The United States ambassador to The Gambia, Patricia Alsup on Wednesday morning visited Start Now Organisation, a technology centre for the Visually Impaired People situated in Brikama New Town.
The center is the brainchild of 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Alieu Jaiteh, who conceived the idea to come up with a skill center to help his follow youths.
Speaking shortly after a conducted tour of the facility, Ambassador Alsup expressed gratitude to Alieu Jaiteh for his commitment and dedication towards the development of the visually impaired people in the country.
“My message is that all us have a responsibility in our society more inclusive for its differently-abled members. We cannot continue to ignore their plight. Collectively, we need to take a proactive approach. Let us mobilise and pool our resources to create meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities.” she stated.
Ambassador Alsup thus called on people to confront the stigma that surrounds disabilities, saying “we must stamp out the prejudices that persist against persons with disabilities and remove the barriers that limit their potential.”
“We must give people with disabilities every chance to receive education and training necessary for them to pursue their dreams. They need access to the new communication technologies, we so comfortably enjoy, and their needs must be considered and incorporated into public spaces.”
For his part, Alieu Jaiteh thanked the US ambassador for the support, stating that all what they need is support from society and not sympathy.
by Alhagie Babou Jallow