On April 22, 2013, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) welcomed the Deputy Minister of the Afghanistan Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled (MoLSAMD) Hon. Suraya Paikan and Mr. Peter Kiyonga, Senior Advisor for Vocational Training and Employment Support, Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disabilities Programme (RAD), Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). 

The distinguished visitors came to Manila, Philippines on study a study tour from April 22 to 27, 2013 with the aim to understand the Philippines’ policy guidelines on Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and related practices for their rehabilitation with special focus on skills development and vocational training.

On behalf of the Director General Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, the Officer – in – Charge and CPSC Faculty Consultant, Dr. Hazrat Hussain led the team in welcoming the visitors through an opening ceremony at the Conference Room.

From L-R: Mr. Peter Kiyonga, Hon. Suraya Paikan, and Dr. Hazrat Hussain during the Opening Program

The guests presented an overview of SCA, RAD, and the working relationship of SCA to support MoLSAMD for the development of persons with disabilities. SCA is a Swedish non‐governmental development organization that has been operating in Afghanistan for almost thirty years. The mission of SCA is to empower poor women, children and men through service provision, capacity development and advocacy in the implementation of development programmes predominantly in rural areas of Afghanistan. SCA is extending it services related to education, health of persons with disabilities and rural development.

The Disability program (RAD) has been running Community Based Rehabilitation Programs (CBR) since 1991 in Afghanistan and has addressed many issues faced by people with disabilities including physical, educational, social and economic-both in the rural and urban areas.

Special Remarks of Hon. Suraya Paikan   

For a more conducive working environment and streamlined vocational training structure for different training providers, SCA’s RAD program has partnered with MoLSAMD with funding from the European Commission to provide greater employment opportunities for young people with disabilities through appropriate vocational training and employment support in urban and rural areas. 

CPSC coordinated visits to various organizations in the Philippines to meet the objectives of the study tour including the National Council on Disability Affairs, Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled Persons, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. (translation: Home with no stairs – for orthopedically handicapped), and Department of Labor and Employment.