Ten children with special needs receive specifically made strollers |15 March 2023
By Patrick Joubert
Ten children with special needs have received a specifically made stroller each to help them move around more comfortably, especially when going out to enjoy outdoor activities.
The donation of the special strollers is the result of a collaboration between the Office of the President, the Family department within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and the Family, the Ministry of Health and other parties, since the ten children attended a children’s day activity organised for them by the high office in the country on June 1,2022.
The handover of the strollers to the children took place in a ceremony at State House yesterday morning in the presence of President Wavel Ramkalawan; First Lady Linda Ramkalawan; Vice- President Ahmed Afif; the principal secretary in the Family department, Clive Roucou; the director general for the Elderly and Disability division, Rosa Morin; parents and representatives from the Ministry of Health, including representatives from the Virtuous Women Seychelles, who were on a cultural tour of the facility.
The strollers have been built by a company in Poland at a cost of R150,000, funded by the Disability Trust Fund. While each has been specifically built to suit each of the children’s specific needs, they also make way to cater for additional adjusting features in line with their specific growing needs.
Delivering a few remarks, President Ramkalawan, who thanked everybody involved for their countless efforts to make it possible for the ten children to get the more appropriate strollers, said that they will surely improve the children’s comfort while facilitating the lives of the parents given that their child’s previous wheelchairs were not at the appropriate standard to match their children’s situation.
He called on other parents who have children with special needs to come forward and to make use of the Disability Trust Fund that is available to improve their children’s lives.
He added that government will seek to increase the trust fund further above the initial R400,000 that is available annually.
“To you parents, I admire you a lot for your courage and passion that you have shown towards your children and I pray that God continues to bless you and give you more courage to keep on doing the good job that you are doing, looking after your children,” said President Ramkalawan who noted that the ten children will also receive some other special assistance to be announced later.
On the part of her fellow parents and children, Amina Leon thanked President Ramkalawan and all other people involved for the charitable gesture.
“Although it was a bit of a long journey, we are very happy and appreciate that our children have been able to get their strollers. We want to thank you, God bless you all,” said Mrs Leon.
Speaking to the press, PS Roucou said that the Family department will remain engaged to assist all children with special needs in the country.
He noted he was happy that President Ramkalawan has announced an increase in the Disability Trust Fund and which was well overdue, given that it was not enough to cater for the increasing demand from children with special needs on an annual basis.
Pastor Esther Obasilke and her delegation for the East African Redeem church of Kenya, who was part of the tour delegation of the Virtuous Women Seychelles and present at the handover, gave God’s blessing on the children and on the nation.
President Ramkalawan, who celebrates his birthday today, March 15, was on behalf of the Family department presented with a live fish in a bowl as a token of appreciation and also because of his sun sign Pisces (fish).
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ceremony at State House.
Photos by Joena Meme