St. Lucia’s special needs community is receiving even more assistance as the island’s leading telecommunications provider, Digicel, continues to fulfill and live up to its corporate social responsibility.
Under a strategic alliance with the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), yet another St. Lucian in the person of Tamara Laurd is benefiting from the ongoing ‘Digicel’s Ramps and Rails’ project.
The recently launched initiative, which falls under Digicel’s wider ‘Caring Connections’ programme, is a nationwide intervention thrust designed to lend tangible assistance to scores of individuals and families with special-needs.
Laurd, who is the latest beneficiary of the programme, is a quadriplegic who resides in the community of Bagatelle. She was involved in an accident on the Barre d’ Isle in 2011, when the vehicle she was travelling in went over a precipice. The life-changing incident left Laurd nursing spinal cord injuries and confined to a wheelchair, with little feelings from her neck down.
Following extensive treatment in Martinique and Colombia, Laurd has since regained feelings in most of her body. Although her prognosis for walking again is strong, she still remains confined to a wheelchair.
Under the Digicel’s Caring Connections project, Laud, who has remained upbeat and optimistic despite her challenging situation, has begun benefiting from the construction of a 26ft ramp that has allowed for easier access to and from her home.
“The accident has truly been a life-changer, but Digicel has made it possible for me to regain a measure of mobility and for that I and my family are grateful,” said Laud in expressing delight at the timely intervention.
“People are at the core of all we do at Digicel,” says Country Manager Holly Hughes-Mc Namara. “We make the necessary interventions to demonstrate that, irrespective of whether they are able or differently-abled, to connect with them.”
She went on to indicate that “residential wheelchair ramps help to give people the freedom to go anywhere. This is essential as everyone should not only have access to the interior of their homes but also the wider world on the outside”.
Digicel continues to assist several non-profit organizations, individuals and groups who have demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of life for persons with special needs.