Jessinta was the first camper to arrive at our inaugural summer camp in 2007. She participated in many activities and took on larger leadership roles each summer. For the last several years she has been the office assistant with the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities.
Osius – We first met Osius at the Alpha Centre during our spring break program in 2011. Since then he has excelled and completed school, and is now completing an apprenticeship program to be an electrician.
Fudail was one of our campers in 2007. Shortly after that, he started working at a music store in northeast Dominica. He is now self-employed as a DJ in the village of Marigot in Dominica.
Loik was a camper during our inaugural year, 2007. He was also part of our leadership program, which launched in 2010. He went on to complete secondary school in May 2022, through the support of RWE, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of the Incarnate Word. He’s currently working in the music industry.
Judy first came to the RWE Camp in 2009. She enjoyed many of the activities and always said she wanted to go into law when she grew up – the next “Judge Judy”!
This is an article shared with RWE by community partner, the Dominican Association of Disabled Persons.
My Disability Is A Blessing In Disguise by Judy Sango
Judy Sango, of Portsmouth, Dominica, embodies a young lady who is confident in her ability to create the future she deserves.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, 21-year-old Sango said “I will definitely have a full plate being a judge, app developer, disability rights advocate, and published children’s book author, but I am committed to working because those are areas I am very passionate about.”
Having come from challenging beginnings, Judy is determined to do what she needs to accomplish her goals.
“Due to limited supply of oxygen to my brain during birth, I developed
Asthrogryposis where both of my legs are contracted to an acute angle shape. This condition limits my walking ability and causes a lot of knee pains,” she explained, “however my disability was never seen as an inability. I have lived a normal life despite the struggles.”
Almost 10 years ago, in 2012, Sango had surgery at the then Princess
Margaret Hospital. She deemed it a success as it helped alleviate some of her pain, “for example I have less back pain and I am able to sit upright,” though she is unable to walk as well as others.
Family is everything to Judy who comes from a home with nine siblings and her two parents. This network of people has been extremely supportive throughout her life. Some of her fondest memories stem from her childhood days.
“I have a lot of happy memories from my childhood, some of them would be my parents when they carried me to school on their back when I was in primary school because I could not walk as well as others.”
Unfortunately, Judy endured an unfair level of bullying from her peers, but this
did not deter her from doing well and graduating from these academic
institutions. “Over the years I have learnt to tune out the negativity that others may tend to throw at me. I no longer worry about what persons may have to say because I know everything happens for a reason and my disability is a blessing in disguise.”
Judy now attends the Academic School of Learning, in Portsmouth, where she
majors in Law “because I want to become a High Court judge some day”.
Following her stint there she wants to attend her dream university, the University of The West Indies.
“There are also other dreams I am working on at the moment, such as becoming a disability rights advocate, not just in Dominica but in the Caribbean.” Sango is President and Programme Director of ‘Youth With Disabilities Connections’ which has an ever growing number of participants from Dominica, Canada, Antigua, and elsewhere.
“It is a programme geared towards discussing issues of concern pertaining to people living with disabilities. Recently we came up with an executive committee because the programme has been growing.”
Judy has a desire to write poems and children’s books. Her aim is to broaden
the range of reading material for children especially as regards people living with disabilities and the perceived concept of perfection. “The stories children read at a very young age, I believe will affect how they view life and other circumstances in life. My goal is to change that and write stories that are about real life challenges.”
Judy’s aspirations don’t stop there, “I want to become an app (application)
developer more specifically for Android devices which will revolutionize the way
that persons with disabilities in the world do their online transactions.”
Judy has her mind set on attaining all her dreams and to those who doubt her
she has this to say:
“Disability is not an inability, sometimes we all have our challenges and we all
require help at some point in our lives, some just more than others, and we
should continue to look out for those who are less able than others in life.”