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Thursday 19 July 2018
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Parents, children demand opening of Child Enrichment Centre

PROTEST: Parents with their physically challenged children protest yesterday for the opening of the newly built Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Chase Village, Carlsen Field. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

Under overcast skies which gave way to heavy showers at times, members of the Cerebral Palsy Society of TT staged a peaceful placard demonstration outside the shut National Enrichment Centre, Carlsen Field, Chase Village, yesterday.

Parents, together with their wheelchair-bound children who ranged from three years to 24, sheltered under umbrellas while calling for the opening of the centre.

Several parents, in addition to holding umbrellas, also held aloft placards which read- ‘the national enrichment centre, open it now for speech therapy’; ‘cerebral palsy demanding acceptance’ and ‘God makes no mistakes’.

Society president Phillip Metevier said the centre which was supposed to provide physical, occupational and speech therapy had been built some two years go and never opened.

“We have been talking to the Ministry of Social Development, they say infrastructural problems, then they say everything OK now, but up to now no centre has been opened. What are they doing?

We have been clamouring for this centre for over two years now, our kids are waiting, languishing, we need an early intervention programme so that these kids can do better, we need schools, we need people to look after these children.”

He said there was a pool at the centre which could provide water therapy as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy.

He said government had also taken away caregiver grants and food cards from them saying this was effecting those single parent families as those parents were unable to work and leave their children unattended at home.

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