The organization that advocates for the disabled said it has been dreaming for a long time that the disabled community would be integrated into the Barbadian society, where people can see their skills and talents and not their disabilities.
However, according to the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), while it remains a dream yet to be realized, the efforts of people like Dorien Pile have helped with small steps towards achieving that goal.
Speaking last night at the awards ceremony of a literary contest held in honour of Pile, BCD Chairman Patricia Padmore-Blackman spoke not only of continuing “to dream of disabled persons included and integrated into society”, but of the impact of the competition.
“A disability can come to any of us at the twinkle of an eye and therefore it is important that we support persons living with disabilities. This competition continues to bring a greater understanding and knowledge of persons living with disabilities, with an overwhelming response this year, with almost 50 entrants this year in the junior category and 19 in the senior category,” Padmore-Blackman said, adding that Dorien Pile was “smiling down on us”.
The Dorien Pile National Literary Competition, now its second year, continues the legacy of Dorien Pile GCM, former principal of the Combermere School who had dedicated long years of service to the community, especially in the areas of education and disability.
Pile also assisted the Barbados Association for the Blind and Deaf for approximately 30 years, in several capacities.
“Mrs Pile spearheaded many of the educational and entrepreneurship programmes. The launch of the inaugural poster and literary competition and the Harambee Enterprise Scheme are all attributed to her,” the organization’s president Maria Holder-Small said, stressing that the programme was primarily designed to encourage people with disabilities to pursue financial independence.
Sariyah Jordan-Cumberbatch of Gordon Greenidge Primary School emerged as the winner in the juniors category with a piece entitled, My Dream, with the remaining three places going to All Saints Primary School.
Former Miss Universe Barbados contestant Che Amor Greenidge, who took to the stage on crutches, won the senior category, with Rontee Marshall and Dayna Flemming placing second and third respectively.