Japan builds training center for persons with disability

MANILA, Philippines — Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe and Tahanang Walang Hagdanan executive vice president and chief operations officer Joy Cevallos-Garcia signed the grant contract for “The Project for Construction of Training Center for Persons with Disability” at the Embassy of Japan on Jan. 30, 2012. The project amounting to $91,127 (some P3.9 million) is funded through the Embassy of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

The Philippines has not channeled sufficient funds to the marginalized sectors of the society, including persons with disabilities (PWDs), so that their opportunities for education and employment face limitation. The facilities that provide special education or skills training are also scarce throughout the Philippines.

Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (TWH) is a nongovernment organization, established in 1973, that aims to uplift the lives of the PWDs and improve their standard of living through programs and services such as education, training and empowerment, livelihood, mobility, and medical assistance.

Currently, some 800 PWDs in Rizal Province are taking advantage of these services. However, there are no spaces for trainings at the compound of TWH in Cainta, Rizal. Therefore, PWDs are forced to have trainings at walkways, lobbies or small rooms of their dormitory.

With the grant assistance, TWH will construct a new training center with a capacity of 500 people, and also purchase necessary equipment including projectors and screens.

The new facility will be able to accommodate around 3,800 people for various trainings each year. TWH will also use the facility for tours designed to disseminate the conditions of PWDs and various activities of TWH to students and local business people.

The government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the GGP in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of January 2012, 460 grassroots projects funded by GGP – ranging from roughly P1 million to P4 million – have been implemented by NGOs, local government units and other nonprofit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to $21.7 million.

Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also the existing strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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