— More teachers, transportation and hassle-free public assistance for special needs children
Georgetown, Guyana—(May 31, 2022) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali announced a cash grant of $100,000 for each child with a disability, during a meeting with parents and their special needs children this afternoon at State House.
He said that the Government has a lot of plans under its One Guyana umbrella to offer help to all Guyanese.
“We want to do more, we are working on areas where we can do more. We are working on the methodology that can be best utilised to deliver more to you.”
The President, who was joined by First Lady Arya Ali and Minister of Human Services and Social Security, the Honourable Dr Vindhya Persaud, said that the objective of the meeting was to find ways to improve the lives of all persons with disabilities.
He said plans are in place to have a classroom in every region that is dedicated to helping children with disabilities. The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is currently helping with the design.
“This is us trying to build a national environment in which the needs of every single person are taken into consideration.”
The President also stated that systems are in place to create an updated register of persons with disabilities (PWD), which is the first phase of delivering help to all affected individuals.
“We have to find a structured way in which we can deliver help.”
The President also allowed parents to voice their concerns on issues affecting their children and to make needed recommendations. Most parents spoke of the hardship in getting public assistance for their children and issues of transportation.
After listening to a number of parents, the President announced that moving forward, he would ensure that all the children on the register are entitled to automatic public assistance. He also said that with the help of the Ministry of Education, more teachers will be trained to deal with special needs students, while he will put systems in place to have at least one vehicle at each care facility to help with transportation needs.
In addressing the concerns, he also sent a stern warning to “uncaring officials”, who have continuously denied children with disabilities public assistance.
“Persons who deny a child help have no place in public service.” He said that persons who don’t have the emotional capacity to understand the need and plight of affected parents, should not work in the sector.
BUSINESS CENTRES FOR PWD
Working with the Office of the First Lady, the President said that the Government also plans to construct a business centre for persons with disabilities (PWD) in every region.
He noted that this year, the first such centre will be built in Region Six.
Director of Projects at the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Omar Narine explained that the design of the building was done in collaboration with the National Commission on Disability to incorporate all the specifications and requirements.
He said that the building is 9,100 square feet of reinforced concrete and will be constructed at a cost of approximately $120m.
According to President Ali, the centre will be replicated in every region of Guyana. It will feature five workstations, which will allow persons to manufacture varying products, ranging from crafts to snacks and a retail space for the products to be sold.
Although it is a business centre, it will also include a therapy room.
Over two dozen persons are expected to gain employment in the short term at each centre, with the possibility of it increasing to over three dozen in the medium to long term.
Meanwhile, the children who attended today’s meeting received a special package from the Office of the President.