Siaya Member of County Assembly Hon Andrew Omwende representing persons with disabilities (PWDs) has urged youth with disabilities who are just at home to move out of their comfort zones so that they can access information of the available opportunities and engage in leadership and governance process.
Speaking on Thursday during Connecting the Dots training on Coordination and effective engagement of county Disabled Persons’ Organization leaders to support Youth with Disabilities (YWDs) engagement in governance and economic empowerment at Kowiny resort in Siaya County, the MCA cautioned youth with disabilities from idling at home and waiting for information to look for them.
Connecting the Dots is a UKAID funded project implemented under Deepening Democracy Program that aims at effective engagement of youth with disabilities in governance processes and economic opportunities in Alego Usonga, Ugenya, Ugunja, Gem, Bondo and Rarieda sub-counties of Siaya County.
The MCA who has physical disability noted that disability is not inability. He cited the world as cruel place and only meant for the brave.” “Here it is survival of the fittest. One has to fight and grab the few available opportunities with the rest in order to survive,” he said.
“Nothing in this world comes on a silver platter and information will never look for you. If I could have waited for information to look for me right now I could not be a MCA” retorted hon Omwende.
The discussion followed an observation that majority of YWDs are passive on matters governance whereas the youth cited lack of access to information as a major impediment in participating actively in governance
One of the leaders of a DPO accused YWDs below the age of 30 of sidelining themselves and only allowing themselves to be seen and not to be heard noting their passiveness as a reason they find them unfit to hold leadership roles.
“We haven’t refuted to give these fellows leadership roles in DPOs, majority of them are unfit to hold such positions. Even in this session, despite deliberating seriously all morning and none of them has opened his mouth so far,” said an aggravated participant.
In defense, the young beneficiaries who passive earlier in the morning started contributing actively providing reasons and together with all the stakeholders coming up on solutions of their own problems.