Republic Bank joins hands with Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation to host walk

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Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, March 29, 2017: “Disability is just a word. I was once a child with a disability just like the children in this room. But you know, my parents never allowed my disability to determine my future. I, myself have never and will never think about myself as different, why? Because I have the ability just like each of you have the ability to make a positive contribution to this society.” (Read full speech) So said Shamla Maharaj, during her feature speech at the Media Launch for the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation, held on Monday (March 27) at Naparima College, San Fernando. It was announced at the launch that a Walk for Children with disabilities, themed, “Embrace Me” will be held on Sunday April 30, starting at the South-based school.

Maharaj, who was born with Cerebral Palsy and is currently pursuing her PhD, in Agriculture Economics, added that Persons with Disabilities (PWD) may often encounter difficulties with schooling and called on those in authority to create laws that will benefit PWDs and allow them to develop themselves.

The Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation, which was established in 2012, is aimed at assisting underprivileged children throughout the country. Some of the objectives of the Walk are; sensitizing of the public toward persons/children with disabilities, fostering respect for and equality of treatment of persons/children with disabilities and building self-esteem of persons/children with disabilities by highlighting and showcasing their talents and disabilities; among others.

Also speaking at the launch was Republic Bank’s Manager, Group Corporate Communications, Tisha Lee. Lee said, for more than a decade through the Bank’s Power to Make a Difference Programme, they have sought out to align their resources with partners who understand the need to become more involved and do more.

“This is the basis of the community and is the fundamental belief at the heart of our Power to Make a Difference Programme. It is the driving force behind our investment and support of many programmes specifically geared towards empowering those with different needs and abilities,” Lee said. The Bank’s investment towards the Foundation stands at $175,000.00.

Citing that PWDs were regarded as “second class citizens”, Kevin Ratiram, President of the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation, said for far too long, Persons with Disabilities were made fun at, because of their disabilities.

“They (PWD) have struggled their entire lives, just to be recognized as equals in society.” He added that he hopes the Walk will bring a greater awareness of the talents and abilities that PWD are blessed with.

He thanked the Bank for its involvement in the event and saw it as a “labour of love”, towards the differently-abled community in society.

As part of the “Embrace Me” initiative, an art competition was held for the children with 41 entrants, depicting “Sweet T&T”. Winners of the competition were; Jon-Marc James of the Servol Happy Venture Special School (third place); Vernisha Lucien of the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities and Tyrell Isiah-Gill of Kisha Welcome and Associates Intervention Services who both tied for first place.

There was entertainment by Shiann Gibson, of the National Centre of Persons with Disabilities. Also speaking at the event was Alderman, the Mayor of the City of San Fernando, Junior Regrello.

Republic Bank is pleased, through its Power to Make a Difference Programme, to partner with the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation and invites the public to attend the Walk on April 30, 2017, at Naparima College, San Fernando.

We appreciate you: Feature Speaker Shamla Maharaj, takes a moment to pose for a photo with Republic Bank’s Group Corporate Communications Manager, Tisha Lee and Kevin Ratiram, President of the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation, at the Media launch of the Rapid Fire Kizd Foundation’s Walk for Persons with Disabilities, held on Monday at Naparima College, San Fernando. The Walk is carded for April 30.

In full Support: Republic Bank’s Group Corporate Communications Manager, Tisha Lee, enjoys a light moment with Mayor of the City of San Fernando, Junior Regrello, on right and Kevin Ratiram, President of the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation, at the Media launch of the Rapid Fire Kizd Foundation’s Walk for Persons with Disabilities, held on Monday at Naparima College, San Fernando.

April 3, 2017
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