Basseterre, St. Kitts – On May 31, 2016, St. Kitts and Nevis joined its colleagues throughout the Caribbean to celebrate and commemorate Regional Blindness Awareness Day. In particular, the St. Kitts Society for the Blind launched its Braille Programme at the McKnight Community Centre.
At a brief but significant launching ceremony, the National Anthem was beautifully sung by twin brothers (both blind) from Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School. An overview of the project was presented by Ms. Jacqueline Christopher; Ms. Browlia Audain, facilitator/tutor, gave an overview of the Braille programme; and young Mia Romney sang for all of the attendees. Ms. Tuffida Stewart, President of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga, gave remarks on behalf of both Rotary Clubs in St. Kitts.
Mr. Rockliffe Bowen, President of the St. Kitts Society for the Blind, welcomed the Hon. Shawn K Richards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education et al. as the featured speaker. Both Mr. Bowen and Minister Richards highlighted the fact that blindness and/or visual impairment is a ‘disability’ not an ‘inability’ and noted that persons with blindness or vision impairment can and do make a meaningful contribution to our society.
The main source of funding for the Braille Programme came from the Advancement of Children Foundation (ACF) in order to purchase six Braille machines and special Braille paper. In addition, the Rotary Club of St. Kitts and Rotary Club of Liamuiga both collaborated to provide the necessary funding to cover the tutoring cost of the facilitator, Ms. Browlia Audain, who will train participants on the use of the Braille machines. Approximately 27 participants (adults and children) will benefit from the first phase of the programme.
Anyone wanting to learn more about St. Kitts Society for the Blind and/or the Braille Programme should contact Mr. Rockliffe Bowen or the Society’s secretary on 869-465-2574.
The Advancement of Children Foundation (ACF) was established in June 2008 to counteract the trend of rising violence and anti-social behaviour amongst our youths through the promotion of good parenting, family and social values. The Foundation is the brainchild of Charles Wilkin, QC and was founded jointly by the Rotary Club of St. Kitts and the Rotary Club of Liamuiga.