Abilities Foundation Launches Unit for Training

Photo: Adrian Walker Project Director for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s PATH Programme, Elsa Marks-Willis (left), gets a manicure from Beauty Services Trainee, Tiana Lopez, at the launch of the Abilities Foundation’s Beauty Services Unit and Digicel Foundation’s 2017 Annual Report on November 28 at the Abilities Foundation’s Constant Spring Road address in Kingston. The unit was established at a cost of $1 million from proceeds of the 2016 Digicel 5K Run for Special Needs initiative, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The unit will facilitate training in a range of beauty services.

Story Highlights

  • The Abilities Foundation has launched its new Beauty Services Unit, as part of its mandate to provide more training opportunities for persons with disabilities.
  • For her part, Project Director for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s PATH Programme, Elsa Marks-Willis, lauded the partnership of the Abilities Foundation and Digicel Foundation, noting that these partnerships have helped the Ministry to position itself towards the achievement of its mandate of the protection of the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities.
  • Senator Reid lauded the work of the Abilities Foundation and reiterated the Government’s commitment to creating an inclusive education system for all.

The Abilities Foundation has launched its new Beauty Services Unit, as part of its mandate to provide more training opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The unit, which was launched on November 28 at the Abilities Foundation’s Constant Spring Road address in Kingston, is a renovated classroom outfitted with five stations for nail and make-up artistry as well as a hair dressing area to facilitate cosmetology training of the students.

It was established at a cost of $1 million, with proceeds from the 2016 Digicel 5K Run for Special Needs initiative and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who addressed the launch, welcomed the programme.

“This is another forward step in the vocational training programmes offered to persons with disabilities, which allow them to function as creative and productive citizens,” he said.

Senator Reid lauded the work of the Abilities Foundation and reiterated the Government’s commitment to creating an inclusive education system for all.

For his part, Senator Dr. Floyd Morris expressed pleasure at the increasing public- and private-sector support for this vulnerable community.

“This programme is evidence that something is happening where disability is concerned. We must intensify these efforts to ensure that the lives of persons with disabilities are transformed and improved, so that we can have a truly inclusive and responsive society,” he said.

For her part, Project Director for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s PATH Programme, Elsa Marks-Willis, lauded the partnership of the Abilities Foundation and Digicel Foundation, noting that these partnerships have helped the Ministry to position itself towards the achievement of its mandate of the protection of the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities.

In her review of the project, Managing Director of the Abilities Foundation, Susan Hamilton, thanked the various stakeholders for their support to equip the students with the requisite training and certification to become productive members of the society.

The curriculum is a customised seven-month course in nails technology and make-up artistry. The HEART Trust/NTA College of Cosmetology and Beauty Services is providing the training.

It will be further expanded to offer certified training in a range of beauty services, including natural-hair care, and barbering for young men.

The first cohort, consisting of eight students, began training in nails technology in September of this year. Assessments will be conducted in December.

Funding for the programme is provided through the Workforce Inclusion Project, a partnership between the Government and the World Bank.

Additionally, Digicel Foundation donated some $2.9 million to the Abilities Foundation for the purchase of equipment.

Also attending the function were Chairman of Digicel Foundation, Jean Lowrie-Chin; Executive Director of the Combined Disabilities Association, Gloria Goffe; and Country Representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mark Connolly.

JIS Social