PORT ANTONIO — Home and kitchen appliances and other items worth more than $1 million were presented to the Muirton Child Care Facility in Manchioneal, Portland, by Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), a New York-based Jamaican charity, on May 17.
Included in the items were a clothes dryer, computers, a deep freeze, a commercial stove and shoes.
Chairman and Founder of COJO, Gary Williams, said the organisation has been making contributions to children’s facilities for the past 16 years during Child Month (May), adding that the group undertakes projects to support and give relief to the many marginalised children and help them to lead productive lives.
Noting that children are the country’s greatest assets, Mr. Williams said it is important that, “we provide them with a sound education, as well as the amenities that will improve their living conditions and well-being, so that they can realise their true potential."
“We want them to know that there are people out there that love and care for them and want to see them excel and do well,” he said.
Mr. Williams pointed out that over the years, COJO has also assisted other children’s facilities, including the Musgrave Girls Home, Marigold Child Care Facility, Glenhope Place of Safety, Alpha Boys Home, City of Refuge and the Windward Road Primary School.
He thanked PUMA, Air Jamaica and the Child Development Agency (CDA), for supporting the cause and making the presentation a reality.
In her remarks, Regional Director of the CDA, Norma Hill, said the facility currently houses 28 wards, and seeks to enhance the development of their physical, emotional, educational and psychological needs, as it pursues the mandate of the CDA.
She noted that the facility has also invested in farm production in a bid to become self sufficient, and to teach the wards to become responsible and successful citizens.
Meanwhile, Manager at the Muirton Child Care Facility, Kevin Bryan, expressed appreciation for the donation.
He lauded the efforts of COJO, as they continue to make significant contributions to the many disadvantaged children across Jamaica.
“What you have contributed is much more than these items, but a vision that this facility will stand as the semblance of a ‘home,’ where children will grow up and use these opportunities to develop and enhance their abilities,” he said.
By LORNA WILLIAMS, PORT ANTONIO REGIONAL