Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2015 Contents We are on leased land, we own all
the buildings on this campus, as I pre-
fer to call it (smiles), the equipment
and everything else.
What we have been able to do is
develop a partnership with the cor-
porate sector and they have been able
to fund some of the projects to help
us in our operations.
And the question of expansion of
the facility, purchasing of equipment,
those are the things we have been able
to achieve in partnership with the
business community and international
agencies, out of which we deliver a
We have two major fundraising
events, including a Carnival fete, and
we offer a social entrepreneurship to
the public which simply means selling
some of the products we produce by
Exactly what kind of funding you
receive from the State?
The last increase from the Ministry
of (the People and) Social Develop-
ment was 11 years ago, which puts the
figure at $800,000 annually.
Wait, it is hard to believe that. I
am looking at the expanse of this
facility where you have a food crop
farm, a talipia breeding pond, so
much equipment, including an infor-
mation technology programme, a
furniture manufacturing section, a
sewing project. Name it, you have it
down here. Is that all the State can
give you all?
Yes. But we also get some additional
funding for some academic trainees
which is not a fixed sum, but that is
also a big challenge.
For instance, we have not received
money for the last term.
Have you been making requests
for an increase in your subvention?
Over and over. Not only that, we
are the only ones out of the NGOS
who receive this education grant as
we offer vocational training, and we
should not be receiving the same
amount of financial assistance. At the
same time, that is a conversation going
Has anyone from the Ministry
been down here to see your campus
Yeah. You do invite (speaking in a
Weren t they impressed with what
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(Tone raises animatingly) But
they ain t reach yet!
We have a professional staff
here and if you want to retain
them and give them further pro-
fessional training, you have to
give them a decent remunerative
package. And that is my greatest
wish at this time.
Do you have a level of indis-
cipline which can be described
as a problem here at the NCPD?
It exists, but one of the things...
and it has to do with the kind of
approaches made to the young
individuals...we all have our chal-
lenges, we do not know what is
happening in their home envi-
ronment, but there is a level of
confidentiality with each trainee.
Do they reside on this com-
No. No. We have a turnout
every year, people graduate and
they move out to the employment
market because that is the objec-
tive of the centre.
We want to get them out there
and in order for that to happen,
we also need to have a society
that is acceptable, a society that
is understanding and realise that
we are in a diverse environment.
Has it been your experience
that the society is that tolerant
of the disabled community?
We have been fortunate in
terms of having some successful
placement at different levels in
the public sector, in the oil and
energy sector, in the manufac-
turing sector, in the small busi-
ness sector. (Furrowed brow)
What we want, however, is a soci-
ety where the disabled person is
accepted, they are not denied
access into the workplace.
Are the people generally dis-
criminating against the dis-
It exists because I get people
coming here all the time who did
not necessarily come through us
and who we did not place.
When we place somebody
there is a process we go through
with the employer and the
employee, so the prospective
employer would know how to
treat such a person.
People who have not come
through our facilities who may
have their qualifications they just
couldn t get that opened.
It has happened and it is hap-
pening, so what we are doing at
this time is a lot of advocacy
work, public awareness drives,
trying to sensitise the general
public that here is a sector of our
society, 15 per cent of the pop-
ulation, that have skills and can
function and they should not be
denied, their disability is not con-
tagious, but to accept them and
to understand that we all have
And the question of
expansion of the facility,
purchasing of equipment, those
are the things we have been able
to achieve in partnership with the
business community and
international agencies, out of
which we deliver a quality
service. We have two major
fundraising events, including a
Carnival fete, and we offer a
social entrepreneurship to the
public which simply means selling
some of the products we
produce by the trainees.
Dr Beverly Beckles
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