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People with Disabilities Group Holds AGM

(Government of Montserrat Photo)

BRADES – Montserrat Association for People with Disabilities (MAPD) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Look Out Community Centre on Saturday June 6th, 2015.

Presentations were made around the theme “Creating opportunities for people with disabilities; nothing about us, without us.” These included a feature address by President of MAPD, Mr. Joseph Kirwan which was read by James White Jr., Anthony Mills of the St. Kitts Nevis Association of Persons (SKNAPD) with disabilities and Rockliffe Bowen of the St. Kitts Association for the Blind.

Anthony Mills delivered a PowerPoint presentation from his wheelchair emphasizing the SKNAPD’s motto “To improve the lives of persons with disabilities, through advocacy, education, peer support and service.”

Nadia Duberry, the current Treasurer gave a financial report and she was followed by some reflections from the Honourable Minister of Education, Health and Social Services, Delmaude Ryan.

Minister Ryan  commended the proactive approach of the MAPD in ensuring that the needs of the disabled are included in the island’s development. As part of their programme of activities last year they met with the MDC on the plans for town development as well as with the coordinator of the healthcare improvement and hospital project. Minister Ryan commended the president for his leadership and spirit in keeping the organization active. She also thanked the President of the Disability Association for the points raised in bringing the awareness of the needs of the disabled in policy making and for their involvement when policies are made about them.

The minister also shared her desire to see the island have a bus that can transport those who are wheel chair bound and with other disabilities so that they can continue to participate more fully in local activities. She challenged the new executive to be action oriented and to keep in constant communication with the ministry to keep the partnership going as we bring more awareness to the association.

Joseph “King” Kirwan was re-elected as president for the third one-year term. Also returning are Vice President Thomas O’Garro and Treasurer Nadia Duberry. Jeanette Brade is the Assistant Treasurer. Therese Meade is the new Secretary with Stefonella Meade assisting. Dr. Shirley Kelly is the new Public Relations Officer (PRO).

The women’s representative on the association is Mrs. Jane Weekes, Mrs. Celia Owen is the Social Services Representative and Nurse Violet Browne is the sponsor.

The MAPD also chose members to support projects that are being undertaken by the body. Paul Morris, James White Jr., and Crenston Buffonge are the support personnel for the ongoing Swimming Project. Keon Hutson will provide IT support for the association , while Nurse Jeanette Brade will assist the “Legs for Life” project..