JIS News

A contract valued at $7.4 million was signed today (Aug.16) for the construction of a day care centre on the grounds of the Professional Development Institute and Girls’ Town, located on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.
The project, which is being funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), involves the rehabilitation of a building to be utilized for training and service delivery in early childhood development and care.
The centre will cater to single mothers, who need professional supervision and care for their children, while they are at school or work.
Board Chairman for the Professional Development Institute and Girls’ Town, Rev. Al Miller, said the construction of the day care centre will help the young women pursuing training courses at the Institute. “Many of them are really trying to get a second opportunity to succeed at life and to get a career and to be able to make a living,” he pointed out.
“Many of them, we discovered, begin to have difficulties in not attending classes like they should because they had children and with no one to leave them with, so the idea was birthed to help them to be able to gain a skill and to become functional in the society,” he noted further.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Government of Jamaica, through JSIF, is providing $6.3 million for the project, with the Institute contributing the remaining $1 million in kind, which represents the required community contribution.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Philips, who attended the signing, said he was pleased that the day centre was being built as it “reflects the interest that the government has, and this institution has, in training in developing the community.”
He noted that the real solution to the problem of poverty rests in education and training. “This particular institution, over many decades, has made a tremendous contribution in helping to provide the training and the skills for generations of young women and now young men, to be able, by their own effort, lift themselves out of the trap of poverty,” Dr. Phillips said.
He added that many young women are impeded in pursuing education and training due to the fact that they have parental responsibilities, and the focus of the project is to allow them to pursue training at the Institute, while having their young ones cared for at the day care centre.
Managing Director at JSIF, Scarlette Gillings encouraged the institution to ensure that the project is completed within the three months stipulated and within budget.

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