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Members of the Board of Directors of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund toured a number of projects in St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth, which have benefitted or are to benefit from the Fund.
The tour was conducted on Friday (May 8) and included chairperson, Phillip Henriques. The team visited the projects to get a first hand view of their situation. They started in St. Catherine, looking at two major facilities, the St.Catherine Health Department and the Spanish Town Hospital.
The St. Catherine Health Department, the hub for 26 health centres and 11 clinics providing services throughout the parish, received $10 million in 2006, to upgrade a dilapidated building, and to purchase a generator. The acquisition of the generator ensured that laboratory samples were kept at the desired temperature in the event of prolonged power outages.

Building located at the St. Catherine Health Department that was refurbished in 2006 by the CHASE Fund

Chairman of the Board of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) Tanny Shirley, noted that the Spanish Town Health Centre receives approximately 150 patients daily, and that CHASE’s intervention has expanded the centre’s capability to deliver quality primary care in more comfortable and spacious surroundings.
The Spanish Town Hospital received funding three years ago, to purchase incubators and other equipment and supplies for the maternity ward.
The second leg of the tour took the CHASE team to Milk River, Clarendon where, as a result of an appeal for assistance from the Principal of the Milk River Basic School Andrene Creary, to repair damage sustained during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the school was added to a list of 23 institutions to receive funding.

Participating in the unveiling of a plaque on a building refurbished by the CHASE Fund at the St. Catherine Health Department are Left-Right: Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the CHASE Fund, Phillip Henriques; Parish Manager for the St. Catherine Health Department, Godfrey Boyd; and Chairperson of the Board of South East Regional Health Authority, Tanny Shirley. The occasion was a tour of CHASE funded projects in St. Catherine on Friday(May 8).

The school, which accommodates approximately 80 students and three teachers, has new flooring and roofing. Windows, doors and electrical wiring have also been replaced, and a new bathroom block added. The repairs cost approximately $3.5 million.
“This is the best the school has ever been. It is definitely a more comfortable place for the children to learn,” noted Ms. Creary.
The Bethabra Infant School, Newport, Manchester, also benefitted, under the Fund’s Hurricane Emergency Programme. The school, which has a population of 260 students, received electrical upgrading and major repairs to its roof, and its play area was painted, fenced and equipped. The kitchen was also equipped with new fixtures and equipment. The improvements cost $4.2 million.
The institution was also an earlier beneficiary from the CHASE Fund, when a computer lab outfitted with internet facility was built.
Also identified during the tour were three projects in St. Elizabeth which are to receive assistance – Cataboo Basic School, Slipe Basic School and Slipe Seventh Day Adventist Basic School.
Cataboo Basic School is to receive a grant of $12.9 million from the Fund to replace the existing ply board and zinc roof structure, which has no ceiling, with a spacious and sturdy structure consisting of two classrooms, sick bay, Principal’s office, kitchen, bathroom facilities, new furniture, play equipment and perimeter fencing.
Principal of the school, Althea McCallum-Drummond, said she is grateful for CHASE’s intervention, as the present facility is very uncomfortable.
Two early childhood institutions located in Slipe, a neighbouring community, will receive extensive renovation with the construction of classrooms, kitchens and bathroom facilities for teachers and students. CHASE Fund will grant $12.8 million to the Slipe Basic School, and $11.8 million to the Slipe Seventh Day Adventist Basic School.
Chief Executive Officer of CHASE Fund, Wilford Heaven, said that the organisation is making every effort to help the basic schools to meet the requirements of the Early Childhood Commission in terms of appropriate learning spaces for students, proper nutrition and trained teachers.
CHASE was incorporated on November 25, 2002 and began operations in January 2003. It is registered under the Companies Act to receive, distribute, administer and manage the monetary contributions from the lottery companies.
In 2008, CHASE commemorated five years of contributions to Jamaica’s social agenda in the areas of art and culture, education, health, and sports, through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).