[Press release] Caregivers from the Choiseul community are now better equipped to work with blind and visually impaired persons within their community, thanks to a specialized training workshop conducted by the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association.
Blind and visually impaired persons in Choiseul will now experience an improved quality of care due to specialized training conducted by the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA). Via grant funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), twenty four participants from the government run caregivers programmer participated in a three day capacity building workshop.
The rationale for the workshop was outlined by Debora Pamhile-McLean of the SLBWA.
“The St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association on its own cannot reach all of the clients that we should. So with the help of groups like this, empowering them will give us the reach we need to get into the communities and serve those clients. Help them live a life that is better suited for them; give them a better living, to live in a community where things are all inclusive for them allowing them to live a richer fuller life and participate in whatever way that they can.”
The workshop focused on communication skills, adjustment to blindness and mobility, the various causes of blindness and avoidable blindness. The caregivers were given practical scenarios one of which included guiding a blind person down and up a flight of stairs.
“We are hoping, the caregivers when they leave here will be able to go back to their clients, go back to their community with a different view, see their clients with a different eye. No pun intended but see their clients with a different eye and be able to help them fully live the rest of their lives.”
Steve Joseph, the Southern Field Officer for the National Council for Persons with Disabilities had high praise for the quality of information received at this workshop particularly in the area of communication as it relates to persons with disabilities.
“I believe this workshop is very much timely and very much important in bringing assistance to persons who are challenged, have a disability or have some form of challenges. So, I think it’s important and I take it in that regard. I should complement the Blind Welfare for bringing this service and training to the people that they can better represent persons who have this need and challenges.”
Participants also highlighted some of the learning points which stood out for them. At the end of the workshop participants received tokens from the facilitators while reciprocating with their tokens of their own.
The workshop which ended on 24th May was conducted at the Marcus Garvey Building in Choiseul.