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Revealing secrets

challenor centre students show off their creativity at bmex 2013

Disability is not inability.

It’s a well-quoted mantra in Barbados now, but last weekend at BMEX 2013, Barbadians became intimately acquainted with the fact, thanks to the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre and their Best Kept Hidden Treasures brand.

Member of the St. Thomas-based institution, Juliette Cumberbatch explained that the last time the school had participated in the expo was about two or three years ago and this year they returned with a bang and shocked many with their creations.

The adult section of the centre, created throw cushions, shopping bags, wood craft, coasters, iron boards, even a door, along with jewellery, furniture and fruit juices which were all on sale.

This year the group’s booth was sponsored by Republic Bank, allowing the adult students of the Food Preparation, Arts and Craft and Woodwork sections to display their products.

“We had a variety of drinks by the food preparation group, but now it is just sorrel left and mango chutney. The other flavours that we brought were ginger beer and coconut punch, but we do all kinds of flavours because we grow lots of fruit trees and when the fruits are in season we use them to make jams, jellies, juices and chutneys,” she stated.

The patio set, in the alcove of the furniture pavilion she said had attracted a lot of attention and brought persons, including businesses to their booth with orders for more.

“People have bought quite a few cushions and bags and so on, but we have had orders for ironing boards and even the patio set we have had a couple of orders for that as well and we have had some of the major companies now asking us to manufacture stuff for them. So I think it is looking up,” she said.

Thomas noted that the response this year was overwhelming and above what they would have seen before in coming to the Expo. She said too that she did not think there was anything greater they were doing, but they had concentrated on some different products this year for the expo.

“I think it is the products we have produced that have drawn the attention, especially the adirondack patio set, I think that has definitely drawn a lot of attention.

“If you see the looks on their faces, ‘Challenor School mek dat?’ It is worth it and it proves that disability is not inability,” she said.

The school, she added, has a roll of about 45 to 50 children and the adult training facility has another 45, but the school was currently looking at recruiting more students for September. (LB)

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