Somali disability advocate Mohamed Ali Farah received a national award from the Ministry of Public Works and Reconstruction for his efforts in campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities. The president of the Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) and Global Disability Watch correspondent was rewarded for his contributions to the sector.
The ceremony organized by the Council of academics (The Living Vision) in Mogadishu was attended by several dignitaries including ministers, members of parliament as well as university students and youth.
Speaking at the ceremony, Abdirahman Hosh Jibril, a Member of Parliament thanked the minister for the award, describing him as a person who always encourages vulnerable people, adding that this award is meant to encourage Mohamed to double his efforts in serving the interests of people with disabilities:
Words of praise were not shortcoming by others:
“If all of us who attended this award giving ceremony would have stood up for supporting people with disabilities, a lot could have been achieved. So we have to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities”, said the deputy chairperson of the association of university students, Fatuma Abdi Ali. She pointed out the need to create awareness among the community and mobilise them in fighting for the rights of people with disabilities and others.
Eng. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Yariiso) welcomed the award highlighting the ministry’s commitment:
“Everybody has special needs and nobody is absolutely perfect except Allah. So I would like to welcome this national award given to Mohamed Ali Farah by the public works engineer Salah whom I can describe as a minister who is always committed to giving people with disabilities the rights they deserve”. He went on to urge the community to help people with disabilities.
Other dignitaries who spoke at the event included Fishing and Sea Resources Minister Mohamed Omar Aymoy who described the award as valuable, saying that it will push forward for people with disabilities to achieve their rights.
Public Works and Reconstruction Minister Eng. Salah Sheikh Osman said Mohamed earned the reward through his efforts in making sure that people with disabilities are able to fight and obtain their rights.
The minister promised to continue with his efforts in ensuring the federal government respected and gave people with disabilities their rights, adding he will do his best to see these rights reflected in the constitution.
Speaking after receiving the award, Mohamed Ali Farah, thanked the ministry and in particular Eng. Salah Sheikh Osman, saying this will encourage him to continue and also step up his efforts in campaigning and working for people with disabilities.