Minister Lake offers his assistance to help the disabled

Minister Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Minister Hon. Maurice Lake on Wednesday meet with representatives of the Be Able Foundation Treasure Michel Soons and Member Veronica Jansen-Webster. 

Minister Lake has pledged his support to the Foundation and the disabled of Sint Maarten.

The foundation showed the Minister and members of his Cabinet a short documentary film that was produced in Sint Maarten during last year’s Be Able Awareness week for the disabled and the international wheelchair tennis tournament that was held to highlight the week.

The documentary which was professionally filmed by a Dutch film crew, depicted the overall living conditions on Sint Maarten for the disabled and focused in on two young men in society who have become disabled and the challenges they face daily.

The Foundation members then asked the minister to assist the disabled more by making it mandatory that new public buildings be required to have facilities for disabled persons.

Minister Hon Maurice Lake was moved by the documentary and expressed his intention to have the relevant departments seriously look into the building codes, and he promised that from now on, during his tenure, any public infrastructure that government designs will take the accessibility of the disabled into consideration.

The Be Able foundation members explained that they are now embarking on a public relations campaign via service clubs, schools and various entities where they hope to get the message out and target as many people in society about people living with disabilities.

Minister also wanted to encourage the Be Able Foundation to assist the disabled in our community to get jobs since even though they have a disability they can still function and make a contribution to society.

The Be Able Foundation agrees with the minister and expressed that it would be a good initiative for government to take a lead in this matter and show an example by hiring capable disabled people in our society.

The Be Able Foundation then announced the upcoming awareness week and wheel tennis tournament which will take place from November 16, and indicated that there will be an exhibition match this year with local people with disabilities who have been training to play tennis.

Minister Lake at the end of the meeting thanked the foundation’s representatives and wished them much success with their endeavors.

PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R, Otmar Jonis (Member of the Minister’s Cabinet), Veronica Jansen-Webster, Michel Soons, Marieke van Zadelhof (Member of the Minister’s Cabinet), and Minister Hon. Maurice Lake.