Students from the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) located in Montego Bay, donated two wheelchair ramps along with $120,000 to the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School in Montego Bay. The handing over ceremony took place at the school on Wednesday, November 30.
The donors are students enrolled in the project management course at the Vocational Training Development Institute, which is the tertiary arm of the HEART Trust/NTA and forms part of the self-development aspect of their course in order to attain their VTDI certification in project management at the end of their tenure.
The total cost of the project is $500,000, inclusive of two ramps and rails, however as they were unable to erect the rails with the contributions they received they decided to donate $120,000 to the school towards establishing the rails. Acting Principal Deon Stern-Anglin, said she was notified of the project by Patrice Ricketts, vice-chairman of the school board.
She readily accepted the opportunity as she expressed that in the past disabled students who used the stairs to access their classes would have to be moved to a class that is more accessible. She also stated that there was a problem when students were injured on school property, as they would have to lift them to safety but with the ramp it will be easier to take them to an ambulance.
The VTDI students said they saw the need for a wheelchair ramp as students who are wheelchair bound can only be lifted to a class or specific location.
The acting principal said that the ramps will not only help the students but the school’s grades given by the health inspector.
“Whenever the health inspector comes, we get a ‘no grade’ because we don’t have a wheelchair ramp for the students. In an institution, you have to have these amenities in place for students who are not able to go up the stairs (because of their disability),” she said.
The project lasted approximately 7-10 weeks which included doing research, getting paperwork done and the construction of the ramps.
“They called me and we worked on Saturdays as they came with their contractors and did their necessary research. We actually wanted it somewhere else but the contractor said it couldn’t go there. But we are very grateful, happy and we appreciate it, anything to make our nation better, and we are ready to be on that mission, said Mrs. Anglin.
Looking ahead, the VTDI students said the school is sometimes used as an emergency shelter and on that basis both the school and the community will benefit.