The program is the first episode in the Sanford-Belle presents series, a news-magazine show offering an intriguing blend of ‘hard and soft’ stories, well-researched features and interviews.
Producer and host of the show Onel Sanford-Belle says, “Our decision to launch the series with this episode on pediatric disability has everything to do with what we experienced as we worked with the individuals that are featured in the program.
As we explored this subject of developmental disability with them, we discovered stories that are seldom told, but absolutely need to be shared. They are indelible anecdotes that will hopefully call person to action”.
Digicel has recognized that youth represent 50 percent of the population of most developing countries, including St. Lucia. Whilst young people can be a source of growth and development for their countries, there is a subset of young people—those with disabilities—that bear the brunt of the inequality, poverty and exclusion that plagues youth in every region in the world.
Globally, almost 180 million young people between the ages of 10-24 years live with a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability, significant enough to make a difference in their daily lives.
Digicel’s Marketing Manager, Kerchelle Jn Charles, said the episode is a compliment to Digicel’s Caring Connections initiative, which advocates for children and youth with special needs.
“DIGICEL CARING CONNECTIONS programme is primarily about the engagement of individuals, communities and the nation in a conversation about the realities and the rights of people with disabilities with a necessary call to action.
We think the time is right to reframe the issue of youth disability, as strategies used in the past by advocates have been only partially successful in putting the issue “on the map”, or in motivating individual or collective behaviour changes,” said Jn Charles.
For this reason, explained Jn Charles, Digicel decided to be the billboard sponsor of the awareness-raising Sanford-Belle episode. The first segment of the show features the important work of The Child Development and Guidance Centre (CDGC), a private, non-profit organization.
It is the only agency offering comprehensive developmental assessments and therapy services (Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Speech & Language therapy, Psychotherapy) to children with disabilities in Saint Lucia. The second segment promises to take viewers into the homes of families that are living the realities of raising children with developmental disabilities in St Lucia.
The episode is set for broadcast on DBS television at 6pm on Sunday March 31, 2013, before its debut on Caribvision next month.