Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 4, 2017 (S.T.E.P.) — In a more encompassing move in the way training is offered to citizens and residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) has recently taken on board trainees at Ade’s Place in the national training programme.
Eighteen trainees and two staff members at Ade’s Place, a training institution in Greenlands, Basseterre, have since September of this year been included in the list of persons being trained and paid by the Skills Training Empowerment Programme in its endeavour to give quality training to everyone in the Federation.
“Ade’s Place was established in 2005 with the help of a concerned parent, to fill a void and to provide a safe haven for adults with disabilities,” explained Ms Clarice Cotton, a member of the Institution’s Board. “It was called Ade’s Place when Ade Chaderton passed away in 2005. Ade who was born with a condition called Cornelia De Lange Syndrome was one of the first trainees at Ade’s Place when it was set up.”
Ms Cotton observed that graduates of the Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School, formerly known as the Special Education Unit, with severe disabilities left school, went home and stayed at home. Some of them were left home alone as they lived in single parent households and the parent had to go to work, which often created other problems.
The mission statement at Ade’s Place is ‘To provide a safe and secure place for young persons who are ‘differently abled’ where they can develop to their fullest potential’. Ms Cotton along with the staff at Ade’s Place have welcomed the timely intervention by STEP.
“All young people want to be contributing members of society and so do these young persons with disabilities, I believe that it helps them to feel that they are contributing to their households,” said Ms Cotton. “They are contributing to society when they get a salary from the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP). It raises their self-esteem and makes them feel they are at work.”
Ade’s Place is managed by a Volunteer Board, and the Ministry of Education provides a meal for the trainees during the day. The other members of the Board include Dr Robertine Chaderton, Dr Ian Jacobs, and Mrs Elizabeth Condell.
“This is a dramatic shift in focus of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) towards training and assisting persons with and without disability,” said STEP Director Mr Wendell Wattley. “We at STEP are equal opportunity trainers. No one in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will be left behind irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves.”
According to the Director of Ade’s Place, Ms Rosemarie Munroe, trainees are taught life skills. They are involved in programmes such as art and craft, socialisation skills, daily life training/survival sessions, independent living skills, ironing, computer training sessions, sporting activities, engaging in occasional outings, and hosting income-generating activities.
Ms Munroe, who also thanked STEP for the financing of Ade’s Place trainees and two staff members, noted that Ade’s Place will have an Open Day on Tuesday and Wednesday (December 5 and 6) and is inviting all people of goodwill to pay them a visit at #8 Fern Street in Greenlands and to see for themselves some of the products made by the trainees, and learn more about the institution.