Eight members of the disabled community were the focus of attention on Thursday, October 10th when they received tools of their trade that will no doubt aid them on their path of self-sufficiency.
The Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities identified some of their members who needed help with income generation and solicited support from the UN’s GEF Small Grants Programme to meet those needs.
Those items were for members of the Association of People with Disabilities who are farmers, caterers, fishers and artisans.
The members submitted their list of tools of their trade: that included knapsack sprayers, hand tools, wheelbarrows, a tiller and a chainsaw.
There were also small kitchen appliances and equipment, craft supplies and artist supplies as well as fisherman tools.
Nathalie Murphy is Executive Director of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities.
She says, “This is something we have been looking forward to for a while. We have [members] who are blind or visually impaired, physically challenged and wheelchair users but that doesn’t mean that they are not engaged in agriculture or small projects. The presentation today are tools and equipment that will help them get back on their feet and make a living.”
The DAPD says more items are still to come and are being sourced. The grant totalled EC $10,000 and was specifically designed for livelihood support and capacity building.
Josephine Dublin-Prince of the Small Grants Programme National Committee did the official handing over of the items.
She explained, “The programme of GEF Small Grants is very inclusive because people with disabilities are never left out; it is people-centred. The word empowerment is always central to development of people and for persons with disabilities, empowerment is [important]. The DAPD has shown the rest of Dominicans that you don’t just sit on your laurels and expect to benefit.”
DAPD member, Rudy, is a farmer and received several tools for his work. He is also blind.
“I’ll be able to handle my wheelbarrow; my nephew will walk with me to guide me. I will be able to handle the tools because I am good at gardening. That’s what I do for a living. I make coal and do other things. I am so happy that I have gotten the tools. I will make the most of it and use them to earn something. I want to thank those who organised this and the DAPD.”
The DAPD as an organisation also got some equipment for its own income generation. That included a laminating machine and a brush cutter among others.
The Executive Director says the brush cutter will likely be rented out and the laminating machine is for use in the organisation’s table mat making business. They also make and sell drink coasters and other craft. They will have a booth at this year’s Creole in the Park.