Female wards of the State residing at the Homestead Place of Safety in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, now have a more comfortable space to dine.
Civil Servants of the Year 2019 joined forces with First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC) and other partners to outfit a room at the facility, which now serves as the main dining area.
The project included painting and furnishing the room with tables and chairs, and providing table cloths and plastic covers, and valances for the windows.
The FHC Civil Servants of the Year – Acting Director, Research, Print and Production Division, Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Celia Lindsay; Acting Records Officer, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, Ministry of National Security, Candice Henry; and Customer Service Officer, Administrator General’s Department (AGD), Sophia Levy, raised $96,574 for the undertaking.
This is in addition to $150,000 from FHC, with support in cash and kind from the JIS, Carlissa Enterprises Limited, Kingston Seventh-day Baptist Church, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Justice, and AGD.
Speaking with JIS News at a ceremony at the home on Thursday (July 30) to officially hand over the tables and chairs, Manager at the Homestead Place of Safety, Sellean Barracks, told JIS News that the girls are happy with the new dining space.
“The girls are excited. They have owned this room and have identified their own areas which they are going to take care of,” she noted.
“We’re excited because this is a project that we have been working on, and for the team of ladies and First Heritage to come on board to provide this for us, we are tremendously grateful,” Ms. Barracks added.
Meanwhile, Ms. Levy told JIS News that the Civil Servants of the Year chose Homestead Place of Safety as their project because of the need identified. She said that 12 tables and 67 chairs were purchased.
“After examining and looking at different projects, we felt that assisting Homestead Place of Safety would be more impacting. We chose this particular project because we thought that spending some time with the young ladies and assisting them where their needs were greatest would have been quite appropriate,” Ms. Levy said.
“We are happy that we were able to serve our country as Civil Servants of the Year in this manner,” she added.
Ms. Lindsay, in her remarks, said: “Today’s presentation provides a fitting example of what happens when people collaborate to build bridges… . A lasting difference has been made.”
Ms. Lindsay said that she is looking forward to see the young ladies who stand to benefit “becoming fearless, brave and strong as they navigate the paths of this world”.
Ms. Henry for her part, said that “as civil servants, we are forever indebted to the public service for affording us the opportunity to be of service to our fellow men”.
“Words are inadequate to express our sincere gratitude to Almighty God, who bestowed mercies and blessings on us so that we too can really impact the lives of others,” she added.
The Homestead Place of Safety cares for 43 female wards but has the capacity to hold 60 girls.
The Civil Servants of the Year 2019 were announced on November 2019 as part of activities for Civil Service Week (CSW), with Ms. Lindsay winning in the Management category, Ms. Levy in the Middle Management category, and Ms. Henry in the Technical Support category.
The partnership between the CSW Steering Committee and main sponsors, FHC, facilitated a revamping of the annual awards programme to increase the number of persons serving as Civil Servant of the Year from one to three.
In addition to a plaque, citation and a cash prize for each award recipient, the FHC provided $150,000 for a joint community project.