The distribution of the $100,000 one-off cash grant to about 5,000 children with disabilities got underway on Monday with a keen focus on ensuring that all children in need, even those in the most remote communities, will benefit.
The distribution started at the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre in Georgetown, where scores of parents and guardians were eager to uplift the grant.
Abike Cummings, a mother of four children including a 17-year-old son with a disability, was among those at the centre.
Her 17-year-old son, she related, is unable to do much for himself. As such, she dedicates much of her time to caring for him and trying to ensure that he doesn’t feel neglected in one way or another.
But doing so has its own challenges. As a single mother who suffers from postpartum depression, she juggles managing the household, her four children and herself.
Often, she said, she struggles financially.
“I came from a poor family and I am doing it as a parent on my own,” she told the News Room on Monday.
As she grapples with her daily challenges, she underscored that the $100,000 grant will aid her tremendously. She intends to purchase food items and much-needed personal care products for her son. The grant will not only help him but the entire household, she said.
Like Cummings, two other single mothers Dellorn Adams and Debbie Roach underscored that this grant offers their families a welcomed relief.
Adams, the mother of a two-year-old son with a disability, intends to buy pampers and milk with the grant since these much-needed items have proven quite costly for her. For Roach, her eight-year-old daughter is in great need of textbooks and school supplies.
These mothers are among the thousands of parents and guardians who will uplift the grants until the end of September.
In fact, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud told reporters that about 5,000 children are expected to benefit.
And for her, it is important that children all across the country are able to benefit from the government intervention.
“We are, as much as possible, going to the closest locations (to people).
“In the cases where they are very remote, we will have people go into those areas. We are trying to make it as easy as possible,” Minister Persaud said at the sidelines of the distribution on Monday.
Should parents or guardians miss the designated distribution date for their area or region, the minister also assured them that there will be opportunities for them to either return to the distribution centre or visit the ministry’s office to uplift the grant.
“Once they’re on the list and once we can verify that they have a child who will be living with a permanent disability, we will try to accommodate this,” she explained.
The provision of this grant was announced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali in June. Since then, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, through the National Commission on Disability (NCD), has been registering the children expected to benefit.
The President also announced plans to ensure that all children with a disability are automatically registered to receive the monthly public assistance and transportation support for them to get to and from