IN observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) issued a press release which was disseminated to all media houses.
However, GCOPD wishes to clarify an incorrect statement published in the Kaieteur News under the headline, “Stop providing lip service to people with disabilities and implement structural changes – Advocacy group to government” dated December 4, 2021.
It seems that our statement, “The key stakeholders including policymakers need to stop providing lip service to the community of PWDs and implement structural changes that will be sustainable and positively impact the lives of PWDs,” was either misconstrued or deliberately sensationalised in an attempt to make the Government of Guyana appear as though they are not doing anything for Persons With Disabilities.
In our press release, we at no time specifically mentioned government or singled out government to implement structural changes. What was said is that “all stakeholders,” including policy-makers, need to stop providing lip service and implement structural changes.
In our advocacy, when we use the term “stakeholders,” we are referring to members of the public, members of the private sector, civil society, donor agencies, and policymakers (both government and opposition politicians and bureaucrats).
GCOPD has an excellent partnership with the current Government of Guyana and has partnered on a number of initiatives to improve the lives of PWDs. These include the training of PWDs through the Board of Industrial Training, grants to PWDs through the Small Business
Bureau, the allocation of houselots to PWDs and training of PWDs through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, among other initiatives. We know that the government has a plan to improve the lives of PWDs and we pledge our continued partnership in this process.
GCOPD Programme Coordinator