Sixty girls at the Homestead Place of Safety have benefitted from a fully equipped cosmetology training centre located on the grounds of the facility in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.
Established at a cost of $1 million, the facility was the initiative of the Inner Wheel Club of Kingston in partnership with the Child Development Agency (CDA). Inner Wheel supported the facility to the tune of $800,000, with the CDA providing the remainder of the funding and the building.
The centre will provide training for the youngsters at Homestead, with cosmetology courses accredited by the HEART TRUST/NTA up to level one. The plan is to seek full accreditation.
Speaking at the official opening of the Centre, CEO of the CDA Carla Francis-Edie noted that the facility will help to give the girls another avenue to hone their skills and creativity while providing an important career path.
Mrs. Edie noted that that cosmetology was a valid and valuable career path, adding: “Here in Jamaica and all around the world, cosmetologists have earned success in their field, and many make a significant contribution to the economy. “
She encouraged the girls to maximize the use of the facility and to ensure that they took care of it, so that other girls could benefit from the Centre long into the future.
Inner Wheel’s President Valerie Moodie explained that earlier in the year, the team visited the home and decided to undertake a sustainable project to support the growth and development of the girls.
“We decided to develop the Cosmetology Training Centre so that the girls could be exposed to proper grooming to help them feel better about themselves and gain another option of a career path into the future,” Mrs. Moodie noted.
Observing the tremendous human potential that was in the child care facilities, Director of Children and Family Programmes Audrey Budhi noted that the unit would facilitate the girls using their gifts and talents to find their way in the world.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Mr. Sidney Bartley who represented Minister the Hon. Lisa Hanna expressed the government’s commitment to the children in State care, adding that all was being done to ensure that the children lived as normal a life as possible, despite the challenging circumstances from which they came.
He thanked the Inner Wheel movement for its invaluable contribution to guiding the girls in a positive direction.
Interim Manager at the Homestead Place of Safety Sophia Walters thanked Inner Wheel and all the persons who supported the establishment of the Cosmetology Training Unit.
“Each day at Homestead comes with its challenges, but I keep reminding myself that none of the 60 young ladies for whom we are responsible, have asked to be in this position.
“Mother Theresa said, ‘do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary, what we need is to love without getting tired,’ ” Ms. Walters said.
Contact: Prudence N. Barnes