Some of our success stories
The primary goal of the Child Development and Guidance Centre in St. Lucia is to
promote the right of children to health care and education in a safe, secure and
loving environment. With special needs children who are developmentally delayed
or disabled, sadly one of the results often seen is that they have never been to
school and have had no chance of getting an education.
Shirline was nine years old when we first met her. She was born with one leg and
mild cerebral palsy. Her mother was told by all health professionals in the
island that Shirline would never be able to walk. In order to get around she was
"bottom shuffling" and had never gone to school.
Shirline took part in our first summer camp in 1998. Working with visiting
physical therapists from the UK and Germany, within three weeks she learned to
walk using crutches. She started Infant School in September 1998, and has moved
on to Primary school. She loves school, can read and write, and has a chance to
live a fairly normal life.
Regina was four years old when we first assessed her for developmental delays or
disabilities. She did not talk, did not interact, and did not want to wear
clothes. She was diagnosed as autistic and started therapy with a speech and
language therapist and an occupational therapist.
As a result of the therapy she has received, Regina has learned to express basic
needs, is toilet trained and attends the Infant School in Gros Islet. Her
parents are very proud and very encouraged by the progress that Regina has made.
Our summer camps
Between 1998 and 2002 the Child Development and Guidance Centre conducted an annual
three-week intensive summer camp for St. Lucian children with special needs. The camps,
under the leadership of Dr. Brigitte Schüling, complement the year-round work of
At the 2002 Summer Camp 50 children between the ages of six months and ten years
received an assessment and therapy sessions with visiting paediatric speech and
language therapists, an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist. The volunteer
therapists came from England and America to provide services that were not yet
available in St. Lucia all year round.
A parents’ workshop was offered three times per week to discuss issues concerning
their child with special needs and to receive support. The therapists also provided
workshops for nurses and community health aides.
For further information or if you wish to make a contribution, please visit
our contact site.
Garth and his mother using a communication book