Conscious conversations: Project Red – uniting for accessibility and equality

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We are all unique and still the same in some ways. Can you believe everyone, all 8.1 billion of us, has unique fingerprints? While we all have unique fingerprints, most have 10 fingers and 10 toes. We have feet, hands, legs and heads, yet all have different shapes and sizes—the same but unique.

Our uniqueness stretches far beyond physical appearance and should be applied to our needs. “Our” means everyone, regardless of colour, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political beliefs and abilities. 

Nearly everyone faces hardships and difficulties at one time or another. But for people with disabilities, barriers can be more frequent and have greater impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes barriers as being more than just physical obstacles.

“Factors in a person’s environment that, through their absence or presence, limit functioning and create disability. These include aspects such as: a physical environment that is not accessible, lack of relevant assistive technology (assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices), negative attitudes of people towards disability, services, systems and policies that are either nonexistent or that hinder the involvement of all people with a health condition in all areas of life.” (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)

Physical accessibility is one of the significant challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

“Physically accessiblemeans a facility that persons with functional limitations caused by impairments of sight, hearing, coordination, cognition, or perception, or persons with disabilities that cause them to be semi-ambulatory or non-ambulatory, may readily enter, leave, and circulate within, and in which they can use public restrooms and elevators.” (Law Insider)

Project Red is designed to get the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda involved in solving some of the issues we currently face as a country.

Accessible restrooms and buildings are necessary for persons with disabilities but useful for us as a society.

The statistics department suggests “103,603” individuals in Antigua and Barbuda. The working population (20-59) is an estimated 58,764. If we band together as a unit and donate one dollar per month for the year, we can raise a whopping $704,168.

Individuals have several limitations, and we cannot all give; however, if one-third of just less than half of the working population come together as a unit, we can transform a school into an accessible one. 

Project Red is currently slated to last seven years. There are four zones for primary schools, and the idea is that together, annually, we transform one into an accessible school and then three secondary schools. At the end of seven years, an individual would have donated $84 ($1 per month and $12 for the entire year). The possible impact we can make as a country from a $1 donation is remarkable. 

We are kick-starting our activities with zone two at the Potters Primary School. There is a child in need of an accessible restroom. There is a need for this child to “enter, leave, and circulate within” the restroom; together, we can make it happen. 

Our donations will ensure this child has the freedom and her basic human needs are fulfilled and not infringed upon. Our donation is a stepping stone for the disability community. Our donation is the beginning of change.

Our donation of $1 per month is a loud voice in the disability community in Antigua and Barbuda and will be heard by our Caribbean brothers and sisters.

Our donation will unite individuals of different colours, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, political beliefs and abilities.

Our donation is a beacon of hope.

Project Red is an organisation commitment. We are dedicated to creating golden opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to bringing about change in our great nation. 

“There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress.” Howard Zinn (Az Quotes)

We have to move past passing the blame and taking responsibility as a unit. We must become one body, one voice, and one nation by donating $1 every month. Change starts with us.

“The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.” Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Global Giving, 2020)

Donate to Project Red. Send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 789-GOOD (4663). 

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