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Story Highlights

  • Community-based organisations across the island are playing their part in helping the elderly, needy and vulnerable in society, through partnerships with public and private-sector entities.
  • Community groups, through their partnerships with community development committees (CDCs), have assisted stakeholders in the distribution of care packages to the elderly and less fortunate, and some have created and distributed care packages of their own, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The SDC encourages all civil society organisations and community-based groups to continue playing their part in strengthening their communities by looking out for the vulnerable. Additionally, Jamaicans at home and abroad are urged to utilise the RONA Helpline to get assistance for persons 70 years and older.

Community-based organisations across the island are playing their part in helping the elderly, needy and vulnerable in society, through partnerships with public and private-sector entities.

“We are seeing an outpouring of love and support for the less fortunate among us during this period. Community-based organisations (CBOs) across the island have been reporting numerous activities from their respective areas that target helping the elderly and physically disabled, especially those with minimal or no capable adult support at home, along with the most vulnerable households,” Public Relations Manager at the Social Development Commission (SDC), Mandel McKulsky, told JIS News.

Community groups, through their partnerships with community development committees (CDCs), have assisted stakeholders in the distribution of care packages to the elderly and less fortunate, and some have created and distributed care packages of their own, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Over the past month, the Race Course Police Youth Club in Manchester has been pooling resources and providing care packages for the elderly persons within the community. These packages include perishable and non-perishable food items as well as sanitation products,” Mr. McKulsky said.

“Additionally, the Denham Farm Youth Club in Manchester has used their personal funds to purchase and deliver care packages to the elderly and cooked meals to the indigent. We’ve also seen groups from Mitchell Town, Clarendon, partner with Jamalco to contribute care packages to the needy, especially the seniors and the children,” he added.

Field Supervisor with the Social Development Commission (SDC), Clarendon Office, Stephany Hylton (right), delivers groceries to 91-year-old Rex Morgan of the Denbigh community, Clarendon, in response to the request made through the Commission’s RONA Helpline. Citizens 70 years and older are assisted with accessing groceries, medicine and healthcare through the helpline.

 

Similar activities have been carried out in other areas, with CDCs reporting that groups such as the St. Ann-based Mount Pleasant Football Academy have distributed approximately 3,000 food care packages in the parish, and the Clarks Town Development Area Committee in Trelawny providing care packages for the vulnerable from funds they had raised.

Recognising the limitations of some of these communities in relation to access to the Internet, a number of community-based organisations have been helping the SDC to register persons for the Government’s COVID-19 Compassionate Grant, particularly those without Internet connection or the devices to register online.

“In addition to helping us with registration for grants, some CDCs are now looking at ways they can assist needy students with data to access their online classes. Others are looking at providing adequate food for children whose parents or guardians are unemployed or were laid off because of COVID-19. All across the island, though, we are identifying persons who we are in need and will be seeking additional support for them from our partners and private entities,” the SDC’s Public Relations Manager shared.

The SDC encourages all civil society organisations and community-based groups to continue playing their part in strengthening their communities by looking out for the vulnerable. Additionally, Jamaicans at home and abroad are urged to utilise the RONA Helpline to get assistance for persons 70 years and older.

The helpline remains open from Mondays to Fridays 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the elderly will receive non-financial assistance from the SDC to access groceries, medication, healthcare and other critical needs.

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