Two elderly female amputees from the Kitson Town community in St. Catherine have received wheelchairs through a collaboration involving the Social Development Commission (SDC) and Food For the Poor (FFP).
The needs of the two women came to the attention of the SDC through their work with the Kitson Town Central Citizens Association, after which they sought help from FFP, and the charity organisation donated the wheelchairs.
Speaking with JIS News after accepting her wheelchair on December 8, Hortense Edwards, 84 years old, said she was very grateful for her gift, “because I have a wheelchair to go down to the clinic”.
She praised President of the Citizens Association, Carmen Barton, as well as her caregivers for looking after her welfare.
Claudette Walters, the other recipient, said she felt very good about getting her wheelchair.
“I can go to church, and things like that,” she said, adding that when she heard that she was getting the wheelchair, she felt so much joy.
For her part, Ms. Barton said she was thankful for the effort of the SDC to get the FFP on board.
“The women were very much in need of them. Now that they have gotten their own wheels, we are very grateful,” she said.
Community Development Officer with the SDC, Denzil Kerr, said that at the onset of COVID-19, the agency set about identifying the needs of vulnerable community members, and when he visited the two homes, he “was moved” by what he saw, and they started lobbying for help.
“We wrote to Food For the Poor, and within weeks we got a response. We were able to get both wheelchairs for the ladies. We won’t give up on these ladies. We will continue the relationship and see what else we can do,” he said.
Mr. Kerr added that he is arranging to get building materials to renovate one of the houses, and urged community persons to liaise with the agency to assist with challenges in their area.
“Wherever our field officers see need, we engage the community stakeholders and partner to see how we can assist,” he said.