What We Do
The History of RWE:
Providing educational opportunities for persons with disabilities in developing countries using solely volunteer contributions isn’t easy, but Jennifer Catron and Edwin Blanton have found a way to work this mission into the fabric of their lives, and the result is impressive.
While working as Peace Corps volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, the two young professionals met and instantly bonded. This partnership resulted in the creation of the San Antonio-based international non-profit organization Ready, Willing…Enable! (RWE).
Ready, Willing…Enable! provides training and resources to children with disabilities in countries such as Dominica, Mexico and Paraguay who are often denied education, jobs and social status.
Eighty percent of persons with disabilities worldwide live in developing countries, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Ninety percent of children with disabilities in these countries do not attend school, says the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
To address this need, more than 50 RWE ambassadors have traveled abroad to facilitate nine, week-long interdisciplinary camps with a focus on reading, writing, math and life skills since 2006. Also, a scholarship fund has been established.
With ninety-four cents of every dollar raised going toward programming, RWE has equipped classrooms with computers, a Brailler and school supplies; provided training to staff working with persons with disabilities; and made grants to keep the only wheelchair accessible vehicle in Dominica in operation.
In Dominica, RWE’s community partners include the Special Olympics, the Dominican Association of People with Disabilities, Lifeline Ministries and the Alpha Centre – the main school for children with disabilities in Dominica.
Since 2006 Ready, Willing…Enable! has been able to achieve a lot! RWE has provided multi-disciplined educational programs for youth with disabilities in Dominica, assisted persons with disabilities by helping them access transportation, education classes, and Special Olympics games.
Plus much more, including:
- Conducted several week-long interdisciplinary day camps for students with disabilities in Dominica. Over one hundred youth have benefited from these free programs!
- Over 60 RWE Ambassadors have served abroad, learning a lot in the process themselves.
- Sponsored a program for House of Hope to train 12 caretakers in the care of young adult residents with disabilities, PLUS conducted a 1 day camp there.
- Provided funds across several years to keep the only wheelchair accessible vehicle in Dominica in operation
- Provided computers for a school for children with autism in Paraguay
- Provided educational programming for approximately 100 San Antonio-area youth with regards to developing countries and disability awareness
- Provided supplies and tutored/mentored students at a school for children with disabilities in Mexico
- Provided laptop computers, a brailler, and other supplies for students with disabilities in Dominica
- Established a scholarship fund
One of the main focuses of Ready, Willing…Enable! is our camp program for children with disabilities in Dominica. Since there first camp in 2007, there have been over ten camp sessions with nearly 100 campers, many of them returning session after session. During the program. campers complete craft projects with counselors, learn basic skills- like cooking and brushing their teeth- to help them in their day-to-day lives, sing songs and play instruments, as well as socializing with one another. These camp sessions are one of the many highlights of RWE’s year.