This is an appeal to the Minister of Finance with respect to a forgotten group—the physically and mentally challenged persons, who were placed in homes under the Community Care Programme. The monies paid to the homes have not been increased in the last ten years.

Originally these persons were paid by the Ministry of Health, but with the restructuring of the ministry, payments are made by the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) from which the residents were placed.

Due to the generosity of the many organisations the homes were able to survive. With the downturn in the economy, donations are no longer forthcoming. The cost of living has skyrocketed. In addition, the homes have had to absorb two increases in salary in the last three years.

The fact that the residents are bedridden means special diets, purchase of medication when there is a shortage at the ministry, the use of sanitary underwear, creams to prevent bedsores and many other medications which are not required by the active child. The RHAs have not been meeting their monthly payments and in some cases were a year in arrears. At present some are nine months in arrears.

These people I consider the forgotten lot. They were not even considered when the Disability Grant was increased. I am appealing to the Ministry of Finance to remember them however small and to investigate why timely payments are not being made by the RHAs.

Cynthia Lawrence



It appears from their television interviews that the Community Recovery Committee headed by Anthony Watkins is proceeding with the task given to it by the Prime Minister, namely, “to find solutions to address some chronic problems in urban and semi-urban communities”.

The response by CXC Registrar Dr Wayne Wesley to widespread complaints about CSEC and CAPE results from pupils and teachers across the region demonstrates an unacceptable level of contempt for the public served by CXC.

The economic situation, locally and globally, is far more uncertain today than usual. This includes the difficulty of predicting oil and gas prices, even demand for Pt Lisas’ petrochemicals, which have been made impossible to estimate by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The work of the desireless doer can rightly be expected to be better than that of one driven by desire for the fruit.”

—The Gita According to Gandhi

At the beginning of last week, a disturbing video began to circulate on social media.

During the last administration I warned “when you lead a nation, you can’t be intellectually lazy”.

You then fail to recognise critical issues, like cancerous social decay eating at the innards of the society; the endemic institutional dysfunctionality cheating citizens of their just due; and the global energy revolution transforming the world economy and reshaping modern life. Your ignorance hurts your country. “When you govern, you have a duty to know.”

When I look back at it, my life that is, the many sharp, unpredictable turns I made that often intersected with the history of my country, I cannot help but feel fated to its destiny, inextricably linked to its history.