Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Gifty Twum-Ampofo has advised against the giving of alms to disabled individuals who beg on the streets.
According to the Deputy Gender Minister, majority of disabled people who beg for alms on the street are beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, thus it is needless to give them money.
“Most persons with disabilities (PWDs) are on LEAP support, but occasionally you find some of them on our streets begging for alms. And sometimes when you confront them, they tell you that they are on LEAP but will continue to beg for alms.
Addressing the media at a dialogue on implementing the 'Inclusive Education Policy', Madam Twum-Ampofo asserted that these disabled alms beggars take advantage of the benevolent nature of Ghanaians to gain extra money.
“Ghanaians always sympathize with people and we overdo that. So I want to appeal to the public; let’s stop giving alms to people with disabilities on the street,” she claimed.
She argued that her call to action seeks to dissuade Ghanaians from encouraging disabled children to emulate their adult counterparts, but rather serve as a means of aiding these young ones to be independent.
“[This is] not because we do not care about them, but we want to discourage people from giving alms to people with disabilities on the road because when they do that, they sort of serve as role models for children with disabilities. So they think that once you are a child and you have disabilities, once the adults are begging for alms, the child should also beg for alms,” the Deputy Gender Minister added.
The dialogue on the implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy for children with disability was organized by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to engage stakeholders on how best education can be made easy and accessible to children with disabilities.
The event, held at the Fiesta Royale hotel, featured presentations from the Director of the Special Education Unit under the Education Ministry, Mrs Amina Achiaa, Executive Director of the Ghana Blind Union, Dr. Obeng Asamoah as well as a representative from Inclusive Ghana.