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Voice of the Disabled Centre enjoys ‘soft opening’

Voice of the Disabled Centre enjoys ‘soft opening’
PARTICIPANTS ENGAGED in making scrap mats on Tuesday’s ‘soft opening’ of the centre

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It has not yet been officially opened, but the Voice of the Disabled Centre at Sans Souci has begun to welcome its constituents- people with various types of disability.

The soft opening of the Centre took place on Tuesday, May 24 a few months before the organization itself marks its seventh year of existence on October 22.

Cheryl Adams, who heads Voice of the Disabled told SEARCHLIGHT that in this initial phase, persons who turn up will be learning how to make scrap mats, crochet and engage in small scale agriculture to keep them occupied and give them an opportunity to make a small income.

Adams, who has been blind from childhood, was pleased that six of the eight expected persons turned up and felt at right at home.

A teacher of Braille and IT of the visually impaired at the Georgetown School for Children with Special Needs at Georgetown, Adams the mother of a young adult daughter said she believes she is fulfilling her purpose spearheading the activities at the Centre.

“ I am very passionate for persons with disability,” Adams told SEARCHLIGHT, “I firmly believe this is my calling from God”.

In March of this year the organization received assistance through a project financed under the Australia Direct Aid Programme that enabled them to renovate what was an old, unused building and turn it into a place which at full throttle, will be a vibrant Center for people who have disabilities.

Another donor is providing supplies that will include Braille machines and computers. Adams said when these arrive and are installed, hopefully before the end of July this year, the organization will formally open the Centre and roll out a more structured programme. The Ministry of National Mobilisation, to which Adams is now attached has provided support, including the services of someone from the SET Programme who is expected to help market the Centre and what the participants produce. And the local business community has been an encouraging partner providing support when approached, Adams said.

It is anticipated that social engagement involving participants will be a component of activities offered. At present the Centre owns sets of dominoes and bingos in Braille as well as two guitars and a keyboard is seeking the help of a volunteer to teach the instruments.