By Chukwudi Ndubeze
No fewer than one hundred persons living with disabilities in Anambra State have undergone trainings on proper use of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to earn living.
The training which took place in Awka recently, was part of the empowerment programmes of the Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities, Anambra State Chapter, to equip the disability community in the state with skills for financial freedom and discourage them from alms begging in streets of the state.
Speaking at the programme tagged: “Access To ICT For All” Awka, the JONAPWD state Chairman, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, said the training was in line with the association’s zero tolerance of street begging, restating that gone are the days when people with disabilities were seen as beggars on the streets and who could not contribute meaningfully to the society.
Ugochukwu who is also a member of the Anambra State Capital Expenditure Bilateral Discussion Committee said the major objective of the programme was to inculcate knowledge of ICT on persons living with disabilities on how to navigate the internet using their mobile phones and other information gadgets.
The JONAPWD Chairman, also noted that the knowledge will expose and build the capacity of the members on financial investment, businesses in ICT, as well as boost the participants’ economic opportunities, especially in a period that people struggle to earn a living aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Declaring the training Open, the Special Adviser to Anambra State Governor, Barr. Chuks B. Ezewuzie, urged the participants to embrace the new innovation and shun analogue lifestyle. He posited that ICT is the new normal that must be adopted to survive in the digital era.
Ezewuzie commended the leadership of the association and urged the participants to leverage on the bountiful opportunities that abound in the ICT sector like blogging, website designing, among others.
In her goodwill, the Head of Rehabilitation Department of the State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Awka, Amaka Onyali commended the body for organizing the empowerment programme.
Onyali, represented by Uchendu Benice, enjoined the participants to leverage on the opportunity provided for them to learn ICT skills, adding that the programme will help engage people with disability in meaningful business ventures.
Collins Joseph drilled the participants on the use of Google Apps which included Google calendar, google drive, YouTube and how to maximize from social media provisions.
Also, Mr. Ugonna Umeokwonna took the participants through the financial investment opportunities on the internet and mobile phones. He trained the participants on the legitimate ways of making money online and through various social media platforms.
In his testimony, a participant, Celestine Ezeabikwa, said the programme has availed him opportunity to gain ideas to maximize income from his handset and on content development to boost his business.
“I leant that we can use internet to make money, and do business right at the comfort of our home. I never had knowledge of how to participate in zoom meeting but today, I can fully take part in any zoom meeting that I’m part of.”
Another participant, Iyke Ezeokafor commended JONAPWD Anambra for their indebt knowledge of many things. He said ” with the training, my ideas has been widened on some business that is better than begging for alms. Somebody can be in his house and do business without owning a shop to earn income,” he said.