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Finance ministry blesses NSFAF with N$2.5 million

By: Kelvin Chiringa

The finance ministry last week dished out a special N$2.5 million to the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund via the ministry of higher education for students with disabilities.

Commenting on this latest development, disability affairs deputy minister Alexia Manombe-Ncube said her office has been aware of additional needs of students with disabilities while studying.

She said these aspects, if left unaddressed, could put them at risk to be unsuccessful.

“We are trying, to the best of our abilities, to make the play field more even…. to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities, to allow them to participate and be competitive in the labour market and to create independent living for themselves,” said the minister.

The NSFAF acting chief executive officer, Kennedy Kandume said this funding initiative will increase access to inclusive quality education.

“Therefore, working with other institutions in Namibia will improve social protection, empowering people with disabilities to get into higher education and ultimately securing employment. Through this initiative, the Fund is stepping up its efforts to assist those in need with additional financial assistance, apart from the normal funding we provide.”

“We remain indebted to our shareholder through the Ministry of Finance who during the 2018/19 appropriation allocated an amount to the tune of N$ 2.5 Million towards this program,” he said.

 Manombe-Ncube added that government has accepted the principles of participation, integration and equalisation of opportunities, defined by the United Nations in the World Programme of Action Concerning Persons with disabilities and The Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

She said the mission is to improve the quality of life through enhancing the dignity, wellbeing and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

This shall be done by enabling them to achieve the essentials of life that is, equality, full participation, independence and self-determination through ensuring the following prerequisites: recognition of rights, prevention of causes, rehabilitation, support and universal accessibility.

“The Government will give priority to enable people with disabilities to take charge of their lives by removing barriers to full participation in all areas thus enabling them to reach a quality of life equal to that of their fellow citizens.”

“This will be achieved by the “equalisation of opportunities” through which the various systems of society and the environment, such as, services, activities, information and documentation are made accessible to all, and in particular to persons with disabilities. Today we are witnessing the commitment of the Namibian Government to these undertakings,” said the minister.

This initiative is meant to ensure that persons with disability complete their tertiary education and thereafter participate fully in the job market.

“You can all believe that without education, persons with disability will be left behind and not participate fully in the socio-economic space of Namibia,” she said.

Kelvin Chiringa

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