A local charity which has been assisting young people with developmental disabilities secure gainful employment is now in search of some charitable benefactors.
The nine-year-old Barbados Association for Supported Employment (BASE), a division of the Learning Centre, said it was desperately in need of cash to meet the growing demand for its services.
It is not immediately known how many Barbadians have developmental challenges that affect them physically and/or mentally.
However, BASE Supervisor Joy-Ann Grazette-Corbin told Barbados TODAY because of the current economic climate, dozens of people seek help from the charity, but it did not have the resources to satisfy the demand.
“The facility was created as a place to keep them productive and we found that they have grown immensely,” she said, adding that BASE had been catering to ten people who have not yet been able to find employment.
The charitable organization provides training and social support to people 18 or over who have developmental disabilities, and offers educational and training programmes to four to 18-year-olds with learning disabilities.
The young adults are trained in a variety of skills, including culinary services, customer service, art and craft and laundry services.
However, Grazette-Corbin said it was becoming increasing difficult to find placements for those it has trained because fewer companies were willing to employ them because of the state of the economy.
BASE receives a subvention from the disabilities unit every quarter, but the supervisor said this was enough just to pay bills and provide some of the materials needed for each day’s work.
Faced with the need for additional funds, BASE will host a concert on June 30 at the Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness Church to complement its occasional cake and art and craft sales.
“We are aiming to raise the funds that we need to keep the place in existence,” Grazette-Corbin said.
“This will provide for the material that we need in terms of our baking and craft so that we can continue to sell. We sell some of the things we make and the young people get a little stipend. So it will allow us to get some of the equipment we need.”
The end of month concert is $20 for adults and $10 for children.