Approximately 15 boys in State care, ages 11 to 16 years with learning disabilities, now have a newly-renovated facility to call home.
This is as a result of recent work done at the Muirton Child Care Facility in Manchioneal, Portland which was funded to the tune of $10.02 million.
The overall project which was completed over a six-year period involved the installation of a new kitchen, roof replacement, drainage installation, electrical rewiring, painting of the interior and exterior walls, replacement of doors and windows, repairs to dormitories and staff quarters, perimeter fencing and general carpentry throughout the entire building, totalling $40 million.
Commenting on the facility, Director of Children and Family Programmes at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Audrey Budhi said that the facility which has the capacity to house 30 boys, is the first of its kind, and will be fully operated by the government.
It comprises five dorms; staff quarters; three rooms, a counselling, art and classroom; computer lab; recreational and occupational therapy area and other amenities.
“This facility is considered a symbol of hope and inspiration; a stepping stone for our young men with intellectual challenges to learn in a comfortable environment tailored to meet their holistic needs. They will also have the opportunity to develop their social and entrepreneurial capabilities in agriculture, computer science and the arts. This will help them to become well-rounded individuals, in preparation for independent living,” she said.
Miss Budhi said that the rationale behind having such a facility is to ensure that children with intellectual disabilities are not left behind, and is provided a chance to be a part of an inclusive society where they can function effectively in a world fit for children.
Referring to several success stories, the Children and Family Programmes Director noted that with a clear path to self-development and guidance, children in State care, especially boys, can have a bright future.
She also encouraged the boys to grasp every opportunity that is being afforded to them while in the care of the government, and take pride in themselves and the facility, which will definitely be of service to others for many more years to come,” Miss Budhi said.
“While we celebrate the completion of the building, we also have to acknowledge the staff that will be working with our boys. They are the hands that touch and heal, the voices that soothe and encourage, which aids in the healing process for many of our children who have suffered trauma,” Miss Budhi said.
The facility was established in 1978 with thirty (30) boys and presently has a staff complement of eighteen (18).
Contact: Miss Jeneva Gordon
Public Relations Officer