Monday, February 07, 2005 - After much collaboration and hard work, the
Fraternity, Economic, Thrift and Consumer Organization (FETCO), an arm of the
St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association was on Sunday, February 7th officially
handed a $110,000.00 broiler production project in the Marc community. The
project was sponsored by the Poverty Reduction Fund.
FETCO, also known as Fraternity, Economic, Thrift, and Consumer Organization
will have overall responsibility for the management of this project. Project
Development Officer at the Blind Welfare Association Debora Pamphile said
finding employment for the visually impaired was generally very difficult. She
said however, that the PRF was very welcoming of FETCO’s proposal.
“Over the years the SLBWA has been had pressed to find innovative ways of
finding employment for our clients. But with support from organizations like the
PRF, we are able to move on. It is with this kind of support that FETCO was
born. This broiler production project was initiated as the first project of
FETCO,” Miss Pamphile said.
Executive Director of the PRF, Mr. Donovan Williams said the PRF was always
interested in income generating proposals. He urged FETCO to view the project as
a stepping stone.
“While we can be celebrating the opening today, we should recognise that it is
only the start. As has been pointed out it is a business, and to make the
business successful you have to be constantly at it. You have set a standard
that is very commendable, but right now, you have to maintain and even perhaps,
surpass that standard,” said Mr. Williams.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Castries South East Honourable Menissa
Rambally commended the stance taken by the blind and visually impaired, to
contribute meaningfully to their personal development and their country’s
economic growth. The Minister hopes this example will motivate other vulnerable
groups in the society.
“Today’s project is an inspiration and it is a lesson to those of us who have
all our faculties in place. We have no issues with sight and sometimes we sit
and wait for people to do things for us. So today, we are getting a very
important message from persons whom we consider as “persons with disabilities.”
They have stepped up to the mark and they are saying we are making a life for
our selves,” the Minister said.
The FETCO broiler production project located in Marc, currently employs four
full blind attendants on a full time basis.