by Curlan Campbell
- At start of Covid-19 pandemic, GNCD distributed over 270 food hampers to people with disabilities
- GNCD awarded 4 special needs students transitioning into secondary school
- SADO tasked to find elder people throughout vulnerable communities in need of assistance
The Grenada National Council of the Disabled (GNCD) celebrates the successes of students with special needs and this year is no exception. The GNCD recognised and awarded 4 students who met the requirement to transition into a secondary institution once the new school term commences.
The successful students are Bunnelli Pezar, Natalia Calliste, Sheniah Charles and Lynzia Mathurine, who will be attending Westerhall Secondary School, St Rose Modern Secondary School, Wesley College and JW Fletcher Catholic Secondary School respectively. They were presented with food hampers and school bags filled with essential school supplies to assist them in the new school term. Rubis West Indies Ltd, donated gift bags to the students.
GNCD Coordinator, Hillary Gabriel reminded students that their academic journey is not yet over and that they must now focus on achieving even greater success at the secondary level. She said the GNCD will ensure there is constant monitoring of their progress so they continue to perform well academically. “The students will be hearing from us in the future because we normally follow up with the schools to see how our students are doing and wherever we can help with extra lessons or whatever is needed, then we will try our best.”
Furthermore, the GNCD continues its partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that students with disabilities are given an equal opportunity to succeed academically. “It is because of this noble institution that these children are given the opportunity because we make sure that we fight a good fight. Right now, we have itinerant teachers visiting the schools so the blind and visibly impaired students could be given an opportunity to see their full potential in life and the Ministry of Social Development must be congratulated for this,” Gabriel said.
Minister for Social Development, Housing & Community Empowerment, Delma Thomas, addressed the students on the importance of taking their academic life seriously in an age where social media is serving as a distraction. “I have told children in the past that they should ‘face book’ meaning facing your academic books and not the Facebook that we have, where so many children 12 and 13 years are on. But because of all the negative things on Facebook, I continue to urge parents to ensure that you know what your children are doing and you (parents) must be able to manipulate the technology so that you are aware of what they are doing and that they use it for research purposes,” Minister Thomas said.
During the lockdown period at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the GNCD distributed over 270 food hampers to people with disabilities throughout the tri-island state. In addition, the GNCD forged a relationship with the St Andrew Development Organisation (SADO), which will be tasked to find elder people throughout vulnerable communities in need of assistance and then pass on these names to the council. As part of their collaboration, some items including raised toilet seats for the elderly were also handed over to a representative of SADO. The GNCD is also working along with other government departments like the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, to ensure that the elderly and disabled individuals on the sister isles are not left out.