By LETRE SWEETING
THE Chinese Embassy donated more than 10 tablets to the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development for persons with disabilities yesterday.
Shortly after 3pm yesterday some 10 persons with the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), including students, the elderly and a toddler gathered at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on Shirley Street to receive over 10 tablets to assist them with everyday tasks and building skills for themselves.
Chinese Ambassador to the Bahamas Dai Qingli said though this is the first time they are hosting people from the disabled community at the Chinese Embassy, it will not be the last time.
“Not long ago, I had an informative and productive meeting about the progress and challenges with people with disabilities in The Bahamas. I really feel the past few years of the pandemic have brought extra challenges for all those persons with disabilities in The Bahamas and their families,” she said.
“We really sympathise with them. And so today we are doing a simple hand over of a humble gift, just a number of tablets for the visually challenged. It is just a very small gesture to show we do care and we want to show our friendship. We do hope these devices will go just a small way to helping you get the necessary training for having a promising career in the future.
“I do hope today’s handover is just the beginning of a productive long term partnership between China and The Bahamas in terms of people with disabilities,” said the Chinese ambassador.
After signing to receive the donated tablets, Nalini Bethel, NCPD chair, expressed her gratitude to the Chinese Embassy for its generosity and offer of continued partnership and support.
“We had a very informal meeting and out of that has come a spirit of cooperation between us and the Chinese Embassy. And she (Chinese Ambassador Dai Qingli) has been instrumental in actually putting us in touch with the China Foundation for Persons with Disabilities, who are also extending their generosity towards The Bahamas and have said that they will cooperate with us and they will try to help us in any way they can,” Ms Bethel said.
“The things that persons with disabilities need are particularly things like augmentative and assisted devices of whatever nature. This is an ongoing cooperation and we are extremely grateful and appreciative, your excellency, for your generosity,” she said.
In June, executives of the NCPD urged the public to help eliminate discrimination on the basis of disabilities.
The NCPD was actively ensuring that there were accessible public buildings throughout the country that are steadily moving forward, but remain a “work in progress.”
Townsley Roberts, deputy executive secretary of NCPD, said there has been a noticeable improvement in terms of how people offer assistance to those with disabilities in the last ten years.
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