Justice and Solidarity
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Be the voice of the voiceless
Mr. X..., a partially hearing impaired married man, did not pass through St. Mary’s Rehabilitation and Development Centre Ipetumodu, but his disability as a deaf person makes him a beneficiary of the Centre.
After graduating from the Teacher's Technical College, he was employed to work in the Department of Administration and General Services, Ife North Local Government in 1992 as a clerical Assistant IV on grade level 03. He was later transferred to the Department of Town Planning where he works till date, he is well loved by his coworkers and people.
Whenever he is faced with challenges at work or concerning his marital life, he knows he is always welcome to share his struggles with us in the Centre and the Sister in charge has always tried to listen to him and advise him on what to do. Even though we choose as our preferential option the care of children with special needs, we also try to give advocacy to the people with disabilities, affected by unjust structures, and try to take corrective actions. We try our best to defend the right of the vulnerable and to speak for the voiceless.
However, Mr. X... has been denied professional promotion since 2004 because of his handicapping condition. He came to discuss his ordeal with the Centre’s coordinator of St Mary's Rehabilitation Centre, who followed up the case by calling the attention of the authority concerned. Series of meetings and visits were paid to the stakeholders on his behalf. Eventually, the Director of the Department of Town Planning encouraged us to direct our demand to Ministry of Local Government, Osogbo. That was done, and after some weeks Mr. X... brought the good news of his promotion from level 10 to level 13. We are happy that Mr. X... eventually received the support needed through the help of the Centre.
Mr. X... is one out of many people with disability who have been denied their rights because they are voiceless and helpless. These people become victims of discrimination, social isolation, mockery, harassment… to whom no one is ready to associate or tolerate. The Centre has reached out to many handicapped people of Ipetumodu and its surroundings that are facing all kinds of challenges.
Sister Elizabeth Kehinde, DHS. Nigerian Vice-Province. Posted on December 27, 2019