Ground Broken for Renovation and Expansion of Women’s Shelter

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (right), and United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Moreno, break ground for the refurbishing and expansion of a women’s shelter on January 30 in Kingston. Others (from left) are: Past President of the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Woman Inc., Joyce Hewitt (left); and founder of the NGO, Angela Forrest. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing over $14 million for the project, which will allow for the accommodation of more women and their children, who are seeking shelter.

Story Highlights

  • Ground was broken on Monday (Jan. 30) for the renovation and expansion of the Woman Inc. Crisis Shelter in Kingston to house additional women and children, who are victims of violence.
  • Speaking with JIS News at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to addressing violence against women and children.
  • She told JIS News that the Government is looking to establish three shelters to provide safety and counselling for women and girls, who are victims of violence.

Ground was broken on Monday (Jan. 30) for the renovation and expansion of the Woman Inc. Crisis Shelter in Kingston to house additional women and children, who are victims of violence.

The five-month project is being undertaken by the Government through over $14 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Among the amenities are bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, housemother’s room, consulting room for counselling services, recreation and dining room, gazebo and garden area, and reading room/quite area. The building will be disabled-friendly.

Speaking with JIS News at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to addressing violence against women and children.

“A lot of our women (and children) are having an extremely difficult time because of violence against them (and) they are in need of shelter. It is a matter that is really urgent and Government is treating it with the kind of urgency and importance that it should have,” she said.

She told JIS News that the Government is looking to establish three shelters to provide safety and counselling for women and girls, who are victims of violence.

“We are committed to establishing three State-run shelters across the island, one in every county. We will have to seek partners to make this a reality but it will be initiated by Government,” she noted.

Ms. Grange added that discussions are underway with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (Housing) to identify a property in Kingston to accommodate an additional women’s shelter.

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Moreno, urged shared participation by all members of society to end violence against vulnerable groups.

“We want to enable Jamaica’s health and prosperity. Our position has been and will remain, violence against women must stop. The social and cultural norms that fuel these acts must change,” he said.

Ambassador Moreno pointed out that the upgrading of the shelter will enable more victims to leave a violent situation and become survivors. “One day, we must reach a place where no mother, daughter or sister will have to suffer the experience that so many experience on a daily basis,” he said.

Woman Inc. is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides counselling and other services for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

A team of volunteers from several agencies and partners of the Ministry will be assembled to provide additional support to the victims.

The Ministry will also be providing assistance to expand the 24-hour hotline operated by the NGO for women in need of assistance. The number is 929-2997. The support will provide for additional lines and hiring and training persons to answer the extensions.

The shelter project is being undertaken as part of USAID’s Community Empowerment Project Phase 2.

JIS Social