Center for persons with disabilities aims to ‘Fill in the Gap

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By Shermain Bique-Charles

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A number of disabled residents are benefiting from a newly launched project called ‘Fill in the Gap”, an initiative that is being spearheaded by the center for persons with disabilities in Antigua and Barbuda.

It is a venture which took root in the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic and has already catered to dozens of the differently-abled people.

Many persons with disabilities who rely on others for daily living find themselves without support due to restrictions on movement and physical distancing measures.

This may leave them at high risk without access to food, essential goods and medicine, and prevented from carrying out basic daily activities such as bathing, cooking, or eating.

“A number of individuals here have needs, but any one individual cannot meet the needs of anyone so we looked for a way to reach out to persons…” said Ronald Greenaway, who is attached to the Center for persons with disabilities.

He said while the government uses its social programme to cater for residents with disabilities, the pandemic has made it difficult to reach everyone.

“There are persons who fall in the crack so we have to look for these people,” Greenway said.

Meanwhile a 40-foot container of supplies has been donated by Jermaine Lewis who also volunteered her assistance to the Center for Disabilities.

Medical supplies, food, furniture, wheelchairs, beds, blood pressure kits and a number of other materials are being made available to residents in need.

Lewis, a resident of All Saints East and St Luke Constituency who lived abroad for several years, said the supplies aren’t only for people who live in her constituency, but for all those who may have an urgent need.

“It’s for those who are vulnerable in our community…if there is a need and we can assist, we can do so in Barbuda also,” she explained

Lewis said too many times, people who are differently abled go unrecognised and not cared for enough.

Anyone who wants assistance is asked to call 462-0062. An assessment will be conducted before assistance can be given.

The Ministry of Social Transformation is a major part of the undertaking.

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