Start Now Computer Training Institute for the Visually Impaired Celebrates One Year of Service

Image source: http://www.startnow-gambia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/standing-at-Start-Now-gate.jpg

Image source: http://www.startnow-gambia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/standing-at-Start-Now-gate.jpg

Recently, the Start Now Computer Training Institute in Gambia, which teaches visually impaired high school graduates and young people ICT skills, celebrated its first year anniversary. Start Now has trained more than 15 visually impaired students in such skills. In celebration of this milestone, the centre held an event called “Disability is Possibility.”

The founder, Alieu Jaiteh, focuses on training this particular population in computer skills in order to increase their employment prospects. “Technology has played a vital role in today’s world. This is why Start Now was born to enhance the technology of the visually impaired so that they can have access to higher education, and can also work in any office,” he says. He further emphasized that “disability does not mean inability.”

At the event, Lamin Jawla, from the office of the Governor of the West Coast Region, who also suffers from a disability, underscored that “People with disabilities also have a role to play in national development, so they should not be treated as children of a lesser god with unwanted sorrow heaped on them. There is no place in the society for prejudice, yet people with disability are often not given equal rights and opportunities. As a nation, there is a need to raise awareness that the disabled people in the society need empathy not sympathy; there is a need to be aware that the differently-able may or may not look the same or behave the same as those who are able, but they have a place in the society.”

Start Now has also recently expanded to the West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipal Council from its original location in Brikama with generous support from a variety of institutions. This anniversary also marked the launch of the organization’s new website, supported by Concern Universal through U.S. Embassy Banjul funding. Concern Universal hopes this website will help Start Now become a globally recognized organizaton.

Source: Halimatou Ceesay, The Point, Distributed by: AllAfrica Global Media