Samuda Pledges Full Support For Children Affected By Fire

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Jamaica News: Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, has pledged the Government’s support in rebuilding the Jamaica National Children’s Home, located in Papine, St. Andrew.

The complex was destroyed by fire on Friday, August 9.

“You have the full support of the officials and the Ministry that I am responsible for, and we will continue to give you the help you need,” the Minister told the children on Saturday (August 10) during a visit with the youngsters who have been temporarily relocated to another childcare facility.

Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Samuda said the children “seemed to be in good spirits” and have a positive outlook, despite the trying circumstances.

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“I think they are encouraged by the instant response of the Ministry and the effort to facilitate them and provide for their welfare, and for adequate meals and to make (all the necessary) arrangements,” he said.

Mr. Samuda said he is comforted in the knowledge that they are getting the best care they can under the circumstances.

“I am very heartened when we look at the children and the way they respond…I have great faith in this establishment and others like it throughout the country,” he added.

A release from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) said that the agency is in dialogue with the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) which is conducting an assessment as to the cause of the fire. A report is to be produced shortly.

Additionally, a team of counsellors has been assigned to provide psychosocial support for children who are between 8 and 17 years of age and caregivers over the coming weeks.

Also, a full assessment and inventory of needs is being prepared for both children and staff. Immediate needs are clothing, shoes, personal care items, and toiletries.

Donations can be made at 9 Christopher Road, Stony Hill, St. Andrew, daily between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Located at Hope Gardens, Kingston 7, the Jamaica National Children’s Home was founded in 1972 by the National Children’s Home, U.K., to provide a home to orphans and abandoned children, as well as children with severe mental or physical disabilities whose parents are unable to provide proper care.

 

Source: JIS News

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