Rescue mission for nation's children

Prime Minister Andrew Holness hugs Fae Ellington who was master of ceremonies at Thursday's handing-over of a new therapeutic treatment centre on the grounds of Maxfield Park Children's Home in St Andrew.
June 30, 2023 12:05am
News Detail

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has said the newly constructed therapeutic treatment centre on the grounds of Maxfield Park Children's Home in St Andrew to serve children in State care with mental conditions is one plank of the Government's rescue mission to reduce the level of social violence and abuse in the country.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony for the $200-million centre on Thursday, Holness, noting that the Government is targeting children in State care first, said "the cost of saving our children is significant".

He said the centre, which will provide mental health interventions to the more than 4,600 Jamaican children in State care needing those services, will also provide programmes designed to stop the cycle of abuse and violence against children.

"Overall, the project will benefit 4,500 children in State care and those in need of psychological and medical interventions. Additionally, the project will benefit 16,000 children and their families who will access the services of the CPFSA (Child Protection and Family Services Agency) on an annual basis," the prime minister said.

He, however, noted that while the centre — which will be operated by the CPFSA — is "a big deal", there was no escaping the existing gaps in mental health services for children.

"The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) in 2021 estimated that of the number of Jamaican children who are able to access mental health services only eight per cent of their needs are being met. Jamaica's children are in need of more and more available specialised and consistent mental health services. We are way behind in this area, so this move is even more important," Holness said.

"We have far more to do as a Government and as a people because addressing this serious problem is a matter both for the State and for the people," he said.

The Administration, he said, was also working on the legislative framework for children in need of care and protection.

"In this particular case I think we need to make changes urgently because the suffering is real and the impact is immediate," Holness said, noting that amendments are being made to legislation relating to children to improve their welfare.

Education Minister Fayval Williams, in her remarks, said the entity was an important development in the provision of services for children who might have been the victims of abuse, psychological trauma or who have been hauled before the courts for behavioural issues.

"The data the CPFSA compiles have been flashing warning signs that our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of trauma and abuse in home and community environments, and that our children are being witnesses to domestic and community violence," the education minister said.

"Too many of our children are being subjected to the kind of stress we associate with adulthood and we know that when this stress is introduced into a child's world so early on it can take root and it does damage which then manifests into all kinds of undesirable behaviour as that child grows into adulthood," she added.

Community Link: June 2022 to January 2023

Raising our game: Port Royal Street Coastal Revetment

JSIF Hands over Plumwood Pumping Station PV Solar System

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green (second right), State Minister, Hon. Franklin Witter (right) and Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney (second left), are briefed by Energy Engineer, National Irrigation Commission, Emile Myers, on the operation of solar panels comprising the Plumwood Pumping Station PV Solar System Installation Project in New Forest, Manchester. The facility, which was handed over by JSIF during a recent ceremony, was financed under the second cycle of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI-II). The system will benefit approximately 1,943 farmers in the New Forest/Duff House Agro-Parks in South Manchester and South St. Elizabeth.
June 19, 2023
News Detail

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund, through funding from the second cycle of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI – II) invested a total of J$37,135,912.42 to supply and install a 79.2 kW grid-tied photovoltaic system at the National Irrigation Commission’s Plumwood Pumping Station in Southern Manchester.

The project will benefit approximately 1,943 farmers who farm at the New Forest/Duff House Agro-Parks in South Manchester and South St. Elizabeth. These farmers benefit from water extracted by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) for agriculture, provided by truckers who supply water to the farmers.

This sub-project aims to reduce the JPS energy cost of the National Irrigation Commission and allow the agency to continue subsidizing the cost of irrigation water for farmers. In addition to providing the NIC with an alternative energy source, the supplying, installation, and commissioning of this solar photovoltaic system in New Forrest will aid the NIC’s transition to clean and renewable energy for its operations.

World Bank president praises Jamaica’s economic health

World Bank President, Ajay Banga (second right) and Ritu Banga (second left), listen as greenhouse farmer Earl Williams (left), speaks about his sweet pepper crop, during a tour of the Content Greenhouse Cluster project in Manchester on Wednesday (June 14). At right is Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green.
June 14, 2023
News Detail

World Bank President, Ajay Banga, has high praises for Jamaica's current economic health, noting that “your country has managed your macro situation very well”.

“It is not the same for many developing countries, which took on a great deal of debt when interest rates were low, both international and domestic debt,” he noted.

Greenhouse farmers optimistic after visit by World Bank boss

World Bank Group President Ajay Banga (centre); his wife Ritu Banga (second left); Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Floyd Green (second right); JSIF Chairman Wayne Henry (left) and JSIF Managing Director Omar Sweeney (right) looking on sweet pepper produced at the Content Greenhouse Cluster in Manchester.
June 15, 2023
News Detail

Greenhouse farmers here are hopeful that the expansion of a cluster near here will be realized soon following Wednesday's historic visit by World Bank Group President Ajay Banga.

JSIF undertake Labour Day Activities in Denham Town & August Town

A volunteer from the Jamaica Defense Force paints a section of the recreation area at the St. Alban's Primary and Infant School.
May 24, 2023
News Detail

The Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP-II), which is funded by the Government of Jamaica, supported 6 projects within 4 communities on National Labour Day 2023. The JSIF partnered with the Ministry of Education & Youth, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the local police, Community Development Committees and Curfew Monitors from the respective communities, to rehabilitate the Math Resource Room at St. Alban’s Primary and Infant School; minor rehabilitation and clean-up at the Denham Town Police Station; rehabilitation of playfield and park at August Town Primary School, and improvement of the physical environment at 6 ZOSO checkpoints in St. James.  In keeping with this year’s theme ‘Plant a Tree for Life – Promoting Climate Change Mitigation, Food Security and Road Safety’, trees were also planted at each location, where the Day’s activities took place.

Subscribe to