CAB's Annual Report 2023

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CAB 2023 Report


 I. Message from the President:

Brothers and sisters, dear members, fellow travelers on this road less traveled, dear Liberians,

 As we step into the new year, let us convene under the shelter of truth, amidst the harsh yet honest sunlight of Liberia's reality. For too long, a silent barrier has separated us from the world, constructed not of stone or barbed wire, but of apathy, ignorance, and fear.

They called it blindness, a label heavier than any chain, confining us to lives enveloped in whispers of "cannot" and "never." They deemed us burdens, incapable of love, learning, or contribution. They offered us mere crumbs of welfare, a hollow substitute for the dignity of crafting our own dreams.

But brothers and sisters, we were never destined for the shadows. Witness the universe unfolding within the eyes of a blind child tracing Braille with nimble fingers. Listen to the voice of a young graduate, diploma held high, as the shackles of ignorance fall away. Feel the walls of prejudice crumble to dust with the rhythm of a blind musician's song.

Indeed, the statistics paint a grim picture. The World Health Organization reports that one in every fifty Liberians lives with visual impairment. Yet, this is not merely a number; it is a symphony of silenced voices, a constellation of untapped potential dimmed by societal neglect.

But hear this! Within the darkness, a spark ignites—the flame of the Christian Association of the Blind, fueled by your courage, resilience, and refusal to be defined by limitations. We march not for pity, but for participation; not for handouts, but for earned opportunities.

Remember the days when blind students were denied the chance to sit for the country's national exams at their respective schools. Today, these same individuals, once confined to their homes by unreasonable circumstances, are conquering national exams and mastering the magic of computers. Can you not see opportunities are breaking through the cracks in the barricades erected against us?

However, brothers and sisters, opportunity without readiness is like a seed cast on barren ground. The pillars of CAB—advocacy, education, economic empowerment—stand firm, guiding us toward self-reliance. Embrace Braille, adopt assistive technologies, refine your skills, and seize your rightful place in the workforce.

This is not a call to arms, but a call to hearts. Open them to the whispers of potential within yourselves and your communities. Let every act of defiance, every step toward independence, be a thunderclap shaking the foundations of societal prejudice.

Remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." We, the CAB, are the bearers of light, not just for ourselves but for every Liberian blinded by societal ignorance. Let our collective voice rise—a chorus of hope, drowning out the whispers of "cannot" with the triumphant roar of "we will!"

Brothers and sisters, the road ahead is long, and challenges loom large. Yet within us burns the fire of our ancestors, the spirit of those who refused to be bound by chains. Let us carry that torch, not just for ourselves but for a Liberia where blindness is not a barrier, but a unique melody woven into the tapestry of our nation.

Together, we will dismantle the barricades, brick by brick, tear down the walls of prejudice, and claim our rightful place in the sunlight of opportunity. For we are not victims; we are victors, and the light of our potential shall illuminate the path for generations to come.

Go forth, my brothers and sisters, heads held high, voices strong, hearts ablaze. This is our time, our fight, our victory. Together, we will break the chains and claim our rightful place in the sun.

II.               Executive Summary

We commenced the 2023 year with the convening of the 10th General Assembly of CAB in January, and this was followed by several other activities during the year. CAB’s 2023-2025 strategic plan was developed and adopted on a threefold strategy. Firstly, to design new programs and implementation strategies in order to tangibly improve the quality of life for the blind and partially sighted of CAB’s members. Secondly, it places premium on strengthening CAB’s human and institutional capital so as to meet the demand of the institution’s partners, stakeholders and the donor community as essential condition to permanently sustain the organization. Thirdly, it further provides strategies to ensure unlimited visibility and proffers pragmatic solutions to usher CAB into a new era.


This strategic roadmap highlights six thematic areas: Education, Agriculture, Health and eye care, Communication and Advocacy, Partnership, fundraising and resource mobilization, professional as well as institutional development. These areas once engaged will strengthen CAB to pursue its mission and vision for persons with visual impairment in Liberia. The development of the Strategic Plan took in consideration the assessments of CAB’s strengths, the internal and external challenges we face, and the opportunities available to us over the next three years for advancing the cause of the blind and partially-sighted in Liberia.


This exercise helped set the context for the choices reflected in the strategic plan. The ultimate Strategic Objective of CAB is the Professional and Institutional Development- to improve the skills of personnel, and the imperative to increase and improve infrastructural space and facilities that will guarantee the viability and sustainability of CAB’s operations.




III.             Resolution - 10th General Assembly of CAB

WHEREAS, LIBERIA CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND, INC. (CAB) is a non-governmental organization of the blind and partially sighted established and licensed to cater to the social, economic and other development needs of the visually challenged persons of Liberia with the aim of educating and advocating for the blind, visually impaired and partially sighted persons, as well as reaching them with skill development opportunities while operating under the laws of the Republic of Liberia;


WHEREAS, LIBERIA CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND, INC. (CAB), as a not-for-profit organization with local branches established in various political sub- divisions of the country, do receive income from supporters and international Partner Organizations, other good will donors and friends, incurs expenses on a non-profit making basis;


WHEREAS, the income so generated and/or received by LIBERIA CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND, INC. (CAB), must be accounted for to enhance the operation of the Organization/Corporation;


WHEREAS, such accountability calls for the strengthening of its National Secretariat, district and local establishments and networking with subregional and international Development Partners of reputable institution which decision as well as the process leading thereto is the responsibility of the National Leadership of (CAB as it regards the overall strategic development of the association;


WHEREAS, the National General Assembly of LIBERIA CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND, INC. (CAB), in exercising said prerogative and responsibility has identified and approved the following resolutions,

NOW THEREFORE, delegates of (CAB), at the seating of the 2023 General Assembly have resolved as follows:

Take measure to ensure the Establishment of CAB’s USA branch for the financial sustainability of the organization and improve the skills of personnel to effectively deliver needed services to the blind in Liberia;

Increase and improve infrastructural space and facilities that will guarantee the viability

and sustainability of CAB’s operations.

Support organizational meetings

Establish new branches at local and district levels, particularly in far to reach environment where indigent visually impaired persons live and WERE delivery of social services are extremely weak or nonexistent; build and equip CAB’s secretariat, upgrade dormitory facilities for boys and girls as well as classrooms, ensure the provision of science and language laboratories including computer technological laboratory to sustain lifelong learning opportunities for the blind and partially sighted persons.


IV.             Kustom Canes Material Donation

On March 7, 2023, CAB Center for the Blind RECEIVED the donation of white canes, EYEGLASSES, one Braille typewriter an accessory of visual aids. We are very grateful to Kustom Canes for the material donation which will help alleviate the problem of having the blind to move independently without the aid of a sighted guide.


Below, is a listing of the total items received

1. 131 White Canes;

2. 90 eyeglasses;

3. Perkins Braille (one piece);

4. Magnifiers (six pieces);

5. One row of elastic for repairs of used canes


The arrival of the materials came at the time the organization was concluding a week training workshop for Orientation and Mobility teachers who came from different parts of the Country. Brother Guillermo Aguirre, was in Liberia as guest of the association when the consignment arrived at the CAB Center for the Blind. Guillermo participated in the training sessions by serving as lead facilitator of the orientation and mobility training. He was here in Liberia along with his wife as visitors of the program. We considered their sacrifices service to the CAB education Program as the divine work of God.


The participants were twenty in number eight females and twelve males. We issued one white cane to each participant at the close of training and charged each with the responsibility to organize white cane travel skill training. for the visually impaired who live in the different districts and/or localities. Wherever O/M training is organized and beneficiary blind persons mobilized, the leadership of CAB will send a team to distribute the canes.

See photos of the cane distribution to participants of the cane training session in the attachment.

V.               Liberia’s Report on the Asia Pacific Meeting of the World Blind Union

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND 2023: Responding to the invitation to participate in the Global Leadership Meeting of the World Blind Union, Sir Beyan G. Kota, departed Liberia on Friday, May 26, 2023, and travelled to New Zealand to participate in a Global Leadership Meeting of the World Blind Union. The Africa delegation to New Zealand was headed by President Ishmael Zhou from Zimbabwe who is now former President of the African UNION of the Blind after five days of successful deliberation, networking, and acquaintance, the meeting was concluded with highlights of WBU’s five priority areas:

Disaster Risk Management;

Accessible Technology;


Access to the Built Environment, Urban Development and Transportation;

International Human Rights Instruments, UNCRPD and Sustainable Development


In furtherance of its efforts to continue long-standing collaboration with UNDP through its institutional capacity building initiative, CAB in recent years, has focused on the technological advancement of its members through computer training and braille literacy of newly blinded persons. CAB also moved further to continue its advocacy and infrastructure development efforts Which was implemented and has now increased access to computer technology training for the blind at CAB learning facility and enhanced the knowledge of CAB members at the national and local levels. It has greatly contributed to the enhancement of Braille production and delivery of textbooks in accessible format that visually impaired students can use. The project has also funded some much-needed renovation initiative at CAB’s National Secretariat and Resource Center for the Blind.


CAB wishes to extend special thanks and appreciation to the United Nations Development Program for its approval and subsequent funding of our institutional capacity building project. The total amount being accounted for during this report period is Twenty-nine Thousand - U.S.D. ($29000 U.S.D).


In addition, CAB acknowledges with profound gratitude the support from Sustain for Life for their continued partnership in illuminating the lives of visually impaired individuals through the Computer Literacy Program. This collaborative effort, now well into its third year, has become a transformative force within our organization, touching every member with the empowering gift of digital knowledge.

Since its inception in [2021, the Computer Literacy Program has steadily grown into a robust platform for inclusion and opportunity. Initially, we witnessed the eager faces of ten brave individuals, including the young Lydia Tokpah, embarking on their journey into the world of computers. Their dedication and progress have blossomed, with Lydia's initial surprise at mastering "CPU" evolving into confident navigation of Word processing, file management, and even Excel. Each participant's success story echoes with a resounding message: knowledge empowers, and technology unlocks doors.


The impact of this program extends far beyond our classrooms. Victoria's journey, starting from her discovery in Margibi County to her heartfelt "thank you" for this life-changing opportunity, exemplifies the program's reach. The enthusiasm extends further, with adult members now actively seeking entry into the labor market, and longing to claim their rightful place in a world driven by technology.

Sustain for Life's partnership transcends mere financial support; it fuels our collective aspirations. Your unwavering commitment has illuminated another pathway for our members – the internet. This vital access empowers them to conduct research, engage with peers and instructors, and stay connected. It levels the playing field, allowing them to compete alongside their sighted colleagues and navigate the digital landscape with confidence.


Of course, our journey hasn't been without its challenges. The solar power source faces the occasional hurdle, reminding us of the delicate balance between hope and progress. However, your presence remains a constant source of strength, fueling our resolve to overcome every obstacle and ensure uninterrupted learning for our members.


As we embark on another year, we do so with immense gratitude for Sustain for Life's unwavering partnership. Together, we've rewritten the narrative for visually impaired individuals at CAB, transforming lives with each keystroke and every bit of information accessed. This program is not just a beacon of hope; it's a testament to the transformative power of collaboration, proving that even in the darkest corners, a single spark can ignite a revolution of empowerment.


VII.           Preparation and Submission of Liberia’s Shadow Report to United Nations Treaty Committee

The development of the Liberia Shadow Report was recently achieved as a result of dedication and instrumentality of disabled people organizations and their international partners who together rallied under the umbrella of the NATIONAL UNION of ORGANIZATIONS of the DISABLED to shape the report and advance the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. The tenacity that resulted to the conclusion of this alternative report, came from the invaluable insights, experiences, and expertise of national disability organizations and their collaborating partners which laid the foundation of this report.


We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Danish Association of the Blind (DAB) and the UN High Commission on Human Rights for them unwavering support and commitment to the cause of disability rights in Liberia. Their active engagement and collaboration have enriched the report with diverse perspectives and solutions.


Thanks wholeheartedly to the International Disability Alliance and all other partners, institutions, organizations, consultants, and individuals for their unwavering commitment to promoting the rights and inclusion of the blind and persons with disabilities in Liberia. Together, we can strive toward a more inclusive and equal future for all.


CAB’s contribution to the UN Alternative Report was focused on advocating for a rights-based approach to ensure the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in Liberia. We aim to give a voice to Liberian citizens with disabilities, working collectively in a consortium to achieve the implementation of national legislation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by demanding equal opportunities and advocating for changes that benefit all individuals with disabilities, we strive for the overall improvement of them participation in the inclusive development of the country.


The National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD) has played a vital role in advocating for the rights and well-being of disabled individuals. Similarly, in Liberia, Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) recently organized themselves under NUOD and constituted an ad hoc committee consisting of three females and five males with the mandate to develop the Liberia shallow report for submission to the UNCRPD Committee. This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of DPOs in Liberia to ensure the effective implementation of disability rights and inclusion in the country.


The process of developing the alternative report in Liberia was comprehensive and thorough, backed by extensive research. To provide an accurate assessment of the implementation of the UNCRPD, interviews were conducted with individuals with disabilities across the country. These interviews aimed to capture personal experiences and perspectives, allowing for a cleared understanding of the challenges faced by disabled individuals in different contexts within the country.


Furthermore, the alternative report involved an analysis of existing laws, policies, and development programs in Liberia. This analysis provided a critical examination of the legal and policy framework surrounding disability rights and identified areas of progress as well as gaps that need to be addressed. Articles 1–4, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Some of the gaps in Liberia’s state report on the UNCRPD's implementation of UN treaties and conventions include a lack of specific details on the actual implementation of laws (the Act establishing the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission on Disability) and the absence of concrete examples of the actions taken. Additionally, the state report acknowledges that Liberia has not ratified the Optional Protocol of the UNCRPD, limiting its ability to fully enforce and protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

To address these gaps, it is recommended that the government provide specific examples of policies and measures taken to protect the rights of PWDs, including enforcement mechanisms and resource allocation.

Expedited ratification of the Optional Protocol is crucial to strengthen commitment and meaningful participation of OPDs and disability organizations in decision- making processes should be prioritized. OPDs are not involved with the development and implementation of programs. Though the Liberian Government is providing subsidies for few OPD’s, it is not sufficient to sustain their operations. Regular monitoring and evaluation, along with accountability measures, are necessary to track progress and identify areas requiring further attention.

Below were questions raised by disabled People Organizations. How do OPD’S get their articles of incorporation from the Government and how do they pay an annual tax to Government’s revenue in order to function as full flesh OPD’S.


Proposed questions among others included:

How does the Liberian Government plan to address the lack of specific details on the implementation of policies for persons with disabilities (PWDs) as highlighted in the UNCRPD report? What steps and concrete examples can the Government take to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the rights of PWDs and ensure the effective enforcement of measures and policies?


Considering the Liberian Government has not ratified the optional protocol of the UNCRPD, what actions are being taken to expedite the ratification process, and what potential obstacle needs to be overcome to achieve this crucial step in protecting the rights of PWDs?


VIII.         Building Momentum: CAB Youth Committee Drives Empowerment and Inclusion in Liberia

The journey towards a brighter future for young people with visual impairments in Liberia continues to gain momentum, fueled by the collaborative efforts of the CAB Youth Committee and the Danish Association of the Blind (DAB). As the DPOD Project embarks on its crucial activities, the Eric Thunes for Liberia Project for Youth adds another layer of impactful initiatives, laying the groundwork for lasting change.


The first monitoring and assessment visit to the three targeted counties by the DPOD project leadership marked a pivotal moment. It provided a platform to witness firsthand the initial steps being taken towards improved leadership skills, enhanced advocacy campaigns, and broader inclusion within higher education institutions. The youth leaders, equipped with newfound knowledge and skills, are actively engaging with local communities, raising awareness about the needs and aspirations of blind youth, and building bridges for a more inclusive society.

While DPOD focuses on honing leadership and advocacy skills, the Eric Thunes project delves deeper into individual empowerment. Activities like the upcoming summer camp promise to foster social connections, build self-esteem, and ignite a sense of belonging among 40 visually impaired children. The production of Braille teaching books ensures greater access to education, empowering 50 young minds to actively participate in their learning journey. Intensive Braille training further equips 30 individuals with vital communication skills, opening doors to endless possibilities.


Beyond educational resources, the project recognizes the importance of creative expression and physical activity. Music lessons and a goalball tournament not only nurture talents and build confidence but also provide opportunities for socialization and team building, creating a strong network of support among like-minded peers.

The renovation of the CAB Youth Committee office stands as a symbol of progress and increased autonomy. This dedicated space fosters collaboration, strengthens the committee's voice within CAB, and empowers young leaders to actively shape the future of the organization.


As we look ahead, CAB's annual report presents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the youth committee and shed light on the exciting road ahead. The combined efforts of DPOD and the Eric Thunes project showcase a comprehensive approach to youth empowerment, encompassing leadership development, educational access, creative exploration, and community engagement. It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of DAB and CAB to create a world where young people with visual impairments can thrive, contribute meaningfully, and reach their full potential.


IX.             Cab’s Agriculture Projects Update

The CAB Agriculture IAFNB-NRC-AIGAS project at our National Resource Center experienced a dynamic year in 2023, marked by both significant achievements and valuable lessons learned. This initiative, dedicated to empowering blind children through sustainable agricultural practices, navigated challenges while planting the seeds for a brighter future.


Harvesting Success and Facing Challenges:

The first rice harvest resonated with success, a testament to Farm Management’s dedication and the project's core mission of self-sufficiency. However, the second rice cycle presented different challenges. Time constraints necessitated traditional sowing methods, while unforeseen maintenance needs impacted yields.


Cultivating Health through food security:

Despite the rice challenges, the project thrived in other areas. A vibrant vegetable garden consistently provided vital nutrients for the children, ensuring their well-being. Additionally, the introduction of the CAB Agriculture Record Book, a "Farming as a Business" (FaaB) tool, laid the groundwork for farming accountability and sustainability. While initial data recording required improvement, planned mentoring sessions will equip Farm Manager with the skills to maintain accurate records and navigate farm finances.


Empowering Through Knowledge and Participation:

Beyond sustenance, the project fostered independence. Blind children were actively involved in farming activities, gaining valuable skills in cultivation and land management. This practical knowledge empowers them to contribute to their own well-being and fosters a sense of ownership in the project's success.


Looking Ahead: Expanding Opportunities and Impact:

Building on the achievements of 2023, CAB plans to expand the project's scope in the coming year. The integration of fish and poultry egg production, along with piggery farming, aims to further diversify food sources and generate additional income streams. This holistic approach will enhance the project's sustainability and provide the children with even greater opportunities for learning and participation.



X.               CAB’s participation in the 10th General Assembly of the African Union of the Blind (AFUB)

The vibrant city of Rabat, Morocco, hummed with purpose and determination from October 23rd to 30th, 2023, as the 10th General Assembly of the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) unfolded. Under the banner of "Empowering African Persons with Visual Impairment: Innovation, Resilience, and Inclusion," this year's Assembly held particular significance for us, the delegates from Liberia.


While not our first time participating, this Assembly marked a distinct turning point for Liberia's engagement in the continental movement for disability rights. This time, we came not only to learn and contribute, but also to share our own journey and inspire others. Championing Progress: Liberia's Shadow Report Experience

One of our proudest moments was presenting Liberia's pioneering effort – the first-ever shadow report submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This independent report, an alternative perspective on the implementation of the UNCRPD within Liberia, was a collaborative effort led by several organizations, including members of our own.

Sharing the challenges and triumphs of developing this report resonated deeply with delegates from other countries facing similar hurdles. Our presentation offered practical strategies and valuable insights, sparking discussions and fostering collaboration on how to navigate the shadow reporting process, ultimately advancing disability rights across Africa.


Learning from the Collective Wisdom:

While eager to share our experiences, we came to Rabat with open minds and hearts, ready to learn from the collective wisdom of our fellow delegates. From innovative education models to accessible technology solutions, the workshops and sessions provided a treasure trove of best practices and practical approaches. We returned to Liberia brimming with ideas and renewed enthusiasm to put these learnings into action for our own community.


Resolutions for a Brighter Future:

The Assembly culminated in the adoption of several impactful resolutions, each a critical step towards a more inclusive future for people with visual impairments across Africa. These resolutions addressed crucial issues like:

• Education: Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all, emphasizing the Marrakesh Treaty implementation.

• Employment: Dismantling employment barriers and promoting equal opportunities for people with visual impairments.

• Accessibility: Championing universal accessibility, advocating for accessible technologies and removing environmental barriers.

• Gender Equality: Recognizing the specific challenges faced by women and girls with visual impairments, urging gender-inclusive policies and programs.

We, the Liberian delegates, take pride in having contributed to these resolutions, shaping a future where no one is left behind due to disability. Our participation in the AFUB General Assembly would not have been possible without the generous support of the Danish Association of the Blind. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for their invaluable assistance in making this journey a reality.


Building on the Momentum:

The 10th General Assembly of the African Union of the Blind was a potent reminder of the collective power of perseverance, innovation, and inclusion. We, the delegates from Liberia, return home emboldened and equipped. We will apply the knowledge and inspiration gained in Rabat to create a brighter future for the blind and visually impaired community in our country and contribute to a continent where blindness is not a barrier, but a catalyst for strength and progress.

This is just the beginning of a new chapter for Liberia's engagement in the continental movement for disability rights. We stand ready to work with our fellow Africans, fueled by the spirit of Rabat, to build a future where everyone, regardless of ability, can live with dignity and reach their full potential.


XI.              Liberia’s Democratic Process and the role of CAB

The year we close marked a monumental turning point for Liberia, and the Liberia Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) proudly stood at the forefront of this historic process. We entered the year with anxieties surrounding the independence and confidentiality of blind voters, keenly aware of the vulnerability that exclusion breeds. Yet, instead of succumbing to fear, we chose action. We engaged the National Elections Commission (NEC) with unwavering conviction, urging the adoption of the tactile ballot guide as a beacon of empowerment for the visually impaired.

Our initial encounter revealed a lack of awareness about the guide's function and potential. But fueled by unwavering purpose, we persisted. We patiently educated, passionately advocated, and ultimately, witnessed victory: the NEC embraced the election ballot guide, and with it, the right of blind voters to exercise their franchise independently. This wasn't a mere footnote in Liberia's democratic journey; it was a seismic shift, shattering a decade-long barrier and paving the way for genuine inclusion.

But our advocacy went beyond the ballot-guide. We celebrated when the NEC, in a first, included persons with disabilities in its pre-election communication and voter registration statistics. This wasn't just data; it was a potent symbol of recognition and respect, acknowledging the blind community as integral participants in the nation's future.


On Election Day, the fruits of our labor yielded a vibrant harvest. Blind and visually impaired voters across the nation were treated with dignity and priority, their voices finally empowered to resonate without fear or manipulation. Even during the second round, the commitment to accessibility remained steadfast, ensuring every ballot cast resonated with the true spirit of democracy. As Liberia ushered in a new era of leadership, CAB offered heartfelt congratulations. We commended the outgoing President for his gracious concession and the incoming leader for his promise of unity. Yet, our message transcended mere platitudes. We reminded the new government that its true mandate isn't just to lead, but to build a Liberia where no citizen is left behind, where the marginalized find their rightful place at the table.

Now, as we stand at the precipice of a new year, challenges undoubtedly lie ahead. We are no strangers to the limitations of a nation struggling to rise. But let us not succumb to cynicism. The seeds of progress have been sown, and it is within our collective power to nurture them into a bountiful harvest.

NGOs alone cannot bear the weight of change. Government agencies must move beyond mere lip service and embrace genuine collaboration with the disabled community. Together, we must dismantle the stigma and discrimination that isolates and disempowers, replacing them with inclusion and opportunity. For too long, the blind have been confined within invisible barricades, their potential stifled by societal neglect. It is time to tear down these walls, brick by brick, and unleash the vibrant energy that resides within each blind man, woman, and child. Liberia's success hinges on harnessing the talents and contributions of every citizen, regardless of ability.


CAB's journey began in 1985, a quiet spark that has ignited the lives of thousands. We have transformed countless individuals from recipients of charity to agents of progress, contributing meaningfully to our nation's fabric. Yet, the work remains unfinished. As the number of visually impaired Liberians grows, so too does our responsibility to combat not just blindness, but the societal barriers that perpetuate isolation and despair. We implore every Liberian, from high offices to bustling marketplaces, to join us in this crucial fight.


XII.           CAB’s engagement with the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo Information Services for Disability Inclusion in Liberia’s National Housing and Population Census Data Collection

While the spotlight of 2023 shone brightly on Liberia's democratic transformation, another crucial milestone unfolded quietly but persistently. The Liberia Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) engaged in a pivotal dialogue with the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) during the National Housing and Population Census, weaving a thread of disability inclusion into the fabric of Liberia's data landscape.

Our mission wasn't to demand a separate census for the disabled, but to champion the integration of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WGDS) questions into LISGIS' data collection strategy. These seemingly simple questions hold immense power. They pierce through the veil of invisibility, illuminating the true prevalence of disability in Liberia. They paint a nuanced picture, revealing not just the number of individuals with disabilities, but their socioeconomic status, livelihood opportunities, and unique needs.


Our engagement with LISGIS wasn't a mere formality. It was a passionate plea for recognition, a clarion call for data that speaks not just of numbers, but of lives. We argued that comprehensive disability data is not just a statistic; it's a potent tool for policy formulation, resource allocation, and targeted interventions. It's the foundation for building a Liberia where no citizen, regardless of ability, is left behind.

While our initial efforts might not have captured the hearts of LISGIS, CAB remains resolute. We understand that change sometimes takes time, that seeds of awareness need to be nurtured before they blossom into action. We will continue to advocate, educate, and collaborate, reminding LISGIS and the nation that disability data is not merely an academic exercise, but a moral imperative. Let us embrace the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, not as a bureaucratic checklist, but as a vital tool for understanding and addressing the needs of our brothers and sisters living with disabilities. Let these questions lead us to actionable insights, informing targeted interventions and ensuring that no one is left to navigate the darkness alone.


The journey towards a truly inclusive Liberia is long, but with each step of collaboration, each act of acceptance, each voice raised in defense of the marginalized, we edge closer to our destination. CAB remains a constant sentinel, a guiding hand on this path towards a brighter future. We extend our hand in partnership, ready to work tirelessly with everyone who shares our vision of a Liberia where every citizen, blind or sighted, can contribute to the shared tapestry of our nation's success. Together, let us write a new chapter in Liberian history, a chapter where inclusivity isn't an aspiration, but the very foundation of our society. A chapter where the dreams of blind Liberians blossom not in spite of adversity, but because of the unwavering support and acceptance of their fellow citizens. Let us rise, hand in hand, and build a Liberia where darkness cannot overshadow the vibrant potential that lies within each and every one of us.


XIII.          The Road that lies ahead

As we bid farewell to this year, we owe it first and foremost to the Orchestra of our lives, the Almighty God, and to all of those who have stood with our organization even in the most critical times. We extend this gratitude with hearts full of love and eyes fixed on the horizon. For the road ahead stretches bright, illuminated by the promise of a future where blindness is not a whisper in the dark, but a song woven into the very fabric of our nation. Thank you, dear friends and partners. Thank you, dear Members and National Leaders. Thank you, for walking hand in hand with the CAB. Together, we shall prevail.