Parents laud govt’s $100k special needs fund

Wheelchairs, pampers and other forms of assistance given

Thousands of parents heaped praises on President Dr. Irfaan Ali-led Administration for the rolling out of a programme aimed at delivering a better quality of care for their children who are living with disabilities.

On Monday, scores of parents turned up at the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Center to uplift the grant which totalled $100,000 per child. The money was distributed by the Human Services and Social Security Ministry.

Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud at the $100,000 one-off disability cash grant distribution

The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with several parents who expressed gratitude for the grant saying it helps to alleviate the financial burdens on their pockets.

Single parent Monet Cane, expressed appreciation for the initiative since it is difficult for her to support the child financially.   

“It will take us a long way financially; it will help with school and transportation to and from therapy. I think it is a very good gesture because there are a lot of parents who are suffering secretly and a lot of fathers are not looking after their kids”, Cane said.

Meanwhile, Teresa Nelson, who supports her grandson living with a disability, said that the initiative is a boost to her pockets as it is difficult to transport her grandson around.

She said,the grant that I get will help because I have to take a taxi anywhere I take him, to the clinic, to the hospital I have to take taxis all the time but this would able to boost the situation up.”

In addition, Nelson will be receiving a wheelchair from the ministry to aid in the transportation of her grandson as further relief.

Another parent, Oliver Cort who suffers from retinol detachment from the age of nine, also received some $200,000 in cash for his two children who have a similar disorder.

He said the money received will be used to purchase a computer for school.

“I am very appreciative of this initiative it’s going to go a very far way in helping the children to purchase some computers for them to go to school and do work and so on”, he explained.

Roshana Long, a Parent who is currently pregnant has a son with autism.

She described the difficulties to support her son and said the monies will be used to finance his therapy.

We take him to therapy and all of that so the back and forth from work, physiotherapy, speech therapy and all of those are very challenging. So, I am thankful for it because we recently have him enrolled in behavioural therapy and it will help us a great lot in assisting us to pay for that. So, it is really timely and I thank God for it.”

The special needs one-off cash grant is part of the government’s manifesto commitment to delivering support to vulnerable groups.

The exercise will conclude on Wednesday, August 24, and will be executed in various regions across Guyana.

The entire process will conclude at the end of September.

If a person misses the opportunity to uplift the grant within this period, they will be provided with the opportunity to do so at a later time.

They are required to provide proof of identification, birth certificate of their child, and medical report at the closest upliftment site or the ministry.

Meanwhile, to further, provide support to persons living with disabilities the government is constructing an institution called the learning lab for them to be upskilled.

The institution is expected to be completed within the next two months.

In addition, Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud highlighted the launch of a pampers bank to help parents and persons living with disabilities.

“We are continuing to work with parents and persons living with disabilities in a new initiative that I have announced the pampers bank really recognising that this has been a very expensive venture for people who live with disability and so pampers are readily available… It has started and people are coming in”, the Minister said.

The ministry will also be partnering with private companies to support its pampers distribution programmes. 

Persons in need of pampers can uplift the item at the Ministry’s headquarters on Lamaha Street, Georgetown.

The government has allocated $200 million in this year’s budget to offer direct support to persons living with disabilities.

From the allocation, new and improved healthcare facilities will be constructed to assist persons living with disabilities, among other things.

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