Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), has launched its project tagged ‘Expanding Disability-Inclusive Social Protection’, (EDISOP), just as it demands the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the governance and administration of Social Protection Programmes in Lagos State.
The Executive Director of FFF, Afolabi Fajemilo while speaking at a Press Conference to launch the project said it is imperative that Social Protection Programmes in the state are disability-inclusive and gender-responsive.
Fajemilo explained that the one-year project funded by Disability Rights Funds will advocate for disability-inclusive and gender-responsive social protection and COVID-19 recovery programs in Lagos State to guard against the neglect of PWDs during disasters and emergencies.
He also noted that the project will be implemented in partnership with the Lagos State Chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) and be involved in media engagements to ensure that PWDs are not excluded in the 2023 general electioneering processes.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Lagos JONAPWD and Disability Inclusive expert, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, said it is important that Social Protection (SP) as an intervention should be tailored to the peculiar needs of PWDs.
Adebayo said “when you’re planning SP interventions, you wouldn’t have done a good job if you do not include the participation of PWDs in the development of that intervention. Don’t imagine that you know what they need.”
He stressed that the inclusion of PWDs in the governance of SP is also important as it is more holistic than implementation. “It is about the everyday administration of SP; from design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation,” the JONAPWD chair added.
Speaking on the importance of SP, Adebayo said SP is not for PWDs only but “it is meant to protect the potential vulnerability of everyone in the society. Everyone is vulnerable, we can see what COVID-19 and flood is doing to people across the country. Disasters would come, but we need to prevent citizens from falling into certain poverty level.”
The EDISOP project is expected to sensitize and provide advocacy to PWDs of different clusters in rural and riverine areas like Ibeju Lekki and Badagry.