Passion and Purpose in the Caribbean: Establishing Grenada's First Disabilities Affairs Unit


Carlton Mamo

1st Year, MPH, Health Management and Health Policy Candidate

 As I prepare to journey back to the Caribbean, I am filled with excitement. This journey, however, is not just a return but the beginning of an incredible experience—helping to establish the first Disabilities Affairs Unit for the Government of Grenada. 

My earlier journey to the Caribbean was a deep dive into Caribbean history. My time spent in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2020, where I studied Caribbean history under Dr. Glenn Chambers and Dr. Tacuma Peters, was nothing short of amazing. It widened my understanding of the people, their experiences, and the wider African diaspora.

 Before that adventure, my knowledge of the Caribbean and its history was limited. It unveiled how much I still had to discover about slavery and colonialism outside the confines of my US-focused education. Physically, being in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was a pivotal moment, allowing me to see the island not just for its scenic beauty but for its intricate history. I saw the social and economic structures that have been molded both before and after gaining independence from Britain, which gave me a better understanding of the Caribbean and, especially, the island of St. Vincent. 

This year, as I pack my bags for Grenada, I take with me not just the memories of my last trip, but a deep desire to understand another piece of the Caribbean puzzle. The anticipation of learning about Grenada's unique history is thrilling in itself, but this time, it's paired with a fresh purpose. 

Unlike my previous trip, this visit to the Caribbean brings an opportunity to make a widespread impact. In partnership with my fellow Public Health peers and members of the Grenadian community, we aim to set up a comprehensive framework to support Grenadian citizens living with disabilities. This particular project stood out to me as I have a strong interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare. As someone who's passionate about Global Health Equity and has a strong interest in health systems, I also see an opportunity to further understand and appreciate the challenges and potential solutions in these areas. It's becoming more apparent to me that we need to ensure our projects have real-world benefits for the communities we work with. This is truly a journey of learning, growth, and mutual respect

Owia Salt Pond, St.Vincent and the Grenadines