After months of operating from their new location, it is now official, the National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre for People Living with Disabilities was officially commissioned during a brief ceremony today (Thursday).
With dozens in attendance, including Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment Joan Carrott, Pastor Everton Piggott of the Old Road Pentecostal Church dedicated the compound and pronounced blessings on the edifice, staff and those who attend the centre on a daily basis.
Pastor Piggott reminded them that each person is special and that they must use their special talents to the best of their ability.
Mike Calliste, who is the Director at the Centre, said that the occasion has given him a sense of pride and joy.
“I am feeling overwhelmed, feeling really satisfied with the fact that we finally have a home that we can now do the work that we were hired to do”, Calliste said.
Apart from the dedication ceremony, the event also saw the unveiling of a portrait in honour of Former Director, Emelda Wade-Carbon, who passed away in late 2016.
Carbon, who has been with the Centre since its inception in 1984, played a pivotal role in making the new vocational and rehabilitation home for the disabled a reality.
Calliste spoke highly of his predecessor and noted that she showed true grit right up until her last moments.
He said the occasion was a bitter sweet moment for him.
“Mrs. Carbon has been in it from the get go right up to the time of her death. It’s been a lot of work for her, trying to get the building refurbished, there have been a lot of problems, the building had to be closed down for over two years, trying to get resources, trying to do a lot of things. When the building was finally completed she was so sick that she couldn’t occupy the building. She died before the building was open so she never experienced the results of her hard work, so today was bitter sweet”, Calliste noted.
When asked about the next step for the Centre, Calliste said that the plan has always been to advance and improve the lives of each and every disabled person who attends the facility.
“Well we will advance; more improvements. We believe that the government has given us a task to do and we are going to do it. Our job at the centre is to train; to place. They come in and they work hard, they learn the job and we put them out and give them job experience so that they can have independent living. That is what we are about here; we want them to learn how to survive on their own, not just to depend on us but to depend on themselves because they are human beings, they are very valuable like anyone else and that’s what we are going to do this year”, Calliste added.
Those in attendance at today’s brief ceremony were also entertained with a poem and a unique musical piece with the use of a hair comb.
After being founded in 1984, the National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre for People Living with Disabilities was first housed in Gunthropes before moving to Frys Hill Road next to the Lion’s Den. Its last stop is its current location on Factory Road.
Over forty individuals are currently enrolled at the Centre.