Kikau calls for change of perspective

Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji president Jope Kikau. Picture: ATU RASEA

PEOPLE living with disabilities do not want to be recognised from a patronising perspective but from an ideology on their ability to achieve, contribute and lead in their communities.

Speaking during the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) forum yesterday, Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji president Jope Kikau also called on people living with disabilities to work together.

As a young leader living with disability, Mr Kikau said it was important to build solid foundations for the future of those living with disabilities around the country.

“Those who live with disability are powerful people because challenges they face make them become stronger,” Mr Kikau said.

Quoting from the Bible on love being the greatest gift above faith and hope, Mr Kikau said without love, voices would not be heard.

“When we don’t have love, we do not have the strength to lead, and I thank families, partner agencies, government stakeholders and NGOs and affiliates for contributing to the advocation of our needs and plight.”

Also officiating at the celebrations, another young leader Georgina Naigulevu told civil society organisations and government representatives at the meeting that she was a product of their advocacy works.

“Thank you for giving us a voice and for listening to our plight,” Mrs Naigulevu said.

She shared that her love for computers had enabled her to create a mobile community engagement project to address the needs of those with disabilities in partnership with local disability organisations, adding this was her way of giving back to her community.

Mr Kikau and Mrs Naigulevu were guest speakers during the forum.

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