Educational opportunities being provided through special needs grant – parents

Rosey Pereira, a mother of a six-year-old autistic child said she will now be able to better provide educational materials to ensure her child has access to quality education after receiving the government’s $100,000 one-off cash grant.

Pereira, was among scores of persons who received the cash grant for children living with disabilities in Region Seven on Saturday. The exercise was spearheaded by the Minster of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira and is the brainchild of President, Dr  Irfaan Ali.

Rosey Pereira

Pereira told DPI that she finds it difficult to take care of her child and is happy to have received the grant.

“The money will assist in purchasing school supplies for him because those Fisher-Price, they would help him a lot and they are very pricey,” Pereira stated.

Sharon Phillips who also welcomed the grant expressed how difficult it is to raise a child with a disability. Phillips said her nine-year-old child has a learning disability which makes it difficult to retain information.

She said while she has not figured out what she will do with the money, she wants “to do something nice” for her child.

Joseph Williams who has a four-year-old, shared similar sentiments, “it will help me a lot because I am struggling to supply the needs for the child.”

Joseph Williams

Minister Teixeira addressing parents, said government has made the grant available because it recognises how tough it is on parents to raise children with disabilities.

“This issue of taking care of the children, of the grant of $100,000 is to help families. The President recognises that when you have a child with a permanent disability that it is a big stress on the family. It is a stress particularly on women, the mothers, the grandmothers, the caregivers. So, the $100,000 will help the families manage better,”the Minister explained.

Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister, Gail Teixeira

Now that government has a fair idea how many children are living with disabilities, more special education teachers will have to be trained.

“It is important for these children as much as possible to be integrated into the school society and not be hidden away,” Minister Teixeira noted.

She urged parents to use the money for the benefit of the child.

The one-off grant is for persons 18 years and under living with disabilities. Through the initiative which is being rolled out by the Human Services and Social Security Ministry, approximately 5,000 children are expected to benefit.