The National Disabilities Unit (NDU) of the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs on Saturday rolled out its accessible and sheltered marketplace for individuals with disabilities to supply their goods and services to the general public.
The primary of a series of Entrepreneurial Market and Fair was held on the NDU’s “Maxwelton”, Collymore Rock, St Michael home.
The 21 entrepreneurs who’ve different disabilities, showcased their various businesses including craft, clothing, art, crochet pieces, food production, amongst other offerings.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey, who toured the booths, said disabled individuals have to be empowered and their services promoted.
He said it have to be recognised that the disabled community has an entrepreneurial drive that must be pushed.
“While the standard of labor here is above par, I might go so far as to say the work here is great, lots of these individuals make no money, there isn’t any income coming in. They struggle to feed their households, they struggle to feed themselves. They don’t want to depend on Government support, they don’t want to be known in Barbados as welfare recipients. They need the chance to earn a living, to make sales, to live like anybody else.
“And the cruel reality is that they don’t since the society that we live in still doesn’t create the space for them to have the opportunity to make the kind of living that everyone else in Barbados is entitled to make. That’s the reason we’re making this concerted deliberate effort to assist them make sales and to assist them make some money,” he said.
Minister Humphrey, who announced that the NDU will likely be repeating the event every quarter, encouraged Barbadians to support the companies owned and operated by disabled individuals.
“I might also like individuals to get involved with the stories of individuals who’re here and the explanations for the disabilities a few of the individuals listed here are coping with, a automobile accident, some being born that way,” he said. (AH)