By Our Reporter
People living with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable to risks presented by COVID-19 as they may not be able to protect themselves sufficiently or have adequate access to relevant information on prevention measures.
It is in this regard that Standard Chartered Bank has extended a donation of Ugx 74 million to Straight Talk Foundation to support people living with disabilities in the fight against Covid 19. The donation will primarily be used for formulation and production of infographic materials to suit persons with cognitive disabilities in an easy-to-read, interpret and understand manner. As well, the donation will be used for production of COVID-19 awareness materials into accessible formats such as braille for ease of quick reference by the visually impaired.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Ms Regina Mukiri, Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda emphasized the need for inclusion of people with disabilities to ensure their safety and wellbeing in these COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to partner with Straight Talk Foundation, a credible NGO to support people living with disabilities in Uganda. At Standard Chartered, we strongly embrace Diversity & Inclusion as a key component of our strategic intent – to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity. Disability is one of pillars of Diversity and Inclusion which we are focusing on because persons with disabilities are likely to be severely affected compared to the able-bodied colleagues.
Most often they are not given top priority when planning or implementing projects and they are faced with both self-esteem barriers as well as the misconceptions largely from the society that focuses more on what they are unable to do as opposed to appreciating their abilities. We therefore decided to make an intervention on their behalf because we believe that the donation will impact them positively and help mitigate risks associated with Covid 19. By giving them access to information, it is my firm belief that they will have empowered. Regina concluded.
The Ag. Executive Director and Director Programs, Straight Talk Foundation, Mr. David Talima, appreciated Standard Chartered’ s gesture, acknowledging that the donation will make a huge difference in improving the health and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in Uganda.
“Despite the effort by the different players to respond to COVID-19 pandemic, little has been done to include those living with disabilities. The visually impaired for example can’t access the ordinarily COVID-19 print messages and similarly the deaf need sign language interpreters for a fair access to news in the electronic formats. We commit to use these resources and our expertise to bridge this gap.”
Standard Chartered Bank, true to its Brand promise, “Here for good” has been standing with its clients, staff and community during this challenging time. With a heritage of over 108 years of doing business in Uganda, the Bank has remained resilient during good and challenging times. The Bank has to date donated over UGX 1.6bn (USD 450,000) towards the fight against the pandemic and are working in partnership with six NGOs .These include UNICEF, Uganda Red Cross, BRAC Uganda, Child Fund, You Belong , Straight talk Foundation and Brien Holden Vision Insitute.