Georgetown, Guyana – (April 6, 2016) President David Granger, today, received a courtesy call from Cuba’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Julio César González Marchante at the Ministry of the Presidency, during which they discussed the way forward on a tripartite agreement for a project that is specifically designed to enhance the quality of life for children and youths with disabilities.

The Ambassador explained that through this regional project, Cuba will provide the technical assistance, Guyana will be the host country/home of the centre and CARICOM will be link, through which other regional jurisdictions will benefit.

At present, the Guyanese and Cuban Governments are still ironing out all of the details. The Ambassador said that once these matters are concluded plans will be moving swiftly to set up the facility within the precincts of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) at Turkeyen.

The Ministries of Education, Public Health and Foreign Affairs and the National Commission on Disabilities will be critical stakeholders in this project. Ambassador Marchante said that oftentimes children with special medical and educational needs are hastily bracketed as disabled without any proper diagnosis.

He explained that there are instances where a child whose hearing is impaired could lead a normal life with just the help of a simple hearing device, rather than having that child placed under the ‘special needs’ category. This, he said, is the reason why effective diagnosis is important and it is one of the areas in which the centre will specialise.

The centre will also provide further training for medical and educational professionals in Guyana and the Caribbean who already specialise in working with children with disabilities. “This project will greatly assist families with special needs children and provide the necessary elements for these children to grow up into happy, productive adults,” Ambassador Marchante said.

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