The Jachie Training Centre for the Disabled in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region stands in need of government intervention to help unleash the commercial potential of persons with disability (PWDs).
Managers of the facility had complained prolonged government neglect has crippled the ability of the facility to produce commercially competitive vocational products.
The Administrator of the Centre, Johnson Nyamekye, was worried the situation had persisted for far too long and needed to be addressed urgently.
“The government has not done enough to support the Centre. Since 1984, the few vocational tools the whites bought for us for training have not been replaced by the government. We have also not witnessed any infrastructure development since its establishment.
“The only assistance we get from the government is salaries of staff. The Electricity Company of Ghana has been threatening to disconnect our power for owing about GH¢2,000. Inmates sometimes support the Centre with their share of the disability common fund to pay electricity bills,” he lamented.
The Jachie Training Centre for the Disabled was built by Norwegian philanthropists in 1984 to train PWDs in crafts and vocations such as carpentry, footwear production, tailoring and Kente weaving.
The Centre has a serene natural environment for learning, but the full potential of the facility has not been exploited due to years of government’s neglect and the inability of the Centre to sell its produce to generate internal funds.
Even though the Kente weaving and tie-and-dye sections are not fully functional, there is a vibrant carpentry section producing home and office furniture.
Shoemakers at the footwear section also sit in the comfort of their wheel chairs to produce sandals and shoes comparable to quality shoes on the market.
The tailoring section trains inmates to sew clothes including school uniforms, curtains and other knitted apparel.
To keep the Centre running, managers have been compelled to levy inmates, a situation which has adversely affected enrolment.
“We take feeding grants from the students to run the Centre. This year, only two students came to the Centre for admission. The Centre has a great potential of taking several disabled people out from the streets if given the needed attention”.
Mr Nyamekye therefore pleaded with the government and the community to at least give the Centre a school uniform-sewing contract because “inmates are very good at sewing”.
This he said will enable them generate money on their own to run the Centre.
He believed a little investment and exposure would will give the Centre a facelift.
Story: News Desk