Empowering Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) continues to be one of Government’s priorities.

This was emphasised by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, during his address at the Athletes Leadership Programmes’ (ALP) "Reaching Out" project awards ceremony, at Divi Southwinds, last Saturday evening.

"Reaching Out" was a year-long programme which was hosted by Special Olympics Barbados to cater to the personal and social development of special needs athletes ages 16 and over.

Minister Sinckler asserted that "these young people are part of our heritage and no effort should be spared in removing the barriers that may hinder their progress. It is for this reason that the Government, through the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, did not hesitate to assist financially with the implementation of this and other programmes from which Persons with Disabilities can benefit."

The Minister of Social Care disclosed that an "annual subvention of $400,000 is given by Government to the Barbados Council for the Disabled to enable its servicing of the community of Persons with Disabilities." He noted that there are also subventions for other related organisations which are provided through the National Disabilities Unit.

In addition to the provision of funds, Mr. Sinckler further affirmed Government’s dedication to helping PWDs by revealing his administration’s intention to ratify the Convention for the Rights of PWDs this year.

He stated: "The Government of Barbados through the various agencies in the social sector remains committed to doing all within its power to create the kind of environment that creates equal opportunities for all Barbadians to realise their fullest potential." sharifa.medford@barbados.gov.bb

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