CAB YEAR IN REVIEW
As we approach the end of 2019, I wish to thank all of our international partners, the government of Liberia, sponsors, contributors, friends and well-wishers, the general membership, National and Local Leadership of CAB everywhere across LIBERIA and around the world for your kind support to CAB and the wonderful work each one of you continue to do in advancing the social and economic progress of the blind and partially sighted in Liberia. I do acknowledge with deep appreciation the partnership collaboration between CAB and DAB giving new shape and form to the organization empowering it to advocate for the creation of space in society and the enjoyment of rights by the blind on equal basis with others which has increasingly rendered CAB as the authentic voice of the blind in Liberia.
The achievements listed below have been recognized as establishing the grounds of our progress and success of the year 2019.
Achievements duly acknowledged among others are:
- That the Government of Liberia enacted the Liberia Local Government Law to devolve some of its central powers to local authorities for the purpose of establishing local Administrative and Political structures which allow for representation and participation of persons with disabilities in the local decision-making process.
During the year under review, The Ministry of Education in Liberia adopted strategies for implementing the Inclusive Education Policy for persons with disabilities which has since 7 years ago been advocated by CAB, and has its legal basis from goal 4 of the SDGS, the UNCRPD and the International Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works in print for the blind and disabled especially because Braille is the main mode of literacy for blind people. Braille Literacy and access to other intellectual materials available in formats that the blind can use is for the education and full integration of the blind into the labor market.
- CAB reinvigorated its international partnership cooperation with the DANISH ASSOCIATION of the BLIND through the Cabacity Reloaded Project in Liberia which has been extended to four other political sub-divisions of Liberia and this include Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Lofa and Bomi Counties and employed a new project assistant to help coordinate the implementation of project activities in eight county area. This is to ensure the strengthening of the membership of CAB and organizational capacity development program of the association. The 37 months project has procured one used vehicle to enhance the successful implementation of the project.
- Many children and young people have enrolled into the education and rehabilitation program of CAB some of whom have been integrated into the CAB Youth Committee to promote youth development and involvement with the work of the association. The donation of one Braille embosser: to CAB by DAB (the EVEREST V5), has given boost to the education of the blind at the CAB Resource Center for the Blind as textbooks are now being transcribed into braille for blind students to use. Similarly, other readable and resource materials have also been produced into braille for participants during seminars for local and national leaders of the association.
- We have now launched the CAB ADVOCACY TOOLKIT to give leadership direction to leaders of the association at local and national levels. This new development is to synchronize the national advocacy mechanism deployed by CAB in all of its 8 branches through which leaders will engage local duty bearers to ensure the inclusion of the blind in development and their participation in decisions that benefit the community.
The CAB ADVOCACY TOOLKIT is an instrument for training leaders and potential leaders of CAB to learn the skills and techniques of advocacy, know the types of advocacy and use the different methodologies for the defense of human rights and enjoyment of all fundamental freedoms on equal footing with others in society. It aims to train and build the human resource capacities of the blind to serve as advocate themselves and when necessary, hire the services of legal attorneys to seek remedies at law, on behalf of the blind and partially sighted. As advocates, the Toolkit will help enhance their ability to organize and participate in different meetings take minutes and accurate records of what took place during meetings, compile various national reports on the implementation of project activities, an undertake advocacy campaign on the work of other human right matters, the collection of data in their respective localities and making major strategies and policies to reduce poverty.
- Acknowledgement of ICEVI’S funding support to participate in the meetings of the 7th AFRICA FORUM and the 9th General Assembly of the Africa Union of the Blind (AFUB) remains a notable achievement for CAB. Though the ultimate objective for being elected as the continental President did not materialize, I am however, delighted of my ascendency to the position as a member of the governing board of AFUB and a member of the WBU Executive Committee.
We do recognize with profound thanks the United Commodities Incorporated regular food supply to the CAB Center for the Blind to sustain students who are studying at the Institute and the financial support towards the educational needs of integrated students at the Center.
It is worth noting the scholarship assistance our Institute continue to receive in support of the education of few blind children studying at the CAB Center for the Blind through the instrumentality of Sis. Michelle Quinn and Sis. Leonora Carpenter who are based in the United States.
Kim and Rick are important partners to the progress of our program especially in support of the education and rehabilitation of the Blind in Liberia. Their quarterly financial contributions to the work of CAB have impacted our program in a meaningful way.
We appreciate your support in every progress we have succeeded to undertake this year. With the strong support of our members and our International partners, Sponsors and well-wishers, we have developed and made great progress. That is why I would like to thank each of you for the efforts and dedication to the work of CAB.
Shalom to all of you and wish you all the best for this holiday season, your families and your loved ones. I look forward to working with you in the New Year, and hope that 2020 brings you all success and prosperity!
Beyan G. Kota, National President/CEO, CAB Liberia.