- Posted October 6, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
A Dozen People for One
The United Nations General Assembly held a high level meeting on disability and development with the theme, “The Way Forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.”, at the level of Heads of State and Government just this 23rd of September, 2013 in New York City.
This meeting is significant since there are more than one billion persons with disabilities around the world. Most of them are among the poorest and lack access to education, employment, healthcare and support systems.
The General Assembly resolution 66/124 invites the president of the General Assembly to draw up a list of representatives of non-governmental organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities, relevant civil society organizations and the private sector who may participate in the high-level meeting.
One delegate who represented the civil society organizations in the Philippines to the UN High Level Meeting was Romualdo Constantino San Pascual. He is known as the ‘bulagkaster’ or blind broadcaster of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Radio.
San Pascual, in his mid fifties, has diabetes and continues to work in order to provide for his family.
San Pascual is a member of AKAP Pinoy or Alyansa ng mga may Kapansaanang Pilipino, a federation of organizations of and for people with disabilities in the Philippines.
Being a representative of an NGO, he was not sponsored by any government agency BUT he was able to successfully attend the High level meeting with the help of a lot of kind hearted people.
From the day he was officially announced part of the Philippine delegation, he was given help by numerous heroes.
In acquiring all proper documentation and all important meetings he needed to attend, Ms. Gigi Martinez Bacani provided him with free transportation service. Various fees, accommodations and other expenses were sponsored by Dr. Imelda Cruz Banting and a member of Project Michelangelo Foundation (who wishes to stay anonymous). Assistance was also extended by Niena Sevilla (and friends), Christopher and Eric Soler.
Part of San Pascual’s airplane ticket was sponsored by Ms. Rebecca Martinez Santos, Dr. Jojo Sayson, Leo Riingen and Dr. Imelda Cruz Banting.
Other compassionate and helpful people who made sure San Pascual had everything he needed were Ms. Gregoria Martinez, Olive Martinez (who also gave San Pascual a laptop), Tess Diaz Llamas and Angie San Mateo.
Civil society organization representatives, like San Pascual, played a central role in the lead up to the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development and their efforts strengthened the process and final outcome document.
The High Level Meeting, with all the following international conferences, meetings and events is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document to provide policy guidance and strengthen efforts of the international community to ensure accessibility for and inclusions of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts.
The dozen people I mentioned above noticed the need for help. They decided San Pascual deserved it.
Photo 1 - San Pascual at Eastchester, New York, September 22, 2013
Photo 2 - at UNICEF House, 44th St between 1st and 2nd avenue, for the Breakfast Meeting on Disability in the Lifecycle: Investing in Children, September 23, 2013
Photo 3 - Times Square, New York
- My life