GETHSEMANE MWIZABI, Ndola
IN an effort to recognise and appreciate persons with disabilities, Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) decided to take a different approach to its usual corporate social responsibility.
The Board organised what turned out to be a successful Miss Compensation Fashion Show on December 3, 2017, which was the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. What a way to commemorate the event!
After months of planning for the event, we hosted the colourful fashion show featuring pupils with special needs from schools in Ndola.
The well-attended event was held at Protea Hotel in Ndola and was graced by Ndola mayor Amon Chisenga. Ndola district commissioner George Chisulo and various stakeholders from the Ministry of Education were also in attendance.
Miss Compensation Fashion is a brainchild of WCFCB commissioner and chief executive officer Elizabeth Nkumbula, who has been passionate about the plight of persons with special needs through programmes such as care and support through which we conduct periodic visits to the Board’s pensioners to appreciate their needs.
It is important to note that most of WCFCB’s pensioners have varying disabilities owing to injuries resulting from occupational accidents and diseases.
As for the Miss Compensation Fashion Show, it is one way of appreciating pupils with special needs, most of whom are stigmatised and socially excluded.
The first ever fashion show resonates with WCFCB’s corporate social responsibility programme, which seeks to incorporate persons with disabilities and vulnerable members of society.
Without doubt, fashion shows the world over have become a magnet for designers and buyers to get together for business, market intelligence, and inspiration.
For WCFCB, Miss Compensation Fashion Show serves to show the world about the Board’s support and care for differently abled persons.
“I am keenly interested in the development of young people with disabilities- first because our customers are persons with disabilities contracted as a result of occupational accidents and second, for a more personal reason, I happen to have a passion for disadvantaged members of our society,” said Dr Nkumbula in her speech.
Currently, the Board has over 23,000 registered beneficiaries, the majority of whom are persons with physical disabilities.
In a pursuit of an inclusive society, we are aware of and appreciate the immense talent among the young and differently abled learners, which is why we hosted the Miss Compensation Fashion Show. The idea was to give a platform for differently abled persons to showcase their abilities.
Through constant encouragement and backing, the WCFCB believes persons with special needs could make a mark on the local fashion scene.
The Ndola mayor congratulated the Board and encouraged the social security scheme to spread the event like wild fire over the land.
“You have gone beyond your mandate to recognise persons with disabilities. It’s a commendable thing because you have brought persons with disabilities closer to you,” he said after seeing beauty contestants expressing themselves confidently in response to questions posed to them on set.
Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities provincial coordinator Anthony Mwansa thanked the Board for recognising and rewarding children with special needs in a most creative way.
“The key to inclusion means working towards removing all the barriers.
This is in line with our theme for 2017,” he said referring to the International Day for Persons with Disabilities themed ‘Inclusion’.
The ultimate winner of the Miss Compensation Fashion Show was Florence Phiri, who won 100 percent scholarship for two years.
Others were Judy Chipande, the First Princess, who won 75 percent one year scholarship, Miss Personality Mapalo Mushalulan and Second Princess Patricia Mutema, both getting 50 percent scholarship for one year.