Press Release – First Lady donates 100 relief packages to Persons with Disabilities

First Lady, H.E Arya Ali today fulfilled a promise made to the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities to provide 80 relief packages for persons with disabilities during the holiday season.

In fact, the First Lady donated 100 packages, which comprise household items, at a simple handing over at her residence – State House.

The relief packages were received by GCOPD’s Programme Coordinator, Ganesh Singh; Rosemarie Ramitt, GCOPD’s Youth Coordinator; and June Herod, GCOPD’s Secretary.

The donation coincided with International Day of Persons with Disabilities which is being observed globally under the theme: “Build back better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.”

In October, H.E Arya Ali met with representatives from GCOPD and made a solid pledge to support persons with disabilities through the provision of relief packages, and jobs through a Private Sector partnership.

In her message to mark today’s observance, the First Lady highlighted the need for the international community to be intentional in including persons with disabilities in its post-COVID-19 recovery programme.

She noted that the first step in achieving a more inclusive world is recognizing that persons with disabilities must benefit from a quality education tailored to their individual needs.

“It all starts with education. People living with disabilities cannot fully participate in our economy if they do not have the skills they need,” Mrs. Ali said.

Beyond the classroom, she emphasized the need for more to be done to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate in other aspects of life that people without disabilities generally take for granted.

“People with disabilities find it difficult to run basic errands in a world that is quite literally not built for them. Businesses, and government agencies, must make the physical and technological investments necessary for people with disabilities to access their services,” she said.

It is for this reason the First Lady has requested that ramps be installed at the Kingston Seawall to allow persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs to access the tarmac.

In addition to medium and long term investments in accessible education and infrastructure, the First Lady was keen to note that there must be a collective recognition that people living with disabilities need immediate economic support to guarantee them a decent standard of living.

That is why the Office of the First Lady has submitted to the private sector, a list of over 200 persons with disabilities who are currently seeking employment.

In closing, the Mrs. Ali urged citizens to do all that is within their power to ensure that all Guyanese have a chance to live up to their given potential.

“People with disabilities too deserve to lead sustainable lives, and I hope you will join with me to ensure that no one is left behind as we move forward into the bright future that I know lies ahead of us,” she said.

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