MOGADISHU, Somalia – Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided technological wheelchairs to 140 people with physical disabilities in 5 different states as part of the “Project for Supporting the Mobility of People with Disabilities and Their Access to Education” in Somalia.
The Project for Supporting the Mobility of People with Disabilities and Their Access to Education was implemented by TİKA and Saynab Moallim Foundation, which was founded and is chaired by Saynab Abdi Moallim, First Lady of the Federal Republic of Somalia, in order to guarantee the physical freedoms of people with disabilities, who make up nearly 15 percent of the population and constitute the most vulnerable group in Somalia, and provide them with the same access to social services and opportunities as the rest of the population.
As part of the project, which aimed to improve the mobility of people with physical disabilities, minimize the difficulties they face due to their disabilities, boost their self-confidence, ensure their active participation in education and the workforce, and enable them to take advantage of social opportunities, technological wheelchairs were provided to a total of 140 people with disabilities in 5 different states, namely Banaadir, South-West State, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, and Puntland, in Somalia.
The delivery ceremony of the project was attended by Mehmet Yılmaz, the Republic of Turkey’s Ambassador to Somalia; Saynab Abdi Moallim, First Lady of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Mohamed Abdullahi Isse, Director General of the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Basma Amir Ahmed and Abdulkadir Mohamed Mohamud, Deputy Governors of Banaadir; İlhami Turus, TİKA’s Coordinator in Mogadishu; İsmail Emre Kosif, Undersecretary of the Turkish Embassy in Somalia; and Uğur Birlik, TİKA’s Assistant Coordinator in Mogadishu.
Mehmet Yılmaz, the Republic of Turkey’s Ambassador to Somalia, delivered a speech at the ceremony and underlined that everyone has the risk of becoming a person with disability and that we should be aware of this fact and ensure the social integration of people with disabilities, instead of excluding them from the rest of the society.
In her speech, First Lady Saynab Abdi Moallim stated that Turkey has always been there for Somalia and the people of Somalia, and thanked TİKA for implementing such a meaningful project. Moallim also launched a support campaign for people with disabilities, urging the people of Somalia to help people with disabilities who are in need of care.
İlhami Turus, TİKA’s Coordinator in Mogadishu, referred to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is celebrated on December 3, and stated that the lack of love is the greatest barrier that people with disabilities face. Turus added that TİKA had implemented and would continue to implement sustainable awareness-raising projects for the education, employment, and social and cultural integration of people with disabilities not only in Somalia, but in many parts of the world.