Homestead to Get Transitional Living Facility
The Child Development Agency’s (CDA) Independent Living Programme has received another boost with a $4 million donation from the British High Commission.
The funds are to assist with the renovation of a cottage at the Homestead Residential Child Care Facility into a transition home for girls preparing to leave State care. A portion of the funds is also to support the equipping of a computer lab, the home economics area and recreational room at the child care facility.
The cheque was handed over to Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Mrs. Rosalee Gage-Grey, by the British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency David Fitton, at a recent ceremony at the Facility. The British High Commission and the CDA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining how the work to restore the cottage will proceed and the timelines for disbursement of funds.
Minister of Youth and Culture, the Hon. Lisa Hanna, and President of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew, Mrs. Marie Powell were also on had for the signing.
The restoration of the cottage is a project of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew whose members, on the weekend, participated in a demolition of sections of the old building in preparation for work to begin.
Thanking the Rotary Club and the British High Commission, Minister Hanna said that the donation would support the Ministry’s goal of equipping young people exiting State care with the requisite skills to build meaningful lives.
“Our responsibility is to cater to the best interest of our children, to make sure that your dreams come true, because we know that sometimes being in State care is not easy for both boys and girls. In essence, our aim is to make sure that you are comfortable, while preparing you to transition into adulthood,” the Minister noted.
The Minister underscored that combined with skills training, the transitional home would help to propel the girls at Homestead along the path to future success, and would be especially useful for those who had no other options.
In encouraging the girls, the Minister told them that they had the ability to excel in their endeavours. She pointed to the fact that some wards of the state are currently enrolled in colleges, universities, and skills training programmes across the island, while others who have passed through the system are now lawyers, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, among other professions.
In her remarks, Mrs. Gage Grey thanked Rotary and the British High Commission for delivering on their promise to support the establishment of the transitional home.
Mrs. Gage-Grey explained that the Agency has embarked on a programme to provide suitable transitional accommodation for children preparing to exit State care.
In his comments High Commissioner Fitton said the High Commission raised the money through fundraising activities as part of its Olympic legacy programme.
“This is your house, and we hope that the donation will help to improve your lives here at Homestead,” the High Commissioner Fitton told the girls.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Powell expressed delight in partnering with the High Commission on the project.
“Of course a project like this is an ambitious undertaking and, as a club, raising funds in our present economy is a very challenging task. Imagine our delight when we learned that the British High Commission was interested in making a contribution to the project,” she noted.
Manager of the Homestead Place of Safety, Ms. Sophia Walters said the facility will provide the girls with a sense of stability after they leave State care, and will prepare them to deal with the challenges of the real world.
Contact: CDA PR UNIT (Prudence Barnes/Jeneva Gordon)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
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