More people are making donations to the Challenor Creative Arts And Training Centre, but they are giving less money. The institution’s chief executive officer Sharonne Taitt told the media today that this growing trend was being caused by the current economic climate.
She also reported that the centre, known locally as the Challenor School, which provided rehabilitative services to 50 children between four and 18 years and vocational training to 60 young men and women, had a very long waiting list.
Taitt was speaking at the school’s Canefield House, St Thomas premises during the handing over of sports equipment and a promised monetary donation of over $5,000 from the S. Anselm’s, a British private school currently on a netball and cricket tour to Barbados.
And so every little bit helps when added to the “small subvention” from the Ministry of Education, says Taitt.
“The number of students [is] increasing [and] the complexity of the disability [is] also increasing. There are some [disabilities] here that we have never heard of before in Barbados. Autism is on the rise, and so, all of the funds are going into the exact accommodation that these young people need and our students are thriving.
“We have a waiting list, [but] the reason we don’t have them in yet is that we are still trying to refurbish 350 year-old-plus buildings. We are hoping that efforts such as this go global and we will be able to get the funding that we need to support these children. More than 75 per cent of these children are below the poverty line; so if they weren’t receiving these services here, they would be at home,” the centre chief explained.
S. Anselm’s director of sports Daniel Stewart said his group prior to coming to Barbados for its eight-day tour, which started on Saturday, had hosted a variety of activities to raise money for the school. The activities included a series of running, cycling and rowing sessions covering the 4,000 miles from England to Barbados.
“We did 3,000 miles on the bike, 800 miles running and 200 miles rowing; and then we got sponsorship from local people, family and friends and at the moment we have raised over 1,500 pounds sterling for the school and there might be more. We are just waiting for the final donations and sponsorship money to come in which we would get over to the school as soon as we collect,” said Stewart.