Tribute to Mrs. Melanie McKenzie
September 28, 2007

Tribute to Mrs. Melanie McKenzie

by National Society of Persons With disAbilities 28.SEP.07

Melanie McKenzie (A tenacious Character) joined the National Society of Persons With disAbilities (NSPD) in 1997. With her wealth of knowledge and ability, Melanie helped overcome the weakness of the NSPD at all levels. With her enthusiasm and very proactive approach, she began working to strengthen the pillars of the NSPD. Melanie became the first Co-ordinator of the NSPD, establishing an office at her home, using her own computer, telephone, paper, ink etc to carry out the work of the NSPD.

Melanie was elected President in the year 2001, and served until 2004. As one of the organisation’s most outspoken members, she was elected to serve as PRO from 2004 to 2006. At the time of her passing, she was one of the Directors of the NSPD and chairperson of the committee responsible for managing the Skills Training Programme.

As a past coordinator, Melanie ensured the programmes, activities and plans were well executed to fulfil our mandates. The Educational Scholarship Fund and the annual Christmas Party for the SCSN Georgetown were just two of the brainchild projects of Mrs. McKenzie.{{more}}

In 2004, when Hurricane Ivan destroyed Grenada, Mrs. McKenzie spearheaded a committee of NSPD which brought 20 children with disabilities, along with ten adults, to St. Vincent, from the 2nd-5th December. This was one of our highlights to mark international day of the disabled, which is celebrated on 3rd December each year. The group was presented with packages of food items, toiletries, cosmetics and Christmas gifts.

Although this event was very costly to the NSPD, Melanie was determined to raise the funds, and aided the NSPD with her own money. The Grenadians were very overwhelmed and very appreciative.

Melanie was a very strong advocate for PWDs, always reminding us that we are all citizens of the Nation; and we must let our voices be heard to make SVG more accessible for PWDs. It is through her strong will power and lobbying efforts, through the NSPD, that PWD are now under the Ministry of National Mobilisation. Her dream was to see the NSPD in it own headquarters. This dream was not fulfilled in her lifetime, so it is up to us who are left behind to make sure that this dream becomes a reality.

Melanie was a very special person, a rare human being. She was a very strong person in mind and spirit, loved and admired by us all. It was a pleasure to have worked with her. Her determination and energy to get the job done was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with her. She has given us her best and the most crucial ten years of her life, Melanie has made the NSPD proud, not only here in SVG, but REGIONALLY and INTERNATIONALLY.

Melanie will be greatly missed by all members and staff of NSPD, and I can say, without fear of contradiction, by the whole Disability movement.

Thanks to her valiant efforts, she managed to bring to the forefront the needs of the disabled in SVG. Quite a legacy. Should others emulate her recent efforts to help the many who needed help, SVG will quickly become a better place.

Our prayers are with her husband Norral and the rest of her family.

The Lord Jesus Christ knows best.

May her soul rest in peace.