The training on Human Rights coordinated by the National Community Based Rehabilitation program targeting health workers and stakeholders in the country is seen as vital and timely in order that those responsible shall embark on programs and activities that will improve and enhance decisions on policies, work plans and activities and hence quality service delivery to the people who need it and most especially to the vulnerable, disadvantaged and persons with disabilities.
The program is also seen as important to involve other public sector officials like Human Resource Managers and personnel, heads of departments, senior management officials and other public sector personnel.
This is to ensure that they understand better the principles of democracy, good governance and rights of people, individuals, women, young people, children, men, persons with disabilities, and people with special needs and the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The same training program was undertaken in Kirakira, Makira Ulawa province which was held from Tuesday 2nd April and concluded Friday 4th April 2014.
The workshop is conducted at the San Cristobal Lodge Humou, Kirakira. With regards to this specific training that targets health workers including CBR personnel and stakeholders of Makira Ulawa Province some government officers, NGOs, Civil Society groups, women and youth leaders, church representatives it has impacted positively in improving and enhancing the knowledge on the importance of human rights specifically targeting people with disabilities.
It has paved the way to enable responsible authorities to make plans to address needs and issues affecting persons with disability as a way forward from now and onwards.
There is need for a concerted effort from all levels of governance, decision making, planning and contributing in one way or another in addressing this.
This has to come from the political level, to management including responsible officers in planning and implementing government plans and those involved directly with working with persons with disabilities and people with special needs.
It is now time that consideration must be given to establishing avenues where health, education, sports, recreational, economic, public utilities, transportation and other public services must equally cater for the needs of everyone rather than just for some people.
In all the above, there must be consideration for easy access and movement for all regardless of different abilities/disabilities, access to information, communication, decision making and planning. Simply, there is need for planning now to consider the following:
i. Education: schools are accessible to persons with disabilities and special needs like traveling to school, classrooms, desks, tables cater for needs of this people including other school programs and activities.
ii. Health: facilities are built in a way that is easy for movements of persons with disabilities and special needs; clinics are closer and accessible; aids and equipment/gears are available.
iii. Public Utilities: cater for needs of persons with disability and special needs.
iv. Transportation: public vehicles are made in a way that persons with disability and special needs access easily
v. Ships/OBM Boats: cater for needs of these people.
vi. Information and communication mediums: also provide for needs of persons with disabilities and special needs.
vii. Political & Administration Governance: considerations in policies and planning must embrace issues and needs of persons with disabilities and people with special needs.
So in keeping with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of which Solomon Islands is subjected to and the government of Makira Ulawa Province is obliged to conform to, action must be taken now rather than later.
Leaders and government of the day will be seen as having regarded to and being concerned with its people if it seriously considers the plight of all our people and most especially persons with disabilities and people with special needs.
By Stanley Siapu
Community Governance & Social Services
Makira Ulawa province