Centre gives Nazleen a chance to shine
Shula Nisha could not be prouder of her daughter Nazleen Nisha as she displayed her crafts at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) Open Day in Labasa on Thursday. Nazleen, 27, is a young woman living with disabilities, who is now able to create economic opportunities for herself.
Her mother said Nazleen had an impairment, which affected her cognitive growth.
“She is a 27-year-old woman with the mind of a 10-year-old,” the elder Ms Nisha said.
“I have noticed a difference in my daughter. Prior to joining the centre she was depressed at home. “At the centre she was able to meet others like her, communicate and develop her skills and become economically independent.”
Executive Director for National Council for Persons with Disabilities Dr Sitiveni Yanuyanutawa said he was glad that the council was still aligning itself to its motto first set when the centre was opened in 2011.
That motto was to train and create employment for youths who are physically and mentally challenged. “While the centre prepares the youths for an economic pathway, they will have to find employment to be financially independent,” Dr Yanuyanutawa said. Centre supervisor Angeline Brackbird, who is also disabled, said students learned to develop their knowledge and skills on making handicraft. “Persons living with special needs are also humans who need more of our love, patience and, most of all, our understanding,” Mrs Brackbird said. Students displayed their handiwork, which included pot holders, cloth bags, lamp stands, pillows, jewellery, curtains and pastries. Meanwhile, Manager NCPD North Eka Loco said the students would continue to sell their handicrafts in front of the market Police Post in Labasa every Saturday.
“This is to make them confident in selling their craft in public, the money will be given to them while the profit will be used to buy more materials,” Ms Loco said. Edited by Epineri Vula
From left: Shula Nisha and her daughter Nazleen Nisha during the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities Open day on July 25, 2019.