Organisation for the  disabled looking to build self-sufficiency for members
The audience at the VOD ceremony
March 11, 2022

Organisation for the disabled looking to build self-sufficiency for members

Executive members of the Voice of the Disabled (VOD) are confident that they can now provide a safe space for Vincentians with disabilities to gather, after more than US$23,000 was injected into the renovation of its headquarters in San Souci.

Australian high commissioner h.E. Bruce London addressing the gathering

The funding for the much needed renovations were garnered through the Australia Direct Aid programme, and the six-year-old organisation was able to welcome Australia’s High Commissioner, Bruce Lendon with a short ceremony and tour of the newly renovated building this week.

“This is the centre for persons with disabilities. They must feel when they come here, they must feel at home and that they have a place they can go and call upon at any time if any troubles arise,” Cheryl Adams, the president of the organisation said.

Voice of the Disabled submitted a proposal to the Australia Direct Aid programme last year, and having been successful, received US$23,300 (AUD$30,290) to support the upgrading of the San Souci facility.

Activities undertaken included the tiling of the floor, changing and reinstallation of windows and doors, repairing and upgrading bathrooms and other minor repairs and upgrades to the exterior of the building.

The kitchen facilities at the site were also upgraded and will be an integral part of the future projects of the organisation.


Vod president Cheryl Adams addressing the ceremony

According to Adams, these projects will focus on building the independence of individuals with disabilities as the VOD hopes to collaborate with the Adult and Continuing Education department to offer skills training programmes.

“I want to have us making crafts, teaching disabled persons how to be independent. We cannot be too dependent. We have to be independent and when we finish doing our crafts they can become self-employed and make their own money because as we know, government would never be able to do it all,” Adams said.

She added that “discrimination must come to an end right here and the marginalised position we have been put in must come to an end right at this centre”.

Australia’s High Commissioner, Bruce Lendon delivered brief remarks at Tuesday’s event.

Lendon said he was “really impressed” by the work undertaken using funding from the Australia Direct Aid.

The High Commissioner also said he “can see that the money has been well used” and that he was “very pleased with what you’ve done so far”.

He added that he was very optimistic about the future plans of the Voice of the Disabled.

The zonal co-ordinator and officer from the Adult and Continuing Education unit, Nevlyn Antoine congratulated the Voice of the Disabled on its achievements.

Antoine noted that her unit’s motto “Never too big to learn” paired well with that of the organisation’s “Where there is no vision, the people will perish”.

Zonal coordinator for Adult Education Nevlyn Antoine delivering remarks at the ceremony

“We are seeing that vision here today,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to working along with VOD to offer skills training programmes to persons with disabilities at the newly renovated centre.

Tuesday’s event also featured musical performances and other addresses by project co-ordinator, Allan Williams and vice president of the VOD, Daniel Chambers.