Scores of Jamaicans in the disabilities community benefited from free medical check-ups, assistive devices, presentations on mental health, psychiatrics, ophthalmology and gift vouchers during an Assistive Technology and Mental Health Symposium held at Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester last week.
The symposium was among the activities staged for the annual Possibility Ministries Awareness week from March 5-12, 2023 organised by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
“The week calls attention to the Adventist church community and the wider community to this often forgotten group of persons,” a news release from the church quotes Pastor Adrian Cotterell, Possibility Ministries coordinator.
He added that the week brings to the fore the rights of disabled people and the need to accord them the same privileges as other humans to experience joy, happiness, liberty and contentment.
“Disability has no boundaries,” exclaimed Cotterell. “It has no face or race. It has no colour or creed, it has no religion or denomination. Disability may affect anyone at any time and so I appeal to our members and the wider society to show more love, patience and kindness to members of the disabled community.”
A beneficiary of the week’s activities was the Mustard Seed Communities’ Gift of Hope, which cares for 27 physically and mentally disabled residents.
Last Tuesday a team from the church visited the facility and made a presentation of much-needed toiletries.
Gift of Hope Administrator Ann Marie Parker-Dale, as well as other representatives and a resident of the institution attended the symposium and expressed their appreciation for what was presented.
“The visit to our institution was an exceptional one. We were really happy for the donation received,” said Parker-Dale. “I have learnt so much from this symposium that I will be able to go back a make their lives a lot better. I have spoken to the psychiatrist, the ophthalmologist, the doctor and the information that I got will enhance the delivery of care to the residents.”
Michael and Louise Swinton were happy to receive a new wheelchair for their 26-year-old daughter Britanny.
“I am happy for this wheelchair because my child is not comfortable in the current one,” said Louise Swinton. “The tyres are not so good because these are tyres that were recently replaced. The new one is more solid and pretty. She looks good in it. I really appreciate this one. Thank you very much and may you continue to be a blessing to others.”
Other activities in the week included the planting of trees in many areas across the island, visits to infirmaries and place of care for the disabled, prayer and church services, and a grand convention on Sunday, March 12 at Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Catherine.
“While most people refer to ministering to persons with disabilities as Disability Ministries, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has decided on the nomenclature Possibility Ministries, because it recognises the potentials, promises, possibilities, life-changing and transformational outcomes that can take place when people from the disabilities community are involved in the activities of the church and society,” the Church explained.