OFP Supports Candidates with Disabilities with Campaign Messages & Mentoring  

By Foday Moriba Conteh

During a snap press conference held on Monday 5th June, 2023 at Congo Cross in Freetown, One Family People informed pressmen that the organization has supported Parliamentary and Councilor Candidates with disabilities with campaign messages, printing of campaign materials, mentoring and coaching during the 2023 general elections.

Reading a Press Statement, the Field Officer of One Family People, Salamatu Laggah, started by calling on fellow Sierra Leoneans to support candidates with disabilities, especially women with disabilities, in the June 24th General Elections.

She said that most times, women with disability are not given the necessary support they need to adequately partake in election processes and as a result they are always seen at the back and their voices are never heard, in lieu of that they are denied the right to exercise their franchise.

Salamatu Laggah said ,however, One Family People, an organization working with Persons with Disabilities (PwDs),  strongly believes that political participation could promote inclusion, representation, and participation of persons with disabilities, as “Leave no one behind” is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She maintained that in 2022, OneFamilyPeople engaged heads of political parties to award symbols to Persons with disabilities especially women with disabilities which was followed by a capacity-building workshop for 30 women with disabilities and the signing of a Strategy for Affirmative Action on Disability Inclusion that will improve collaboration between the community of persons with disabilities and the leadership of political parties, adding that they are grateful that their cry was positively echoed such that some persons with disabilities (men and women) who applied for symbols were awarded to participate in the 2023 elections.

“We also saw that despite the award of the symbols, they (PwDs aspiring) lack the resources to develop campaign messages, Posters, Banners, Handbills, etc. It is against that background that OneFamily People decided to support them by helping to develop campaign messages in the form of fliers, banners, posters, etc. this will help raise public awareness on their agendas and improve outreach,” she revealed.

The Field Officer said that One Family People is with the strong belief that supporting them will add value to their political ambition and dignity rather than seeing them begging for money to undertake such an important activity.

She pointed out that OFP as the Strategic Partner Organization of Liliane Foundation in Sierra Leone is mandated to develop and implement policies, strategies and programmes that fit the country context and are consistent with the LF global policy and strategic framework and they are also responsible for coordinating a network of partner organizations that are empowering children and youngsters with disabilities below 25 years of age, who belong to “resource poor” families to participate in society and ensure their inclusion in the community.

Salamatu Laggah, however, stated that on behalf of the OneFamilyPeople they are calling on Stakeholders to come onboard and mount a sustainable campaign against all forms of stigma and discrimination against Persons with Disabilities especially Women with disabilities participating in the election. They further encouraged other organizations and goodwill individuals to support these candidates in any way they can saying there are no small actions and creating a barrier free society begins with you.

Closing the ceremony, partner organizations of One Family People, including the Dorothy Springer Trust, Disability Awareness Action Group, Sierra Leone Autistic Society etc also made commitments towards supporting candidates with disabilities who are aspiring to contest in the June 24th 2023 General Elections.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here