Government has directed the National Trust Fund for the Disabled (NTD) to start providing support to disabled learners in line with government’s policy of empowering the latter through education.
Community Development Mother and Child Health Minister Joseph Katema says persons with disability (PWD) have had limited access to education and training, thereby reducing their opportunities to access the employment market.
ZANIS reports that Dr. Katema said this in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Dorothy Kazunga at a NTD fundraising dinner dance held at the Mulungushi International Conference Center in Lusaka last evening.
He said exclusion from education leads to elimination from labour markets and in turn leads to poverty and dependency on others for income and support by PWD.
Dr. Katema reiterated government’s commitment to accelerating and mainstreaming of disability issues in national development in order to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.
He said government will ensure user friendly policies and infrastructure are in place to enhance access to services by people living with disabilities.
And NTD Board Chairperson Muyunda Mwanalushi says his Trust is unable to meet the ever increasing demand for loans due to the limited resource base.
Professor Mwanalushi has however thanked government for supporting fund since its inception in 1994.
He further urged the PWDs benefiting from the fund to support the government’s efforts by paying back the loans so that others benefit from the evolving fund.
Government created the NTD to provide economic empowerment through Micro- credit and business entrepreneurial skills to person with disabilities for sustainable self- employment and job creation as a form of bringing them into development.