilitation process.

She expressed regret that in the 21st century many children could not access quality education and good health care due to social stigma against persons with disability.

? It is a shame that disability still remains a stigma, and children with disabilities cannot go to school or enjoy community life, I hope the outcome of the research will shake up government and non-governmental organisations, to address this problem,? she added.

The Liliane Foundation, also based in The Netherlands, aims to give children and youngsters with disabilities in developing countries access to medical and social rehabilitation.

Enablement is a training, research and development institute specialized in Community-Based Rehabilitation and inclusive development that aims to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

The SWEB Foundaton is a disability focused Non-Governmental Organization, committed to promoting the rights and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ghana.

GNA

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