Parents say $100,000 Special Needs Fund ‘great relief’

─ as distribution commences on East Bank Demerara

The government today continued the distribution of its $100,000 ‘Special Needs Fund’ for persons residing along the East Bank of Demerara.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud

The scores of parents and guardians who turned out at the Diamond Masjid told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the fund has brought great relief to their pockets.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud and Natala Walrond, a recipient of the government’s $100,000 Special Needs Fund.

Single Parent, Natala Walrond broke down in tears as she expressed gratitude for the grant.

“I am so grateful I never really received any such great gift from the government. I am so grateful, it brings great relief to my son, a great, great relief because it is not easy. It’s not easy what I going through with this boy and the eyes it is stressing. So, this morning I feel a thousand pounds lighter, I am so grateful to the government for this”, she explained.

She will use the money to buy spectacles for her son, who has difficulty with his sight.

“I feel light, I feel happy I can’t even really express how I am feeling right now. This is a joy and I thank God for living to see this day because this is what I need for this child. Thank God this morning, he heard my prayers. I called him and said you going to be able to get your glasses, he feels nice. He said mommy I gon be able to see because he can’t get to see anything on the board, he doesn’t focus properly and it’s a great relief”, she further related.

Adrie Persaud-Frincisco, a recipient of the government’s $100,000 Special Need Fund.

Another single parent, Adrie Persaud-Frincisco, who has a 17-year-old daughter, said it is really hard on her pockets to take care of her child with no help.

She said, “Well, at least it will do great for her and I highly appreciate what the government did here because I never, ever experienced anything like this in life before or whenever… and I am very thankful to the government for the work that he doing.”

Andre Gonsalves, a recipient of the government’s $100,000 Special Needs Fund.

Andre Gonsalves, who has an autistic son, said the money will be used to pay for his child’s counselling sessions.

He extended gratitude to the government for the fund.

“We are happy, I am happy and I am certain Aleandro is happy that the government is doing a lot. They are paying attention to our needs. To all parents out there, hope is coming, I know it is difficult, I feel you. I am there, it’s coming we just have to be a little bit patient.  It is sad to say that the previous administrations didn’t focus on it, so I am personally saying thankyou to the government and to Minister Vindhya Persaud for taking this initiative a step forward.”

Vickram Mohamed, a recipient of the government’s $100,000 Special Needs Fund.

Vickram Mohamed has been providing care to young Zebulin, a child who once lived on the streets, because of his disability.

“We must never withhold good when it’s in our power to do it and so I think this initiative by the Ministry of Human Services is one of the cutting-edge initiatives. The new administration you would’ve seen a lot of work on infrastructure and those things but today this minister is concerned about people, humanity and I think she needs to be applauded for this.”

He said the money will go towards the purchase of basic school essentials for the reopening of school.

Meanwhile, Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud in her address reiterated the government’s commitment to enhanced levels of service and implementing programmes to improve the lives of persons living with disabilities.

She said transportation is being made available for such persons.  

“We are trying to add transportation so that those children can be taken to their schools and their centres so that, that can give you an ease. I know it is hard and I am aware of your challenges.”

The minister further stated that government will continue to implement more innovative programmes that are far-reaching, easily accessible and inclusive.