Accra – UNIC Accra and the National Council on Persons with Disability partnered with Emperor Gaza International Foundation (EGIF), an NGO, to mark this year’s International Day of Persons with Disability with a difference. It is to recognize and honour persons with disability and those working in the sector at an awards ceremony dubbed the Daannaa Excellence Awards. The DEA is named in honour of Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, Ghana’s Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs and the first visually-impaired person in Ghana to become a lawyer and a Minister of State.

It is to promote issues of disability and create public awareness of the right of persons with disability that UNIC Accra provided technical support to EGIF to hold the awards ceremony which is expected to be held annually. Twenty five individuals and organizations were recognized for their excellence in their various fields and outstanding work to improve the lives of people with disability.

A recipient of an Award

An award recipient smiles with pride

The event, which took place on Sunday December 8, 2013, was attended by representatives of the public and private sectors, members of the diplomatic community and a large number of media persons. Congratulating award recipients, the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah, said the awards are a very important avenue for showcasing what can be achieved when we break down barriers for persons with disability (PWDs).

“These individuals, despite several barriers and challenges, have shown resilience and determination in their pursuit of excellence that is not just about personal glory, but also one that inspires others to become more than what they are today and to accomplish more than they think they can.” She said.

The Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, who received a citation in recognition of his endearing accomplishment in life, expressed appreciation to the organizers for working tirelessly to make the awards ceremony successful.

Dr. Daannaa said the awards were a solemn way of telling the story of PLWDs and persons working in diverse ways to uplift their image. He added that the recognition of PLWDs was the beginning of a nation honouring great achievers and heroes dying for a nation, saying; ‘It is a battle to overcome challenges PLWDs go through in their social lives.’

Mr. Max Vardon, Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disability reiterated the need for civil society groups, government and the private sector organisations to focus on dealing with the root problems confronting PLWDs.

As part of activities to mark the International Day of Persons with Disability, UNIC Accra was able to successfully secure airtime on about 25 programmes of 12 media houses in Ghana to make available experts from the disability sector to educate the general public on the various issues of disability as it pertains to Ghana and the world and what it takes to have an all-inclusive society.