Special Needs Children enjoy Christmas at Government House
The annual Prime Minister's Christmas celebration for children with special needs was held at a different venue this year, much to the delight of students and teachers as they got to experience Government House in a unique light.
On Monday December 10, 2018, His Excellency Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac, Governor General of Saint Lucia, warmly opened up the Official Residence of the Governor General, Morne Fortune, where the event was held for the first time.
With wider grounds to utilize, as well as the interior of the house, organisers went all out in ensuring that the children had the best time ever with fun and games, bouncing castles, Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Santa Claus himself, and a photo booth by Wavemaker Photography. There was even a movie-room and a grand Christmas tree for photo ops, and the children and teachers who came from different parts of the island were treated as VIPs at the GG's residence.
While some of the children lounged under tents in the shaded spots, some took to making the area their dance floor, showing off their moves to the music from the DJ. The children and teachers also got to hang out with the Governor General and Lady Cenac and with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, his wife Mrs. Raquel Duboulay-Chastanet and their son, Braden. The Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour, Stephenson King, who initiated the event as prime minister several years ago, also stopped by to help with gift distribution.
According to Saint Lucia's prime minister, who was beaming with joy, “Every year this is one of the events that I look forward to the most. It brings me such happiness, just to see how this simple gesture brings a smile to the faces of those children among us who we may consider different. Yet their genuine nature, their warmth, their presence . . . words are not enough to describe how easily they bring a smile to our faces in return, which should be the true spirit of Christmas. And so I believe that they deserve a special place in our hearts, not just at this time but throughout the year.”
The prime minister went on to thank all the teachers of special needs children in Saint Lucia, whom he said are true heroes, often going beyond their call of duty to ensure that the children are not only cared for but are safe.
He also expressed gratitude to the Governor General of Saint Lucia, for graciously opening up his residence and taking time out to interact with the children, teachers and volunteers. “My staff, the volunteers and all of those who contributed to this wonderful event here today deserve special mention and I would like to thank them all,” said the Prime Minister.
Before the event was over, all of the children were presented with their Christmas gifts. The hard-working teachers were also recognized for their dedication and commitment. Through the support of Peter & Company Distribution's brand manager, Germaine Serieux, all of the teachers received tokens of appreciation on the day.
The Office of the Prime Minister thanks the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Ferrands Dairy, Peter and Company, OJO Labs, Wavemaker Photography, Brice and Company Ltd, Mr. Christopher Mitchell and The Embassy of Morocco for helping to make the event a success.
PM Chastanet joins Santa in handing out presents to children.
Teachers of special needs students received Christmas tokens from Peter & Company Distribution.
Bouncing castle fun at Government House.
Minnie Mouse made an appearance at Government House to hang out with the children.