JIS News

Some 12 Children’s Homes and Places of Safety in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon were the hardest hit by Hurricane Ivan on September 10.
Alison Anderson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Child Development Agency (CDA), told JIS News that the Southern Region, which has some 12 institutions, was the “hardest hit” out of the three other regions, where 49 facilities are located. “I would say at least three or four are really badly damaged,” Miss Anderson said, after visiting the region.
There were no collapsing buildings. However, the roofs were extensively damaged, which led to the furniture and children’s belongings suffering from water damage. “Trees were uprooted in the middle of their play areas, destroying all their play equipment,” the CEO noted.
In the North East region, which includes the parishes of Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann, Miss Anderson said that the Windsor Girls’ Home in St. Ann suffered roof damage. “I have still to hear from three facilities in St. Mary,” she said.
As for the Western region, the CEO pointed out that there was major structural damage at Copse Place of Safety located in the parish of Hanover.
Updating on the state of the facilities in the Southeast region, Miss Anderson said that there were no reports of major structural damage. She listed minor leaks in some places, but pointed out that the majority of the homes fared well and were intact.
The CDA also monitors homes of foster care parents. “We had foster parents who have lost their homes, and the homes of others suffered structural damage.rooms and buildings suffered water damage,” she disclosed.
Miss Anderson said that a full report on the state of homes of foster care parents was expected this week from children officers, who had been deployed in the field.
Highlighting the support given to the Children’s Homes and Places of Safety during and after Hurricane Ivan, she extended gratitude to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for providing emergency food supplies; and Food for the Poor.
In addition, she singled out Super Plus Food Stores, which distributed food through their chain of stores to homes in far-flung areas.
“Even when the stores could not be contacted, they were still getting food out to the homes,” the CEO said.
Meanwhile, responding to a report of a shortage of food supplies at the SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, Winston Bowen, Director of Programmes at the CDA told JIS News that food supplies were indeed adequate to meet the needs of the children, who were all in good health.
Dismissing the claim, the Director said that contact was made with Patrick Newman, Superintendent at the home, who informed that the food supply was more than adequate, despite the “little difficulty” being experienced as a result of the lack of electricity, which prevented the storage of meat and dairy products.

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