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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Mar 8, 2019 - 12:10:04 PM


Red Cross Centre for the Deaf receives new generator
By Matt Maura
Mar 6, 2019 - 4:18:57 PM

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Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, (left), is flanked by students of the Red Cross Centre for the Deaf in front of the Generac Generator Minister Campbell donated to Administrators, staff and students of the Centre on Wednesday (March 6, 2019). Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Michael Foulkes, is at right while School Principal Sonja Rolle is at back. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Nassau, The Bahamas - Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, presented Administrators, staff and students of the Red Cross Centre for the Deaf with a new Generac Generator to ensure “no interruptions in learning even if there are interruptions in the electricity supply”.
 
The donation of the Generac came just two weeks after Minister Campbell presented Administrators, staff and students at the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled (BAPD) School with a new Caterpillar generator to perform the same task.

Minister Campbell presented the key to the generator to School Principal, Sonja Rolle. Minister Campbell was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Michael Foulkes; Director of the Department of Social Services, Lillian Quant-Forbes; Assistant Director, Disability Affairs Division, Department of Social Services, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Gillian Bethel; Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the National Commission for Persons with Disability, Maria Kelley and Darroll Hall, Superintendent, Facilities and Fleet Management Division, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development.

“My job as the Minister; our job as a Ministry, is to ensure that there is inclusion and accessibility for all, and then, to ensure that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to set aside their disabilities and focus on, and enhance, their abilities,” Minister Campbell said.

 “I sat here this morning moved because the students gave me the impression that I did something special, but I do not feel that way. I feel that the students just got something that they ought to have had. The opportunity to participate in a moment that will result in no interruptions in their learning even if the electricity goes off, makes this a special day, a special moment for me,” Minister Campbell added.

The donation of the generator and “handing-over” of the key was in response to Minister Campbell’s visit to the school at the opening of the school year, September 3, 2018, and following an “enlightening conversation” with a teacher on gaining the younger students attention, and the disrepair of the generator that was on property at the time.

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Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell presented Sonja Rolle, Principal, the Red Cross Centre for the Deaf with the key to the new generator during a Special Assembly held Wednesday, March 6. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

“I wanted to be here for the opening of the school year September past, because it is my fervent belief that the students at this school deserve the same opportunities as all of the other students at all of the other schools,” Minister Campbell said.

“I was with the younger ones while being taken on a tour of the facilities and I asked the teacher, at this age, how do you get their attention; how do you keep their attention considering that they cannot hear you and she told me that whenever she wanted to get their attention, she would switch the lights on and off. That made a lot of sense to me.

“On the way out, I looked at what appeared to be a generator and asked if it worked. I was told no. And so I begged the question, well then if the there is an interruption in the supply of electricity to the school, how does that teacher get the attention of the students? I immediately came to the conclusion that something ought to be done to correct that problem,” Minister Campbell added.

Principal Rolle welcomed the presentation of the new generator.

“It is my belief that the presentation of this generator will go a long way in ensuring that the children’s education continues whenever there are interruptions in the service which is very, very important to them,” Ms. Rolle said. “More than anything though, it gives us and our children a sense of love and belonging; that we are not here alone; that we are part of the process of inclusion.

“We are overjoyed this morning that this Minister of Social Services in the person of Mr. Frankie Campbell came in to visit us on that September 3, day because when he left, all of us were different. We recognized that he was someone with a big heart. He said he would remedy the situation with the generator, and true to his word, he did it and we are so thankful to him.”

Established in 1964, the Centre was launched to cater to the growing number of hearing impaired children in The Bahamas. It is a joint effort between The Bahamas Red Cross and the Department of Education, Ministry of Education. The Red Cross provides the facilities while the Department of Education is responsible for staffing and the curriculum.

The Centre caters to hearing impaired children from pre-school to Grade 12.



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