MANDEVILLE — The Child Development Agency (CDA) has launched a self sufficiency programme to promote sustainable development through agriculture, from a US$34,000 grant from the Australian Direct Aid Programme.
Participating facilities are Homestead, Glenhope, Granville and St. Augustine Places of Safety, as well as Summerfield, Muirton and Manning’s Boys’ Homes.
“The programme not only offers the possibility for self reliance and self sufficiency, but, also provides the opportunity for the training and equipping of those brought into our care,” said Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Carla Francis Edie, at the launch at the Manning’s Boys’ Home, St. Elizabeth on Thursday (May 12).
“Our responsibility to provide for our wards extends beyond providing for their therapeutic health and educational care, to ensuring that each one receives adequate training, which will aid in building resilience and providing lifelong skills base from which to tap,” she added.
The CDA boss said the agricultural project for the seven facilities is timely, with the national thrust of the “Eat Jamaican” campaign, as the facilities currently house over 300 boys and girls, whose lives will be positively impacted by the training they will receive.
She said that each of the seven participating facilities has carefully evaluated and selected endeavours they want to undertake. These will include animal husbandry and poultry farming, along with planting of cash and subsistence crops such as tomatoes, lettuce and sweet peppers, among others.
“All this will aid in supplementing the facilities’ food stores, as well as for income generation,” she added.
Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Franklyn Witter, said he will be staying close to the Manning’s Boys’ Home project, to ensure that it receives support.
Guest speaker at the function and President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Milton Samuda, encouraged the residents to always feel important, as God created them as important human beings.
“No matter what background you come from, or why or how you got here, if the greatest power in the universe considers you that important, then you must never ever let anyone make you feel less than important. Do not afraid to dream. Many of the things we see as reality now, started as someone’s dream, your dreams are important,” Mr. Samuda said.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS REGIONAL OFFICE