Verus International recently made a contribution to the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre which provides academic, vocational and rehabilitative services for mild to profoundly disabled children and adults, towards the purchase of adaptive technology, the work being done by the Adult Learning Facility, (the vocational training programme) and the centre’s continuing refurbishment.
Managing Director, Dirk Hall, explained that the diversified global investment group based in New York and Barbados, was invited to visit the historic St. Thomas site by Sharonne Taitt, CEO of the centre. During the two hour tour, Taitt spoke to the success of the students and trainees, who range in age from four to over 50 years old in age and the board’s plans for the on-going refurbishment and restructuring of the property and its programme offerings.
Taitt stressed the adult students’ accomplishments as they displayed their products at the 2013 BMEX exhibition.
She said: “The members of our Adult Learning Facility received high praise for the high quality of the furniture, condiments such as jams and chutneys and other products that they made.”
She confirmed several orders were received from the public during the three-day event. Taitt emphasised the need for the public to recognise the skills and abilities of this underserved population willing and able to make a useful contribution to the economy.
The visit was also an opportunity for Hall to see the work being done by the students in the primary/secondary school, where the adaptive learning tools have already been implemented as part of the students academic programme. With the new pre-school, opened last September, Taitt told Hall that his contribution was key, as it will allow the centre to purchase more adaptive technology, thereby supporting the Early Intervention Programme. Students who have cognitive abilities, she explained, but may be non-verbal or have other traditional communication deficits, will be able to utilise such tools in their everyday lives, thereby increasing the child’s chances for overall success. The earlier the process is started in these children’s and their families, lives, the better for all.
Hall explained: “The Verus International team is eager to partner with local organisations that work toward being self-sustainable and entrepreneurial and many of the centre’s initiatives are income generating for both the centre and the students.
“Ms Taitt has been very clear to communicate to us, that while the centre has many areas of need, they are not simply seeking handouts but are looking for partners and advocates and we are very happy to be both.”
Challenor has a total of 100 pre-school through adult aged students and trainees enrolled.