Message by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
Visit to PACAP Project
28 June 2013
Thank you for the warmth of your welcome.
It is a pleasure to be here with you today to acknowledge the effort of the Philippine Association of Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities in helping families raise their children with special needs.
I wish to congratulate the Philippine Association of Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities (PACDLD) for their work. With Australian support, they have provided 350 parents of children with special needs with knowledge, skills and assistance to help their special needs children reach their full potential.
As well as the work with PACDLD, I am proud that Australia has extended its assistance to the Fully Abled initiative. With our support and in partnership with the Asia Foundation, some 66,000 people with disability were able to participate in the May 2013 election.
Australia has a strong commitment to disability-inclusive development which is reflected in our aid program in the Philippines. We are working with government and civil society partners such as PACDLD to bring programs and projects to people with disability (PWDs) across the country. We believe that supporting PWDs to achieve their maximum potential is the right thing to do. It is a place where I believe Australia is making a real difference.
Finally, I wish to thank the local government here in Zamboanga, particularly the City Social Welfare and Development Office; the volunteer doctors; and all those who contributed to the success of the project. My special thanks also goes out to the parents. Theirs is a challenging task, but I trust one that is the most rewarding --- and one that can make a real difference to the community and the Philippines as a whole.
Thank you for the warm welcome.